The Three Seasons of Renovation
Whether you are considering a large scale project with contractors, DIY projects, or just some regular home maintenance, the phases of your projects can be more suited to one time of year than another.
Understand these seasons can help you better accomplish your project goals. In this post, I’ve created an overview with key tasks for each season.
Prep Season: March to May
Prep season is most important if you’re planning on hiring professionals for your project. Contractors will be difficult to schedule during the high season, so these are the months to get your plans finalized with designers and architects, as well as to find and schedule your contractor.
TIP: Depending on how quickly you are moving on your project, or how much of the high season the project will take, March Break can offer a good time to get the family out of the house for demolition
Many homeowners, and some renters as well, welcome the nicer weather of the high season for doing DIY and home maintenance projects. While scheduling is less of an issue here, there are still some things to keep in mind.
- Outdoor paints and stains should be bought at the beginning of the season, by June at the latest, so that you can maximize your chances of getting the 5-day stretch of dry weather that most require for application. Paint stores often have sales on outdoor paints and stains during this period.
- If you are doing anything large in your home, this is a good time to research whether your project needs a building permit, as well as what getting a building permit entails. Some permits can take up to several weeks to get after submission so make sure you know who is responsible for getting them – you or your contractor – so your project is not delayed.
- This can be a great time to get a 1 or 2 hour consult from a designer or landscaper to get ideas for your project and to review steps, phases, and become aware of any issues that might crop up.
High Season: May to September
Schedules fill up fast in the high season, and it can be very difficult to find a contractor during this time. In particular, if you haven’t scheduled a professional outdoor painter by now, you may not get one this season. Don’t let this discourage you… but know your project might take a little longer if it’s not scheduled by now.
Most indoor painting can be done anytime, but we recommend painting radiators in the summer months when the heat is off. This avoids stronger paint odours and ensures that the paint cures properly. How fast the paint cures can have an impact on the finish and in some cases, the quality of the final result.
Tip: There are lots of good deals to be had in the High Season!
- Tools often go on sale leading up to Father’s Day (the third Sunday in June), so if you need something new for a high season project, check for sales in June.
- People tend to donate after spring cleaning, so Real Simple suggests this is a good time for thrifting. Since the ReStore salvages quality kitchens from renos, the high season is probably a great time to shop there as well.
- July is a clearance month for furniture, and can offer some great deals on new furniture.
Low Season: October to February
This is the easiest period to schedule contractors, but the sorts of jobs they can do are more limited. And of course, if you’ve got a big reno in mind, this can be a good time to start planning. Designers will also have more availability in these months, and starting early can maximize your opportunities to get deals on necessary items, and have them assembled before the reno starts.
The low season is one of the best seasons for painting indoor (with the exception of radiators!), for a few reasons.
- Light These months have the greyest coldest type of lighting and if colours look good now they will look good in summer. On the other hand, colours that look fresh and crisp in the golden summer sunlight might be rather dreary or dark in the clearer winter light and shorter days. The same applies to choosing wallpapers: the low light of the low season will help you choose wall coverings that look great all year round.
- Availability If you need a professional to paint or hang wallpaper, this is the season where they are most available.
- Cheer Let’s be honest, the low season isn’t just low in terms of renos. This is the season where a lot of us miss the bright light of summer, and start to feel cooped up indoors. Tackling a smaller decorating or painting job in this season can be just the thing to help your indoor environment feel fresh again.
What are you planning this year?
We have some DIY and small reno projects that both Lenore and Carmen are tackling this high season (and documenting for our upcoming YouTube channel as well!). We’ve also got some great clients and exciting projects, which we’ll be able to show you after they rap up.
We’d love to hear what you are doing over the course of the year. Have you got projects you’re planning? Questions about how to phase them, or what you need to get started? Let us know in the comments!