“What’s the best time of year to remodel my home?” homeowners often ask. The true answer is: “Any time is the right time, as long as you’re ready to do it.”
You're probably already aware that in many places around the country, summer is the season for remodeling. It’s true that sunny days and warm weather are very beneficial when it comes to working outside, but there is much more to consider when planning a remodeling project than the temperature. In many cases, knowing when to remodel is likely to save you money as well as time during your project. While spring and summer might be the most popular seasons for home improvement, the best time to remodel is when your hassle (and budget) will be at a minimum.
Supply and Demand
The battle between supply and demand is constant, and is one of the main factors in how much we pay for just about everything. Just as Halloween decorations are a steal on Nov. 1st, the price of building materials like paint, lumber and cement fluctuates depending on the time of year and the demand for that particular material. The best time to remodel is not always when the price of these materials is at their lowest, but by planning your project well in advance, you may be able to accrue materials when they are at their cheapest an simply store them until you are ready to begin working on your home. Additionally, when every contractor within a 6 mile radius is putting in orders for hardwood flooring or replacement windows, there’s a greater chance that orders will get delayed or mixed up, causing everyone involved a little more aggravation!
Contractors’ Busy Times Are Not the Best Time to Remodel
Have you ever been to a restaurant during the lunch or dinner rush? Maybe sat through rush hour traffic in a major city? If so, you are well-aware that there are certain times of the day when things just seem to work better. Knowing when to remodel is not just about material cost but about contractor availability, too. Just as your sandwich is more likely to come without the extra pickles you ordered during a restaurant’s busiest hours, your contractor is more likely to make mistakes when he or she is juggling several other, similar jobs. On top of that, contractors have busy seasons where they are turning away work and times of the year when they can’t find enough.
Now, in many areas of the country, it is actually foolhardy to enter some projects in the off-season. For example, installing a deck or getting a fence done when the ground is frozen solid is probably a bad idea. However, with some early planning and a little flexibility, you might be able to get your project in motion well before the main rush, allowing you to finish a little earlier and allowing your contractor to work more efficiently, as he or she won’t have any other projects to contend with. Since you’ll be providing work for your contractor when little is available, you are likely to get excellent service. Since the mistakes and backtracking are likely to be greatly reduced, the “slightly off-season” is one of the best times to remodel!
When to Remodel: Season By Season
The best time to remodel is, of course, going to change depending on the project you are planning. In most cases, it is a good idea to have your project take place a month or two before or after everyone else will be calling for the same project.
There are times that are better than others for different phases of jobs, as well as for cost-savings — although the two don’t necessarily coincide. With that in mind, we can offer suggestions about the “ideal” guidelines to help keep your remodeling project on track from a cost and timing standpoint.
Based on our experience in the Calgary area where there are notable changes in the seasons, the ideal time for work outside is early fall or late spring and summer. Of course, that window of time when the weather is dry and between 15 and 30 degrees is very small, so if we want to work year-round, we need to look at other timing advantages.
Remodeling January through early March
Despite the thought of working outside in the cold winter months, this is actually a good time to start an addition. Frozen ground and dry air are better for digging foundations and pouring concrete footers than muddy ground and humidity.
If your foundation is completed and the room addition is framed before the rainy season, space can be undercover during the unpredictable spring weather. You'll likely have fewer “rain days” where no one works on the construction site.
The winter months tend to be less busy for builders because everyone is waiting for spring and tax refunds to start their home projects it's a good idea to start planning things out so give your contractor a call during the winter to talk about that deck you want to build when the weather gets nice. Everything has to be planned before it’s constructed, so why not getting planning with your contractor in the winter when you’ll likely be the only project he or she is working on.
Also, during winter since your contractor is probably less busy it a great time to get any kind of renovation done that's inside such as a new kitchen, new flooring, and painting and you might be able to save a little bit of money on materials during this time of the year.
Remodeling April through June
This is the busiest time for most builders, so it’s probably when you’ll pay the most money for their time and for materials. It’s the simple law of supply and demand.
Spring is traditionally home building season, not only because consumers are finding the money to do projects, but also because it’s the time we start to come out of winter hibernation and want something new.
Projects like decks, patios, windows and outdoor rooms are good to plan for this timeframe. Decks require hand-digging, and the ground is usually softer in the spring. In addition, the homeowner will be able to enjoy the deck and outdoor space in the coming summer and fall months
Remodeling July through September
Roofing projects are often done in the summer because the roofing material needs certain higher temperatures to seal. Another project to look at during this time are furnaces which are generally ignored before fall, have your system checked (and altered, if necessary) in mid to late summer, this will help you beat the rush before winter.
During this time of year, you have to keep in mind that the last thing you or your contractor will want to do is work in the sweltering heat in an attic bedroom! Builders will be cautious about the safety of their workers, and they will tell you if it’s too hot for the job.
If you vacation in summer or have a summer home, it’s great to plan your remodeling effort for when you and your family will be away. You can avoid all the unpleasant inconveniences of living with a renovation and come back to a brand new addition!
Remodeling October through December
While the first part of this quarter is ideal for outdoor work and new construction starts, it is traditionally the time when homeowners want their remodeling finished. The impending holidays are a looming deadline for builders, and there’s a scramble to get things done by mid-November.
So, if you’re willing to have crews in your home during the holiday season, this is a good time to schedule anything from an addition to a kitchen remodel. Business is slower for contractors and materials may be less expensive. However, shipping may take longer, so work those extra days into your timeframe.
Another handy tip is air conditioning units might quickly be serviced in late fall, saving you from being waitlisted and making sure your system hasn’t been overworked during the summer.
Timing concerns for any remodeling project
In general, wet weather is the least desirable for any kind of remodeling. Interior work can take place anytime, once the building is undercover. Homeowners should be confident their builder and crews will respect the home at all times by:
• Being careful not to track dirt, mud or water through the living spaces
• Letting the homeowners know when they will not be on the job due to weather
• Providing the overall courtesy of clear communication throughout the job
Just remember that knowing when to remodel is often more about planning and less about the weather. The best projects are mostly (if not completely) solidified well before the actual work begins. One axiom you can always count on no matter what the season. The best time to remodel is always, without a doubt, after a project has been thoroughly thought out! Don’t decide in January to put an addition on your home and expect a contractor to dig the foundation in February.
While this may happen if the stars are in perfect alignment, you’ll probably need time to research, plan and schedule builders. The builder will need time to plan, order materials and schedule his team. Allow several weeks for planning your remodel — no matter what time of year.
Tara Construction - General Contractors
No matter what time of year you call Tara Construction is here for you. We're happy to come by and help you plan out an give you a free quote for your renovation. We can also provide you with a portfolio of our previous work, customer references, proof of insurance, WCB etc.. and we promise to stand by our work. To see some of our previous work either go to our Projects page or take a look at our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/taraconstructioninc/ for the most up to date projects. Give us a call today to get your free quote at (403) 991-2813.