Home Improvement 101: What and When to Do It

Home Improvement 101: What and When to Do It

Home improvement projects are a lot of hard work but can be very rewarding. Whether you renovate to make your home a better place or to prepare for a sale, you need to plan it well and make the right improvements at the most optimal times.

In this guide, we’ll look at the four seasons and which renovations you should do during them. We’ll also discuss how you can go about finding the best contractors for your renovations, and what to do about financing.

The Best Times to Renovate According to the Seasons

Some seasons are better suited to specific activities and knowing when you should take on things like painting and roofing will make everything run a lot smoother.

Winter

Winter doesn’t necessarily feel like the right time to do anything but curl up in front of the fireplace with hot chocolate, but there are many tasks you can take on when it’s cold outside.

This season is the best time to start planning what exactly you want to do and reaching out to contractors. You might even get a discount or two if you act fast enough. Keep in mind though, that projects like pool installations and landscaping should wait until it’s warmer.

There are many interior projects you can take on that will also help the winter go by faster. Interior house painting can be taken care of if you have enough space to ensure no one has to sleep or spend a lot of time in a freshly painted area.

At this time, you can also start doing some interior renovations, such as redoing bedrooms, bathrooms, and your kitchen. You can install new cabinets, build walk-in closets, and do the tiling in the bathrooms, for example.

If you have a basement, you can also start doing some work in there if it’s part of what you’re planning.

Other smaller tasks such as cleaning or replacing your carpets can also be finished during the winter months.

Spring

Spring is a much better month for home improvement, and you’ll be able to get a lot more done. You might even get lucky and still find a few discounts since you’re not waiting until the peak season (summer).

If you need to do any additions or foundation work, now is the best time to begin. If you know of an engineered hardwood flooring professional and want to do something with your floors, you should definitely reach out to try and find out if they’ve got any discounts for you. At the same time, you should contact air conditioning professionals as well, as spring can be a great time for HVAC installation.

Have some masonry work or window replacements planned as part of your home improvement? Spring is the time to start with that. You’ll be done with all your work in time for Thanksgiving, that’s for sure!

Spring is fantastic for sales of appliances, so keep an eye out for that as well, because new lines will be released and the prices of older ones will drop.

You may also want to consider reaching out to your local residential roofing services and getting quotes for fixing your roof. This can be quite expensive but if you get started before summer hits you might end up saving some money.

Also, this season is ideal for doing asphalt work, so grab your blacktop sealer and get to work! And once all that is done, start planning for summer, the busiest month for home improvement. Having all your plans in order will save you a lot of time and frustration.

Summer

Summer is the best season for home improvement; you’ve got warm weather and long days to do lots of work. Unfortunately, that makes this the most expensive season for renovations as well. That’s why it’s a good idea to plan ahead and find as many discounts as possible.

Despite being expensive, summer is really great for getting ahead with your renovation projects. Painting the exterior of your home, doing furnace repair, hiring gutter contractors to install new gutters, and getting professional tree trimmers for your landscaping plans will take up most of this season.

Planting a new garden, getting your current garden in shape, or expanding on it is also done in the summer. The soil will be easier to work with and you can plant many bushes and flowers that will start to show off next summer or in the following winter. If you’re not sure where to start with your garden, you could always hire a professional lawn care company. They’ll know just what to do to get your yard in tip-top shape.

Fixing your fireplaces, if necessary, can also be done during the summer and you can also do work on your deck. If you don’t have a deck, now is a great time to install one! Also, summer is fantastic for working on your roof, so if you were hoping to repair or replace it, you should do so in this season.

Fall

Fall is the ideal season to contact siding replacement services so you can take care of siding replacements. Since extreme heat, rain showers, and freezing temperatures aren’t going to be a serious concern, you can finish your siding tasks in peace.

Installing an in-ground pool is easier during fall because the heat won’t be such an obstacle anymore. Your family might prefer it if you install a swimming pool earlier, but it’s a lot more affordable during fall as well.

And if you’re still hoping for bargains and sales, you might just find them now. Summer is over, so specials will be showing up again for appliances and other things you may need.

If you want to replace your home’s doors and locks, residential locksmiths should have more affordable deals that you can make the most of during the fall.

