Spring Remodeling Tips: Why You Should Book Your Contractor Early
By Lorna Hordos
Spring’s long, mild days make it an ideal season for certain remodeling projects, but scheduling a contractor at the last minute is a no-no. Plenty of folks begin mulling over home improvements after ringing in the new year. Beat the rush: Consider the following remodeling tips, which include reasons to find a contractor early, well before the busy home-improvement season is in full swing and the pros are booked solid.
Weigh the Work
Remodeling is more complex than light renovations. Light renovations include relatively basic updates, such as painting walls or swapping out cabinets. Remodels or full renovations, on the other hand, normally involve changes to a home’s structure or design, such as moving walls or rearranging the plumbing.
Usually, the more structurally complicated the job, the higher the cost and the more time required to obtain permits and bring your budget in line with your plan. So, which remodels are best left for springtime?
Remodeling tips for enlarging your dwelling by adding on to the master bedroom or kitchen include the best time of year to get underway. Spring is an ideal time for such a major, time-consuming undertaking, especially if you live where the climate varies. Imagine opening up walls to the outdoors, perhaps in autumn, and not reaching completion until well into a cold winter while you’re living in the home.
Begin planning an addition a few months ahead of schedule. Taking down exterior walls and expanding the foundation means waiting for approval from your city’s planning department, obtaining special permits, ordering roof trusses and plenty of other considerable factors.
Restroom Redesign Remodeling Tips
A poorly designed washroom is a pain in the you-know-what and it’s not going to fix itself. If your heart is set on reworking the location of the tub, toilet, or vanity–it’s smart to do it during a warm season for a few reasons: First, you’ll probably want to open windows when the drywall and any tile-cutting dust begins to fly and while the mortar, glue and silicone cure. Secondly, the bathroom could be out of commission for about a month or more. If it’s your home’s only one, you’ll likely be renting a portable toilet which can be a huge inconvenience.
Maybe you’ve been dreaming of turning the attic into a den or the basement storage space into a media room. Keep in mind that not only is drywalling a dusty job, but drywall compound needs warmth and airflow to cure between sandings. Opening windows expedites this process and lets some dust escape; a window-box fan also can come in handy, which makes spring perfect for these types of remodeling projects.
Shop Ahead for Remodeling Bargains
If you have room to store remodeling materials and supplies, taking advantage of popular pre-spring promotions — found in store and online early each new year — can cut costs. Also speak with your contractor beforehand for their opinion on brand or quality. Going the cheap route can ultimately turn expensive if you have to remove and replace materials after just a short while.
Request a Quote
By the time you’re ready to request a quote from your contractor, you should have a good idea of the finishes you’ll be using and the work involved to bring the project to fruition. Give yourself time to be patient: Your home-improvement expert may need a week or more to price your remodeling job — remember, they’re probably juggling several requests from eager homeowners at this time of year.
Keep in mind that some quotes expire in as little as 30 to 90 days, so read the fine print or ask for a realistic deadline in writing.
Another reason to get your quote early
It never hurts to gather a second (or third or fourth) quote, especially if you question the first one’s accuracy. Essentially, when a contractor’s numbers are way off course, it’s a sign of inexperience. Leave time to find someone who’s a better fit for your job, if necessary.
It’s smart to start reaching out to suitable candidates shortly after ringing in the new year — or even a couple of months before the holidays. While there’s no set time frame for how early you can enter into a contract with your chosen contractor, if you find the right fit, why risk losing them? Book early and save yourself the hassle.
With your contractor scheduled and your plans in order early, you’re set to turn your remodeling resolution into a reality when spring arrives.
Lorna Hordos is a freelance writer and home-flipping business owner. She has published thousands of business and home-improvement articles for numerous clients, including Lowes, Daltile, Philips Lighting, WordPress, Bizfluent, AZ Central, Global Post, San Francisco Chronicle and ModernMom.