During December, January, and February, the average high temperature is between 40 and 45 degrees in Philadelphia. That weather forecast might make winter home renovations in Philly seem like a bad idea. But, if you choose your projects wisely, getting work done on your home in the winter months can mean you get more attention from your contractor and a better value.
Get the Best Price
Any time you hire a contractor for home renovations, regardless of whether it’s in January or July, you want to do your research first. Find a contractor who’s licensed by the city and who comes highly recommended by former customers. When you hire a contractor to perform work during the off-season, ask about any discounts or incentives the company offers. A number of contractors are willing to give winter incentives to customers in an attempt to boost business during the slow period. If the contractor doesn’t mention an incentive or discount, it never hurts to ask.
Think Inside the House
Interior renovation projects are ideal for the wintertime. Cold weather and icy conditions usually rule out exterior projects, such as replacing the shingles on the roof or replacing the facade on your home, but there’s plenty of opportunity indoors. Choose a project that doesn’t involve replacing windows and doors or leaving them open for long periods of time. Renovation projects that are ideal for winter include installing a new shower or bath in the bathroom, bringing your kitchen up-to-date, or installing new floors.
Winter can also be a good time to start the planning of a big exterior project. For example, if your yard is large enough for a swimming pool, you can meet with designers and landscapers in the winter, when there isn’t much for them to do, and start planning the appearance of the pool. Once things warm up in the spring, you’ll be first on their list.
Protect Your Workers
Having people perform manual labor when it’s very cold outside can be as dangerous as having them work in hot temperatures. If you do decide to have exterior work done on the home in the winter, make sure you or the general contractor looks out for the safety of the workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends having people work during the warmest part of the day and suggests that they take frequent breaks to ward off exhaustion and to keep their body temperatures up.
Delays and surprises are par for the course on almost every home renovation project. Build delays into your plans so that your project doesn’t fall apart completely if Mother Nature decides to send a blizzard in Philly’s direction or plunges the area into a deep freeze for several days. Have a back-up plan in place in case the job doesn’t get finished on time. For example, wait to schedule the painters or floor installers until you’re certain the first phase of the project will be completed on time.
Winter doesn’t have to shut down your renovation plans or put your remodeling dreams on hold. If you plan wisely, winter can be the ideal time for many remodeling projects in Philly.
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