Renovate Now or After the Holidays?

Renovate Now or After the Holidays?

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‘Tis the season to do a home improvement project.

With Thanksgiving upon us and the holiday season set to start, this can seem like the worst possible time of the year to undertake a renovation project. However, if you were to ask people who don’t celebrate Christmas what they think about a December renovation project, you might be surprised to learn that some see the end of the calendar year as the best time to undertake a home improvement project. Let’s take a look at the reasons why and how you can renovate your home now even if you celebrate Christmas:

Contractor availability — Unless you live in an area where many people don’t celebrate Christmas, then contractor availability won’t be any different in December. For everyone else, this is a big deal as most contractors see a slow down in work toward the end of November and lasting into the early part of the following year. That’s because homeowners are entertaining and will make do with what they have including a home that needs to be refinished, but can wait until after the holiday season. Not every contractor wants a break or at least one that lasts 5 to 6 weeks or longer.

Competitive prices — A scarcity of work means that contractors are more likely to give you their best price if you’re willing to have the work done over the holidays. You should be able to locate two or three contractors who are looking for year-end work and will gladly give to you a quote. A complete home gutting will take months to finish, but a kitchen update might possibly be done before Christmas, enabling you to enjoy your home for the holidays.

Consider supplies — One drawback about holiday season renovation projects is that your contractor may be willing to work, but suppliers may shut down for the holidays. Kerryn Ramsey, writing for Home Beautiful cautions homeowners to find out when contractors are planning to take their vacation and when suppliers won’t be around. If your contractor has a January cruise planned and your work isn’t done, can you afford a 2-week delay until he returns? Don’t count on him canceling his plans as he has a wire and family who expect him to take time off to be with them.

Moving out — One way that you can enjoy the holiday season while your home is being renovated is to move out until the work is done. Can you stay with nearby family members or friends? Do you have a summer cottage you can retreat to until the work has been finished? The job will likely go much faster if you’re not underfoot and most certainly so if having your bath, kitchen or family room torn up means you can’t decorate this year. Celebrate Christmas, but do so elsewhere.

As always, you don’t want to rush your home improvement project. If you’re planning a DIY renovation, then you have full control over when the project begins and ends, minus the possibility that one or more suppliers are on vacation. Oh, yes, there is a matter of the availability of a building inspector around Christmas and New Year’s Day to consider….

Lastly, don’t forget to apply for credit before the holiday season. Your banker gets busy or goes away too.

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Categories: Home Renovation

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".