Homeowners often ask “What’s the best time of year to remodel my home?” Truthfully any time is the right time, as long as you’re prepared. However, some times are better than others depending on the remodel and the cost-savings at that time. Here are a few things you should consider when determining the best time to remodel.
If your remodel involves exposure to the outside, you’ll want to consider the impact weather may have on your project. It may lengthen the time frame that you had budgeted for the remodel.
Busy Time Of Year
Bathroom projects are an excellent project for this time of year. Many general contractors will be looking to fill in their busy schedules with smaller projects. Secondary bathrooms can be completed in 3.5 to 5 weeks time, and master bathrooms will take anywhere from 5 to 10 weeks depending on the size and scope of the work. Bathroom projects can also be isolated remodel projects that do not necessarily affect day-to-day living.
Larger projects like additions, whole house remodels and Kitchens are great projects during this time of year. Schedules tend to relax a bit with school out. Many families vacation during the summer too which may allow more freedom for general contractors to get work done faster with an empty house. Plus, the family has the added benefit of not living in a construction zone throughout an entire project. Be sure to check with your general contractor before planning a trip away. Some contractors will not work while a family is on vacation, and others will have ground rules that must be followed prior to a vacation.
Kitchen and bathroom remodeling is recommended during the summer months.
Remodeling Fall Into Winter
This is traditionally the time when homeowners want their remodeling finished. 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 bathroom remodel. Business might be slower for contractors during this time of year which can add to the attention a general contractor will devote to your project.
Lead time is a critical factor for scheduling out any project. Most home owners are aware that contractors are busy, but that does not always compute to contractor schedules. Lead time refers to two important items: 1) the current construction schedule; 2) the amount of time needed to properly plan a project. Most of the time these two items are interrelated.
First, what is the contractor’s current schedule and when will your project fit? It is typical to expect a 2 month lead time to plug in any new project into a contractor’s schedule. Depending on the time of year and the size of the project, more or less time may be needed. Another factor is the size of the project. If the homeowner wants to start a major kitchen remodel at the start of summer, they should begin the contractor search in February or March. Pre-construction will take at least a month and possibly more for such a project. Some materials may also have a lead time of 4-6 weeks, and custom cabinets will take even longer. If you find your contractor some time in March, pre-construction will take the project into April and possibly the beginning of May. Ordering materials could take you right into the month of June. If approaching a contractor for this type of project in April or May, it will be quite a challenge to have everything ready to start in June. Additions and major remodels will take even longer with the need for architectural plans, engineering plans and the permitting process.
Second, how much time will it take to properly plan out a project? HGTV has led many to believe this process takes minutes leading up to the first commercial break. For easy projects it usually takes at least two weeks to get all materials selected and scope of work nailed down. Such a project would include reflooring a house, adding new countertops, and refinishing cabinets. When conducting bathroom remodels, 3-4 weeks is typical (add another week or two if using a designer). Usually a contractor can begin planning your project in preconstruction and tentatively hold your spot for construction. This is a first come first serve business though, so actual scheduling will not take place until a signed contract and deposit check are in hand.
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