If you’re considering a home remodel, but hesitant to set a date, you’re definitely not alone. Renovations take time, money, and careful consideration, and there are conflicting opinions about the best time of year to plan your project.
Your remodel depends on several factors that are unique to your home, location, budget, and the type of renovation you have in mind. If you’re having difficulties deciding whether or not to move forward, there are a few things to consider.
Is Your Home Unsafe?
Any obvious indicators of damage and decay are red flags that call for renovation. Peeling paint, decaying tile grout, rotting wood, water stains–these are signs that your home needs repair.
Take a look at when installations took place on your home, or work with an inspector to better determine the age and quality of the materials used. Polybutylene plastic pipes were highly popular in home construction from the 1970s through the 1990s. These kinds of pipes grow more brittle over time and are incredibly prone to damage and wear, especially after a few decades of use. Additionally, piping systems installed before 1986 were likely made with lead components, which could be leaching into your house’s water system. If your house has an older plumbing system, you’ll definitely want to work with a qualified professional to assess and possibly upgrade.
Waiting too long to make a repair can also cause further damage, resulting in a more expensive renovation. A moisture problem left untreated, for example, can cause mold and rot to spread from surface-level drywall to the core of structural wall posts and studs. In this case, an early remodel would protect the structural beams from damage – and save a great deal of money.
Is Your Home’s Design Functional?
Another sign that a remodel is needed is lack of functionality. Does your home currently meet your needs and fit your lifestyle, or do you find yourself frustrated with certain problem areas? Perhaps your kitchen isn’t large enough to handle regular entertaining, or your children are getting bigger and growing out of their shared bedroom space.
Whatever the case, if you find yourself regularly inconvenienced by the current layout of your home, you’ll benefit from scheduling a renovation sooner than later.
Is Everyone Else Remodeling?
Contractors are often booked several months in advance, so scheduling an ideal time for a remodel can be tricky if your contractor is in high demand.
Most homeowners tend to schedule their remodels in warmer, drier months, to avoid inconvenient weather like snow and rain during the colder months. But a winter remodel is quite doable, and low demand could actually work in your favor.
Since it’s usually the down-season for most contractors, you can often get winter deals that cut the expense of your project. Such an arrangement works out well for both parties: contractors get much-needed work during a slow period and you get a lower price and more attention dedicated to your project.
Different parts of your home improvement project may have their own ideal times for execution. You’ll want to be mindful of this and plan accordingly. Below are a few examples:
- Appliances - These items often go on sale during holiday weekends, and more generally, in the fall.
- Landscaping - Most people do their landscaping work in spring and early summer, leaving late summer and early fall as prime times to get rebates from landscaping crews.
- Roofing - Installing a new roof requires high temperatures, which help the materials seal properly. Summer and just after are the best times for this.
- Siding - Like with most exterior updates, new siding installation should be done when exposure to moisture can be avoided. Plan this task for dry periods and when temperatures are above freezing.
Is It a Good Time for You?
You and your family’s personal convenience has a big influence on the most ideal time for remodeling. If you’re dealing with an extremely demanding period at work or have business trips coming up, adding a renovation onto your plate may not be the wisest choice.
Likewise, if you have children, planning a renovation to take place during the summer break may complicate matters. It’s always best to schedule your renovation for a time when it creates the least inconvenience for you and the rest of your household.
Is the Right Plan (and Permit) in Place?
Navigating all the red tape is another issue that can affect the timing of your remodel. It’s not uncommon for renovations to be delayed because a permit application is still pending approval. Check up on building permit processing times with your local authorities to make room in your schedule.
Do you plan on staying in your home for the long-term? Factor in these decisions for your remodel: as we age, our needs change. You might want to consider adding features like wider hallways or safety ramps in your remodel that can accommodate a variety of accessibility needs. This can also increase the marketability and sale price of your home should you decide to sell in the future.
Give yourself at least a few weeks of planning time to think through long-term goals and to go over project details with your contractor. Taking time to make sure that you have a solid plan in place will help you avoid setbacks once the work begins.
Tackling a remodel is a significant but exciting decision for homeowners. With the right planning and mindset around your renovation, you’re that much closer to being in the home you’ve always wanted.