Things to think about

Draught-proofing is an easy DIY task. Many sealant strips are self-adhesive for easy fixing, and fitting brushes to doors and letterboxes is also simple. But good ventilation is as important as draughtproofing, and is essential if you have a solid fuel fire, a gas fire or a boiler with an open flue.

Surface-mounted, flexible nylon and brush are the simplest and cheapest type of draught excluder to fit. A nylon seal is most effective on smooth floors and works well on the top of the door as well as the bottom, while a brush seal is useful on the inside of an exterior door and where the floor surface is less even.

Wiper seals are also used for sliding sash windows and sliding patio doors, where a good fit with low friction is necessary.

The smallest gap around a window or door will create a draught, which will result in your home's insulation being less effective, and your heating bills more costly! Even double glazing and wellfitted frames will not entirely eliminate draughts.

Keyholes and letterboxes are common causes of draughts in the home. Both problems can easily be solved – a keyhole with an escutcheon coverplate is simple to fit, while letterbox draught excluders are available to suit all tastes.

Fit a letterbox draught excluder behind the letterbox on the interior of the front door, to stop cold air from entering the house and preventing heat from escaping.

Never block or cover any air vents in your home. Do not draught-proof in kitchens and bathrooms, or in the vicinity of any fuel-burning appliance, without seeking professional advice first.

The best way to draught-proof the house is to fit UPVC or wood double-glazed windows and doors. This can be an expensive option, but savings from lower heating bills will be very beneficial.

If you order your own doors and windows, make precise measurements. Measure across all dimensions – top, bottom and middle – as openings are often not exactly 'square'. Measurements should take into account the narrowest and widest points.

Check with the local planning office as you may require planning permission to fit new windows and doors, especially if you are considering UPVC windows. If you, or your builder, are not affiliated to a professional organisation such as FENSTRA, installation must be inspected by the local building control officer.

Fit a brush draught excluder

1

Fixing a brush draught excluder to the bottom of a door is a quick and straightforward job. You will need to cut the excluder to fit.

2

Measure the door width and cut the excluder to length. Pinch the brush channel with pliers to help stop the bristles from falling out.

3

Position the excluder so that it makes good contact with the floor. Mark fixing points through predrilled fixing holes in excluder.

4

Drill pilot fixing holes through marks on door and loosely screw the excluder in place. Open and close the door to ensure it creates a good seal.

5

Adjust height if required before screwing the excluder in place at all fixing points using a handheld screwdriver or drill/driver.

Fit an external draught excluder

1

Follow any manufacturer's guidelines. Most will recommend marking a guide around the edge of the frame. Here, it is 4mm from the frame edge.

2

Cut the head section of the excluder to length with a junior hacksaw. Hold it in position against the line and mark off fixing holes.

3

Drill pilot holes at the marked points. If the excluder kit includes nails instead of screws, pilot holes should not be necessary.

4

Reposition the head section and screw in place. Cut side sections of the draught excluder strip to length and repeat the marking procedure.

5

Corners should be neat for a tight seal. If necessary, use a mitre box to cut the corners. When happy with the fit either side, fix both side strips in place.

Fit escutcheons

1

Escutcheons are usually sold in pairs, one with a coverplate for the inside of the door and one without a coverplate to go on the outside.

2

Insert the key through the escutcheon into the lock and make sure that the channel in the lock cylinder lines up precisely with the escutcheon.

3

When the escutcheon is in position, take out the key and, holding the fitting firmly in place, use an awl to mark the fixing holes.

4

Using the screws provided, which will match the fitting, screw the escutcheon in place. Check that the coverplate closes smoothly.

5

Fit the plain escutcheon to the outside of the door using the same technique, ensuring that the escutcheon lines up with the internal key channel.

Fit double-glazing film

1

Apply double-sided tape to each side of the window frame. The tape should overlap, leaving no gaps. Don't remove the backing paper.

2

Press down the tape all the way round to make sure the adhesive has stuck, then unfold the film so that you are using a single layer.

3

Offer the film up to the window and mark or cut to size – just outside the taping – to leave enough to trim neatly when it has been secured.

4

Remove the backing from the tape, all around the frame, and apply the film to the tape, keeping it flat and as taut as possible.

5

Heat the film with a hairdryer as the manufacturer directs. Work around the frame until all wrinkles have disappeared. Trim excess film from the edges.