Spring is the time of year that most Canadians associate with home renovations. But in some cases, November might actually be a much better time to give your home a fresh look.
When it comes to home upgrades, pricing works much like it does for hotel and flight bookings: If you pick the low season, you might get bargains, according to research commissioned by BigSteelBox, a portable storage and moving company that operates in western Canada and Ontario.
Of course, not every reno project can or should be started in November. For one, snow-covered or icy ground will make it impossible to carry out many exterior updates and repairs. And a major interior update runs the risk of stretching right through December, adding things like cardboard boxes and disconnected pipes to your holiday season stress.
Still, for smaller indoor work and repairs, there are several compelling reasons to pick a November start date.
Better pricing from contractors
“Contractors are more willing to negotiate prices when volumes drop a bit,” said Brian Hawkins, director of operations at BigSteelBox.
That’s what the company learned through recent market research.
Indeed, “the impending holidays are a looming deadline for builders, and there’s a scramble to get things done by mid-November,” Rick Thomas, who represents a remodeling company in northern Virginia, writes on Angie’s List, the website that provides performance reviews of anything from plumbing companies to doctors’ offices.
Taking advantage of the lull between November and Christmas means homeowners might be able to drive a harder bargain.
Manufacturing materials might also be a bit cheaper during this time of the year, according to BigSteelBox, another factor that might lower your overall reno budget.
WATCH: Consumer Matters reporter Tony Tighe shares advice on how to choose a contractor for your home renovations
Major appliances on sale
November and December are also a good time to treat yourself to a new dishwasher or washing machine, with several stores offering deep discounts on end-of-season appliances.
Retailers are eager to offload older models to make space for the new year’s stock, said Hawkins.
WATCH: Décor and Design: kitchen renovations
Better chance to stick to the timeline
As anyone who’s ever lived through a renovation knows, timeline overruns are the rule, not the exception. But you might have better luck sticking to the schedule if you start renovating in November.
For one, the holiday season tends to act as a hard deadline for everyone.
“You do have contractors pushing to get stuff done,” said Hawkins, although avoiding delays isn’t always possible.
Another reason why choosing the low season might speed things up is that it’s easier to line up contractors for a project that requires several different tradespeople.
WATCH: Preparing for a renovation
The late fall is also a great time to ensure that your home is winter-ready.
Heating accounts for over 50 per cent of Canadians’ energy consumption, so when it comes to replacing windows, sealing cracks, and adding insulation, it makes sense to get the job done before temperatures drop far below zero, said Hawkins.
And don’t forget to include your garage in those energy-saving upgrades. Insulating your garage walls, covering up pipes and waterproofing garage doors can help prevent damage to anything you’re storing next to your car.