DIY or Hire Professionals?

Right, so now you know when to do your specific home renovation projects, it’s time to decide whether you’ll take care of it all by yourself or hire experts. If you have no knowledge about home improvement, you may want to leave it to professionals.

Even if you do have experience, there are situations in which it really is best to fork out the money and rely on someone who does renovations for a living. In some cases, permits are necessary for renovations, in which case you should hire someone with the right papers.

It can also be a great timesaver if you have a lot on your plate and have to multi-task or have a lot of work of your own to do. Of course, there are many projects you can take on yourself if you’re capable. Painting your house, for example, is something you don’t have to leave to someone else.

Of course, you need to keep in mind that all the work you do will likely be permanent. If you mess up or do something inappropriately, it might not be possible to fix what’s wrong without starting completely from scratch.

Pro Tip: If you don’t need to do it, don’t. You may feel like it’s a good idea to rewire your entire house, but if it’s not really necessary, it’s best if you just leave it. Don’t take on tasks that are better left alone.

Finding the Right Contractors

If you want to make significant home improvements, you will definitely benefit from hiring a professional, or team of professionals. But finding the right man or woman for the job can prove to be difficult.

You can ask your family, friends, or colleagues for recommendations if they’ve recently made their own home improvements. Going to sites such as Yelp and the Better Business Bureau could prove useful as well. In general, though, you will probably find your contractors by looking for services through Google searches.

Use these sources to find the best options and then reach out to find out what their fees are. Also, research the contractors so you can find out what other people think of them and what their experiences with them were like.

Make a list of estimates and determine your budget. It’s important that your budget is planned around how much money you have to invest, not how much the estimates are. Renovations are investments, but going into debt to do them isn’t very smart.

It’s essential that you contact the professionals you want to work with ahead of time. They may have very busy schedules and if you don’t book them soon enough, you may end up missing out on their services. You may need an entire team of contractors to do different projects, so get them involved as soon as possible so they can also consult with each other while working on your home.

Financing Your Home Improvement

Now we’re getting to the most difficult and stressful part of home renovation: the finances. While the improvements themselves can be stressful, if you’re overspending on the projects, you’ll feel a lot more stressed.

It is vitally important that you plan everything as minutely as possible. You should expect things to go wrong, and for unexpected expenses to pop up at any time. Have a budget that keeps this in mind, or you could end up regretting your decision to renovate.

You may have the money for home improvement all saved up already by the time you start planning your projects. Or, you could have considered getting a loan to help you out. If you’re hoping to get a loan, you must do a lot of research. Don’t try your luck with just one or two lenders, visit as many of them as you can.

There are several questions to ask before choosing a lender. What do their interest rates look like? What are the repayment terms? Can you afford to make a loan?

Home Improvement You Can Do On a Tight Budget

Sometimes, our dreams of home renovations are just a bit too grand and not within our budget. If that’s the case for you, don’t despair and give up. There are several renovation projects you can still do even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on them.

Here are a few renovations you can dive into if your wallet isn’t as stacked as you’d want it to be:

Painting

You can buy paint in your favorite colors and add a touch of your personality to your home at an affordable price. Just painting one wall in a room can already make a big difference and even make it feel roomier, or more spacious, depending on the color used.

Replacing Furniture

Your home can feel like a whole new place if you replace some of the furniture or appliances. Buy some lovely decorative pieces as well to add class or beauty to your rooms. If your budget allows it, you could even replace doors and cabinets to give your home a breath of fresh air.

Do Some Retiling

Although retiling can be expensive, if you limit it to just a few rooms, you can really spice up your home’s appearance with some updated flooring. When choosing which rooms need a flooring update, think about which ones will look the most different after a change. In most cases, this will be the kitchen, your bathroom, or the living room.

Make Your Home Improvement Dreams Come True

Home renovations can be gigantic projects that take up a lot of time and money to get done correctly. If you want to be successful at the improvements you make, you must plan for them and stick to your plans. Do as much research as possible and don’t make hasty decisions. Follow this guide on when to do what, and always keep your budget in mind. Now go out there and have fun making your home as beautiful as you’ve always wanted it to be.


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