Did you make those changes you meant to in 2012? Did those DIY jobs get done, did you remodel the garden, clear out the shed or put up those shelves?

We have looked back through some of the things we recommended throughout the year and put together a round up. If you did them you can smugly tick them off, have a cup of tea and make your next list. If you didn’t do any, or didn’t even have a list last year you could start one based on ours. It is less than one job a month, and it’s good to have a plan.

Here are the first 5 on the list – the next five will be available next week. There may be prizes for anyone who has finished all these by the time we publish the next post.

Fit a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector
Carbon Monoxide is the ‘silent killler‘. Sounds dramatic but this is serious, the gas is colourless, odorless, and in the right doses lethal. Thankfully after a storyline in Corrie where Fiz suffers CO poisoning, public awareness of the problem has increased. Shockingly 50 people a year die from Carbon Monoxide poisoning and 4000 others are affected in some way. Read our Carbon Monoxide Safety project here.

Get your Boiler Serviced
Gas and oil boilers benefit from regular servicing. Servicing improves the life of the boiler and may increase efficiency, which in turn saves you money. If your boiler is not burning fuel effectively it can produce Carbon Monoxide which is a serious health risk.

Make sure any engineer you employ is Gas Safe registered, or for oil boilers OFTEC registered. We recommend you find an engineer through Checkatrade as they ensure their listed tradesmen are certified, insured and reliable. They only register certified tradesman who are properly qualified and insured. Check out the DIY Doctor find a tradesman section here. Consider having your boiler serviced in the quieter summer months when it is less inconvenient for you to turn your boiler off. Read our Central Heating Boilers project here.

Get a free energy assessment of your home
Use this simple tool  to check what energy saving measures are cost effective for you in your home with BeEnergySmart. You receive a no obligation report on what is recommended based on the age, size and style of your house. You decide whether to budget for it or take advantage of the Government’s Green Deal.

Understand the Green Deal
In 20012 the Government announced that the Green Deal would launch in January 2013. So it is available, but the uptake has been low. This could be because you don’t want energy saving systems in your home. It could be because you think you can’t afford it. However we suspect it might be because you haven’t heard of it, or you don’t understand how the Green Deal works.

We have put together a Green Living section with our partners Be Energy Smart, which gives you lots of information on products, services, initiatives and types of energy available so please visit to find out more. If you just want to read more about the Green Deal, then check out our Green Deal project.

Beat the drought/flood problem in your garden
We mostly experienced a dry Spring and a wet rest-of-the-year in 2012 didn’t we? One way to combat this is to install your own rainwater harvesting ‘reservoir’. This involves installing a water tank (or tanks) to capture rain water, which can then be used in dry spells to water the garden, fill ponds, and even wash the car.

Large tanks can be buried underground, and more slimline models are available which can be fixed to walls relatively inobtrusively. They can then be screened or covered with climbing plants. Read more in our Rainwater Harvesting Systems project by clicking here here.

Next week’s topics will be
Smoke alarms
Bathroom fans
Shed organising
Shelf building

Leave your comments if there are other topics you would like us to cover?

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