If you’ve got a leak or see other serious signs that your roof is about to enter retirement, if your windows are in serious trouble, or if you’ve got other structural problems that need attention, then don’t delay in calling your contractor.
But if it’s one of those projects you’ve been tossing around in your head – whether your siding has seen better days, you’re tired of staining those aging cedar shingles, your doors are looking a bit 1982, or you’re in the market for a great bay window to add curb appeal and bring more light into your home – then you may want to hold off a little longer.
That is, until spring, when conditions will be better for taking on an outdoor home improvement project.
Here are a couple of reasons why winter may not be the best time to start a project, no matter how mild the temperatures may seem right now, and why spring is a good choice for those in need of upgrades or improvements.
Snow Isn’t Scheduled
Today is a balmy 60 degrees and tomorrow – massive snowstorm. Predicting the weather can seem like tossing a coin, and you never know when a mild winter will turn mean. Snow is one of the leading causes of delays in winter home improvement projects, because you can’t do anything while it’s falling and you usually can’t do much when it’s done, either.
Snow mounded on top of construction materials or covering roofs, decks and lawns will make it difficult to impossible to complete a project until the snow is gone.
So if you’re not in the mood to wait indefinitely for your job to be done, hold off until the threat of snow and ice has passed. You’ll be a lot less likely to experience frustrating weather-induced delays.
Some Materials Don’t Like Cold
Almost any construction material will behave differently in different temperatures. Vinyl siding, for example, expands in warm weather and contracts in cold, which means any approach to installation in extreme temperatures must be done carefully by a highly skilled professional.
Mild temperatures – the kind you typically experience during spring – make materials easier to work with, which means a job that goes more smoothly and quickly.
Other materials are even harder to work with in cold weather. Roof shingles can be especially challenging, since they become less pliable and can crack more easily under the pressure of an air gun during installation. Given that you already expect a roof to be one of your bigger investments, the last thing you want to do is spend on extra materials if you don’t have to.
And still other materials simply refuse to cooperate in cold weather. If you’re planning any stonework along with a siding project, or a chimney with your roof, then waiting until spring is your only option. In cold temperatures, the mortar mix will simply not adhere.
Cleanup Is Compromised
Home improvement projects come with a lot of debris. Bits of shingles, scraps of wood, and more nails than you can count. You certainly don’t want any of that left behind, and you’re surely working with a contractor who has a reputation for responsibly cleaning his workspace and returning it to its original pre-project condition.
But all of that can quickly become derailed in snow, frost and ice. When debris – especially nails – are hard to see, then even the best efforts can fall short. That can be a headache and even a hazard when the snow finally melts, since there may still be unseen debris and nails in your lawn or strewn on patios, steps or walkways.
It’s easier to wait until the chance of snow has passed than to worry that your kids will end up stepping on a missed nail.
Home improvement projects are a pretty big investment. You’ve probably spent a lot of time considering styles, colors and costs of everything from window shutters to stone accents. So wouldn’t you prefer your job to go as smoothly and quickly as possible?
If you’re not in emergency mode and can wait out the winter, then you’re likely to have a better experience replacing roofs, doors, windows and siding during spring. That also means if you’re still on the fence, you’ve still got time to plan!
If you’re considering a springtime home makeover – whether for one ailing component or the whole shebang – get in touch and we’ll come out for a free consultation and estimate. We’re happy to show you samples and share ideas so you can explore the potential of your home.