Winter home improvements can save you time and money

Winter can be the right time to get certain home improvement projects done. And there are some important reasons why:

The season is traditionally the slowest time of the year for contractors. So instead of failing to even return your call (as is typical in June and July), you are more likely to find someone who can start work in a week or less. And because work is less plentiful, contractors are more willing to negotiate on the cost of labor. Often, they simply want to do whatever it takes just to keep their crew together until work picks up in the spring.

It's the most wonderful time of the year ... to get some needed home improvements done! (Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay)

Also, the shortage of entry-level homes, both new and resale, has caused high demand in rentals, which both encourages the construction of new rentals and discourages baby-boomers from selling.

Finally, the cost of many materials is heavily discounted as merchandisers fill their shelves with seasonal products and sale items, even as they are trying to make room for new inventory they hope to sell in the spring market uptick.

So what are the top winter home improvement projects?

1. Painting - Both inside and out

Especially in the south, most paint can be successfully applied to both interiors and exteriors so long as temperatures remain above freezing. Check with manufacturers for their recommendations before proceeding with exterior painting.

2. Floor Refinishing

The humid temperatures and environment of summer can cause the newly applied product to cure too quickly, which can result in an uneven finish. Manufacturers recommend a drier, heated air cure that is more predictable.

3. Carpet deep cleaning

Spring is the peak time for carpet cleaners, which makes it more likely you’ll pay more if you wait.  In contrast, not only might you get a bargain price on the cleaning when business is slow, but experts say that carpets dry more quickly in the drier air of winter.  In addition, clean carpets help combat the spread of flu bacteria.

4. Updating your heating/cooling system

Take it from me, the absolute worst time to buy a new HVAC system is when it’s 100 degrees on the Fourth of July.  Technicians are booked 24 hours a day, and they get top dollar for emergency work.  But in the dead of winter, HVAC installers are less busy and more likely to compete for your business.  Take time to shop and compare!

5 Kitchen remodeling projects

Spring and early summer are prime time for kitchen remodels. Whether you are getting your home ready to list for sale in the spring or simply moving up to new counters and cabinets, winter is the slow season for kitchen remodelers. 

BOTTOM LINE:  If you have home improvements on the list for 2020, getting them completed in the cold of winter can save you time and money, as contractors and materials may be at their lowest price of the year.