When Is the Best Time to Renovate Your House

When Is the Best Time to Renovate Your House

Additions and Remodels
Interior Design
By Mateos Glen Hayes November 15, 2021

It’s no secret that home renovations can be rather stressful. A renovation project involves a lot of moving parts. There are always many different variables to consider and plan for. Remodeling is sometimes unpredictable and inconvenient. Interior projects can lead to part of your house becoming temporarily closed off, and exterior projects might run into unexpected problems such as weather. It’s not unusual to run into delays or cost overruns, but there are several ways to head off these problems.

The antidote to the unpredictability of a home remodel is planning, research, and good organization. A big part of planning things right is knowing when is the best time to remodel. Remodeling trends tend to be seasonal, which means that contractors tend to be busiest at specific times. These peak times will also be when building materials are in high demand, leading to limited supply.

For these reasons, it is crucial to choose the right time to start your home remodeling project. Ideally, you want to start your project when you are sure that you will have access to the contractors you need as well as the required materials. This will go a long way towards minimizing costs as well as reducing potential setbacks throughout the project. At the end of the day, being prepared is the best way to ensure that your project is a success.     

Research and Planning

Knowing when to renovate requires a lot of planning and research before anyone starts swinging a sledgehammer or tearing out your old kitchen fixtures. Extensive planning is the only way to get an accurate picture of material costs, labor fees, permitting requirements, and timelines.

Planning Is a Key Step in a Renovation Project

Planning Is a Key Step in a Renovation Project

Labor

The first measure to take is to develop a good estimate of labor costs via research. Cost overruns can make things get expensive fast, so it’s worthwhile to take the time and research all your options.

You should plan to interview at least five different remodeling companies before settling on one. When talking to a remodeling company you want to hire, ask about their project history, their subcontractors, and any other project questions you may have. Ideally, you should get a few referrals from previous customers as well to determine that the remodeling company practices good craftsmanship. You also want to make sure that your home remodeling company is observing best practices. Certain companies have been known to delay paying their subcontractors, and this can create liabilities for you. Consider hiring a home inspector once the work is done so you can be sure the people you hired did a good job.

If you choose to hire subcontractors directly without going through a remodeling company, you should know that this entails taking on some legal obligations. In most states including California, you will be legally considered a general contractor whereas the person you hire will be deemed a subcontractor. This is known as an owner-builder arrangement and it implies a set of responsibilities on the part of you, the owner. You can read more about the terms of this arrangement here.

Once you’ve agreed to work with a contractor, the next step is to discuss the proposed timeline of your project with them and draft a schedule for you both to sign off on.   

Factors to Consider When Contracting a Professional

Factors to Consider When Contracting a Professional

Materials 

There can be big variations in price between different materials. To ensure that you have the best quality materials for the price, it’s best to find the materials that are a good balance of affordability, quality, and aesthetics. Once you find the materials you want, it’s best to agree on prices with your contractor before ordering as many remodelers tend to up-charge their clients.

Be sure to consider all your options before settling on something final. For example, certain flooring materials such as vinyl can be quite economical per square foot. By contrast, other materials such as tile might have a high per square foot cost that’s rather prohibitive.

The availability of materials is another important consideration. During peak periods the materials you need may be harder to find as well as more expensive. This can lead to expensive delays where your contractor and laborers sit around waiting for the materials they need to arrive.

Affordability, Quality, and Aesthetics Are Important Criteria When Deciding on Materials

Affordability, Quality, and Aesthetics Are Important Criteria When Deciding on Materials

Cost Vs. Benefit

If your goal is to boost your home’s value to buyers by sprucing it up, you’ll need to keep in mind just how much value you stand to gain versus the money you invest into the house. Just how much your home increases in value is very much dependent on its location, local real estate trends, taxation, crime, etc. Sometimes, the cost of the improvement you want to make may not be supported by real estate trends in your area. If so, it may be a good idea to revise your project plan to lower costs.

Weighing the Costs and Benefits of Renovation

Weighing the Costs and Benefits of Renovation

Six Months Before 

With all this in mind, the rule of thumb for good project planning is that you should start six months before you plan to begin construction. This will give you plenty of time to explore your options when it comes to contractors, materials, timelines, and costs. Also, plan to start your project during the off-season so that material costs are low and contractors aren’t busy.  

Best Time of Year For Different Home Projects

The best month for house renovations varies with the type of project you want to do. Each project has its own ideal time when materials are most affordable, and contractors' fees are the lowest. Therefore it’s best to start work on your project type between these months. Of course, this is preceded by six months of pre-planning. 

January To March

The winter months are a good time for pouring foundations and footers because the ground is firm and therefore less likely to be a source of setbacks. The firm ground and dry air also allow materials such as concrete to dry faster. This is also a good time to do some framing if you want to build an addition to your house since you can avoid the spring rains.

Plus, the contractors you’ll need for these jobs will be in their off-season and therefore will have lower rates and higher availability. Winter is generally a slow time for home projects so you shouldn’t have any issues getting a hold of building materials.

When to Carry Out a Foundation Project

When to Carry Out a Foundation Project

April To June

Spring is generally quite a busy time for outdoor living space projects. This is the time most people start work on new patios, sunrooms, pools, decks, or outdoor kitchens. If you choose to do these types of projects during the spring you’ll be able to enjoy your new outdoor living space during the summer. However, be prepared for fewer building materials options since there is normally high demand during this period. You might get a few good deals from contractors though since many home remodeling businesses pay their taxes in April and will therefore be more willing to negotiate.

Backyard Projects Are Best Done During Spring

Backyard Projects Are Best Done During Spring

July To September

A big interior home remodeling project is best saved for the summer months. So this is the best time to remodel your kitchen, bathroom, or open concept layout during this period. The summer months are a good time to do interior projects because you get to avoid the hot, dusty, and rainy outdoors. Because summers tend to be windy, it is a great time to get new fixtures or do some repainting since the strong smell of new furniture or fresh paint can easily be vented out.

This is also the best time to live with these projects because it’s a time when people’s schedules are more flexible. The kids don’t have to go to school during the summer, and many take their holidays during the summer to take full advantage of the sunny days. An interior home renovation project is therefore less likely to disrupt your routine. And if things get too stressful, you can always get away with a summer trip to the beach and return to a newly completed project.

Make Use of Summer Heat to Carry Out a Paint Job

Make Use of Summer Heat to Carry Out a Paint Job

October To December

If you really want to save money, this is the time to start building. With a bit of flexibility on timelines, you can get some pretty good prices on materials and labor during this period. You’ll also be more likely to find the contractor you want since this is normally when most people finish up their projects. If you plan to do your project during this period be prepared to have work crews walking about in your house during the holidays.

Late Fall & Winter Projects Allow You to Save Up Considerably

Late Fall & Winter Projects Allow You to Save Up Considerably

Written by
Mateos Glen Hayes

Written by Mateos Glen Hayes