One of the coolest things about walking into a model home or a flipped home is seeing the latest and greatest in design finishes and trends. Everything from the cabinetry, flooring, and color scheme to the hardware, light fixtures, and accessories – also known as “the jewelry” - are all so new and shiny, and you just want to spend some time in that space. And, then when you go home to your well-loved, lived-in home, house envy sets in, and you’re left wanting to either clean out the mounds of clutter or renovate from top to bottom.
COVID-19 and the Shelter in Place/Safer at Home Orders have introduced a new twist for everyone this year. We’ve all spent much more time in our houses than we ever have before. As a result, there is a rapidly growing segment of the population who have discovered that either they need more space and are now looking to move or they want to stay in their homes but want to change some things – both small and large – about them.
It was a struggle pre-COVID to find a good contractor with availability in their project schedule, and given the number of people looking to renovate, it is now that much more of a challenge. With COVID-19 and a contractor shortage, when and how are you supposed to get home renovation projects estimated, contracted, and completed? And when is the best time to tackle a project, be it anything from a small paint job to a full-scale renovation?
It may be a surprise to some, but August is Home Renovation Month and August is generally a good time of year to renovate. People like to renovate in August because the weather is typically nice enough to spend a lot of time outdoors, therefore they can get out of their houses while construction is happening which is not as easy to do in the colder months of winter. August is perfect for grilling outside, so if the project involves renovating a kitchen and cooking inside is not an option, the grill is still a viable alternative over take-out for three meals a day.
August is also a time when people typically take the last vacations of the summer before school starts again. Many people would prefer not to be at home during construction, and a planned vacation gives them an opportunity to be out of the house while the contractors are inside doing their work. This scenario works well if a professional designer or contractor is overseeing the project and can come to the house frequently to monitor the progress.
While August is a popular month for renovation, other projects are good to tackle in the “off-season”. For example, not many people think about replacing air conditioning units until the units stop working altogether – which typically happens in the height of the summer heat - and then they scramble for the first available contractor and space on the schedule. Instead of waiting for the A/C unit to fully stop working, it’s better to plan for replacement and to schedule that project for a cooler month like March. Most people aren’t thinking about replacing A/C units in March, and there may be great deals and discounts for projects like those that aren’t happening during their peak season.
Regardless of the project or the time of year, a renovation project should be done when the time is right for you, and good designers and contractors can work with you to help you make the process as smooth and as easy as possible. There will be obstacles along the way, but the end result – a home you love and want to spend time in – is usually worth the stress, effort, and expense. Enjoy!