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Update: When you’re planning a home remodel, one of the most overlooked aspects of the organization stage is choosing the best time of year to carry out the work. Logically, the best time of year to start a project is during the summer months when the weather is better and there are more hours of daylight, meaning work can be carried out more easily and completed with a minimum of delays. But there are also certain times of year when contractors will be easier to find due to ‘slow’ seasons, and times when equipment and materials can also be found much more cheaply.

You’ve heard it said that “timing is everything.” Well, this applies to remodeling, just like other things. Scheduling your remodeling projects or home improvements at the right time can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars (depending on the size of your project).

First, remember that delays cost money. If you live in an area where you know it is likely to rain every day in a particular month, don’t schedule a remodeling project during that month. The humidity will slow drying processes (drywall mud, etc.) and the rain will cause work to stop until the rain stops. While delays can create added expenses, sometimes due to inclement weather the volume of business for contractors is low so they may be offering reduced prices to find more work. So depending on the contractor you work with – rain could slow your project and increase the cost – or it could help you gat a lower total price for the work.

Second, consider seasonal temperatures. The time of year can make a big difference in the amount of time it takes to finish a job. For example, trying to build an addition in December in Minnesota will probably encounter a number of delays. If it is too cold, concrete will not set correctly for the foundation. Extreme cold can create conditions that make it impossible for the crew to work. Working on a roof during high winds or thunderstorms is very dangerous. Extreme heat and humidity can affect materials and make it very uncomfortable to work on an attic remodel, for example. Think carefully about the job, the season and the weather conditions and plan accordingly. Keep in mind that the hotter it is, the more breaks workers need and the slower they are able to work.

Third, recognize that there are “slow periods” for contractors. Times when the weather stops certain kinds of work might be the perfect time to do another job. The slow time for most contractors is in late fall as the holiday season begins to the beginning of consistently warm weather. Scheduling your remodeling job during the peak season could make it hard to find a contractor when you want one and could cost you more in “peak season fees.”

Scheduling your remodeling project during the “slow period” will often save you money. Contractors who pay workers year round will be more than happy to have work for them to do and money coming in. As a result, many contractors discount jobs during this time of year sometimes as much as 10%. On a big job, that can add up to a lot of money.

Fourth, think about buying materials, appliances, etc. Most of us really don’t stop to think about it, but the time of year when tools, appliances, hardware and construction equipment are on sale in between Thanksgiving and the beginning of consistently warm weather. Fewer people are buying, so retailers reduce prices to keep sales up. Whether you are shopping for your own fixtures, appliances and materials or your contractor is making purchases for you, there is a very good chance that you will save a bundle by doing the shopping while the items you need are on sale. Shipping of your purchases will also be faster during the “slow period” because there is less demand.

Just by keeping in mind how the weather and the time of year can impact the cost of the construction, and that tools, equipment, appliances and fixtures, as well as other building materials, tend to go on sale between Thanksgiving and the beginning of warm weather, you can plan both your remodeling job and your shopping for materials so you can save money. Shopping smart – both in terms of the time of year and watching for sales – can save a bundle. So schedule smart and shop carefully. The result could be hundreds or even thousands of dollars saved.