Renovating and remodeling before the holidays… Am I Crazy?

The holidays will be here before you know it. This is a phrase we all hear every year. What do the holidays hold for you and yours? Hosting parties, family gatherings, and overnight guests is a normal part of my family’s holiday adventures. Maybe you are looking around your house and thinking it would be nice to have an updated look this year, or even some more space! Surely starting a renovation or remodeling project in the fall is crazy, right? Though it may sound crazy to start a project this time of year, there can actually be many benefits. Here are a few reasons why starting a project now and having it wrapped up before the holidays might be for you.

The biggest factor in deciding to renovate or remodel , at least for me, is the money. Right now mortgage rates are low. This means you can get a reasonable interest rate on refinancing your home as long as you have a good credit score, at least 20% equity in your home, and proof of income. Of course if you save your money throughout the year maybe you have enough saved up to use a little on your home. With either option figuring out your financial situation is a key deciding factor on determining whether now is the best time to start your project.

For most home contractors, fall is a slower time of year which means there are several areas you will benefit from in starting your project now. Generally a contractor will better focus on the few jobs they have in the fall as opposed to other times of the year when their attention is spread thin. What does this mean for you? Your project will get completed faster and usually with more attention to detail. With the amount of jobs at a low for the year, a contractor will look to smaller jobs to compensate his/her income. Not only that but the majority of construction work is completed at a lower price. It’s not just contractors that slow down this time of year, their suppliers are in the same boat. When you add it all up, most customers will get materials cheaper as well as pay lower labor rates during the fall months, a win win.

Most anyone with a truck and a clipboard can call himself a contractor these days. In many cases it can be hard to distinguish a good contractor from one that is there to take advantage. With the fall months being toward the end of the year some of your work in finding a good contractor has already been done for you. A good contractor will stand the test of time even during lean times. What I mean is that even during the slower fall months a true professional contractor with his or her work behind their name will not have gone under already. They might even be busy! Of course I highly recommend doing your research in finding the right contractor for you and your home. Communication is key in a renovation or remodel so look for a contractor who has great references or referrals and experience in working with homeowners.

One of my favorite reasons to complete your project during the fall is that you get to enjoy it during the holidays. I advise people to be reasonable with their budget but to focus on the areas that are most important to them first. It never fails, when I have guests they always seem to congregate in the kitchen. If you look around your kitchen do your cabinets scream their age? Do you get a cramped feeling when more than three or four people are in there? If so you might want to consider updating or an addition. Opening up the kitchen to the rest of the house, updating cabinetry, or adding a big custom island might sound like overwhelming projects to take on. However, a good contractor can walk you through each step in the material selection and installation process. I always tell my clients ” it will get worse before it gets better, but I give you my word, it will get better!” Starting one of these projects during the fall months, with the right contractor, will allow your project to be completed before the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Not only that, but during the holidays many people have more time off. This time off can be the perfect opportunity to re-organize your cabinets and decor after your project is completed.

Because I started this article with a point on money, I thought it fitting to end it on one as well. With any renovation or remodel it is important to keep in mind what your project might add to your home’s value. Most any updating, whether on the kitchen, bathrooms, or other areas of your home, will add value to your home. Not all projects add monetary value, however most all will add appeal to potential home buyers. A realtor friend of mine always says that a house that is routinely updated every two to five years usually sells quicker than one that has been recently renovated for the sale of the home. A renovation done correctly and done for you and yours to enjoy is almost always more appealing than a renovation completed in a hurry, on a tight budget. It’s a lot like buying a car that has been detailed to look good verses a car with routine maintenance performed throughout its life. A second point to add to a quality renovation is that it will lower your energy bills. Today’s materials are highly energy conscious as opposed to a materials made even ten years ago. A key point to keep in mind for your home is spending some money now can help save you money in the future.

Although there is never really the perfect time to renovate, I hope the above benefits of completing your project in the fall will help you make the decision of when is the best time for you. From the Ground up Landscape and Construction is here to provide a one stop shop for all your construction needs, providing the highest quality in products we carry and the services we provide.

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Our backyard was a total mess. We had leftovers from a shed remodel job, tree branches, tree stumps, an unmaintainable pebble walkway, exposed ground electrical, uneven terrain, and bare turf patches. Jim came out and surveyed the area, gave us options and recommendations, and we went from there. We opted to explore a landscape design to get some ideas/options. Jim came back with a fantastic design. We decided to do it in phases instead of all at once. We now have a fresh looking yard with fescue, an area suitable for an herb garden (decomposed granite), and a flagstone walkway. In order to get there Jim and his team hauled off all of the debris, brought in plenty of topsoil, removed unnecessary shrubs/plant material, and rolled turf grass. Oh, and did I forget to mention they fixed the electrical issue? Overall, my wife and I are happy with the results. Jim had a positive can do attitude and we had ample back and forth communication during the process. We’re glad we could get this done, and in a timely manner. Thanks again Jim and team!

~ M. Newton