Hiring Indianapolis contractors during offseason can reduce costs, improve quality
Pool installation in October. Lawn-mower service in January. Fence work in February. These may seem like unusual times to hire for those services, but Indianapolis-area Angie’s List members and service providers say planning home projects during low-volume seasons can net you benefits like discounts, easier scheduling and better service from your contractor.
Indianapolis member Chuck Hertel hired highly rated Kennedy Lawn Service in Speedway, Ind., to repair a shadow box fence in late February for $280. “They had plenty of time to follow through with the project and didn’t have to fit it in between two or three other jobs,” says Hertel, who spoke with owner Robert Kennedy the prior fall about scheduling during his offseason.
Chris Arvin, owner of highly rated Mow Better in Greenfield, Ind., offers discounts for offseason work. He charges 33 percent less for lawn-mower service during the official days of winter and offers similar discounts for snowblower service in the summer. “It’s better to do the work when I’m not rushed, so if you need new wheels or something, we’re not under the gun because the mower needs to be used next week,” Arvin says.
An Angie’s List poll of service providers revealed that 19 percent always offer some discount for offseason work, while another 35 percent occasionally offer such discounts. Reagan Dixon, owner of highly rated Dixon’s Custom Home Solutions, a Greenwood, Ind.-based handyman service, sends past customers mailings that offer a 10-percent discount on jobs scheduled during their offseason, which she says typically runs from November through early April. “You can have your doors or windows replaced any time of the year, unless it’s raining,” Dixon says.
Consumers could save money even without a discount, however. Tim Colon, president of highly rated Pools of Fun, which is based in Plainfield, Ind., and has five Indianapolis-area locations, says consumers could save money by installing a pool at the end of the swimming season, adding that installation remains possible until the ground freezes. While Pools of Fun doesn’t offer late-season discounts, Colon says the cost of materials often increases the following year, bumping up the price for customers. “They wouldn’t incur those price increases and they’d have the pool available all season the next year,” he says.
An unusually cold winter or hot summer can lengthen or shorten an offseason, providers say. “Weather dictates how far into the fall you can install a pool,” Colon says, adding that pool installers do most of their work in the spring.
Members looking to do offseason projects should ask contractors if they offer a discount or how to take advantage of offseason times, since offseasons vary by industry. Hertel says he’s much more likely to undertake similar projects after his February fence work went so well. “These guys are busy in the summertime trying to make a living,” he says. “Catch them in the wintertime when they’re not busy; that’s a good time to have them do something.”