Is there a better time of year to schedule a remodeling project?
If a home remodel is on the radar, then you're likely poring over design websites and dreaming about those quartz countertops and new hardwood floors.
But as you dream about the aesthetics, you should also employ the right strategy on knowing when to hire contractors and begin the work. It will ultimately save money and minimize stress.
Take the time to do a little research or talk to a contractor to find out the best strategies and most beneficial times of year to remodel.
1. Demand for Supplies are Low
Know the basics of supply and demand.
Building products go through supply and demand phases. When supply is low, prices go up. When materials are plentiful, they cost less.
But it's not all about when prices are lowest. You can also purchase materials when prices are low and store them away until work on your project begins, even if it's months in advance.
2. Off Peak Season
Try to start the project during the slower times of year.
Traditionally, remodeling heats up in spring and summer when the weather is cooperative. If you start a kitchen remodel in late summer or early fall, then you'll have a contractor who can focus more on your project instead of having his attention divided.
In hotter climates, like Phoenix, mid-summer is usually avoided and contractors get busy in fall and early spring to avoid the heat.
If a job gets under way during the busy season, that means your contractor is dividing his time, effort, and attention among multiple projects. There will be greater potential for delays and, ultimately, additional stress.
Also, think about your family's schedule. If back-to-school time is too hectic, wait a few weeks until the routine settles in.
3. Available Tax Credits
Take advantage of tax credits.
Materials purchased for some energy-efficiency projects are eligible for federal tax credits from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. There may also be tax credits available from your local municipality, so be sure to ask your highly rated contractor what's out there.
4. Tax Return Time
Make good use of your tax refund.
Instead of splurging on a vacation when you receive your tax refund, you could invest in your house and increase its value. In the long run you could end up getting most of that money back when it comes to time to sell the house.
If you're unsure of where to start, Remodeling magazine's Cost vs. Value Report provides annual information on what remodeling projects give you the best return on your investment.
A minor kitchen remodel is always a safe bet. The average cost is $18,500, and you'll recover 75 percent of that when you sell. Replacing doors and windows is also a wise investment.
5. When the Best Contractor is Available
The best place to start is with a good remodeling contractor, and sometimes you have to work with his or her schedule. A good contractor will tell you how much you can achieve within the confines of your budget, how long the process will take, and what to expect.
When you set out to hire a home remodeler, make sure you receive a written contract that details the scope of the work and description of all materials needed.
If specified, the materials listing should include what grade of quality material is to be used and specific brand names.
If blueprints or plans have been made for the project, copies should be part of the contract. Always make sure your remodeler is licensed, bonded, and insured. Also, don't pay more than one-third of the cost of the project up front. If a contractor asks for more than that, consider it a red flag.