Save money by hiring Charlotte contractors in offseason months
Charlotte resident Erin Casey didn’t plan to schedule hiring a contractor for the remodeling project she’d been considering for two years in the winter, but it worked out that way. In hindsight, the Angie’s List member says the timing for the project — from about Thanksgiving into January — worked out well.
“I got a bunch of quotes, and from the time I said ‘the job’s yours’ and when they started, it was probably two weeks,” says Casey, who hired highly rated remodeling contractor RJ Ward Construction of Charlotte to relocate a front door, add a front porch, convert a dining room into a bedroom and a closet into a half bathroom.
Although it meant some inconvenience during the holidays, Casey says the timing for her home improvement project turned out to be ideal for her landscaping — she transplanted shrubs before construction and added new ones before spring.
Few homeowners think to schedule remodeling or other projects like Casey’s in the winter, but doing so can mean savings and other advantages. Contractors also say off-season hiring often means more flexible scheduling and quicker availability, among other benefits. Because November through February is the slowest time of year for RJ Ward, owner Bob Ward says he’s available within two to three weeks instead of two to three months, and he’ll take on smaller projects during that time.
“Just to keep my guys busy, I might take on something that wouldn’t be as desirable to do when we’re really busy,” Ward says.
Doug Lynch, owner of highly rated Exterior Additions in Indian Trail, N.C., says homeowners may not think or hiring a contractor to update their decks or screened-in porches when it’s cold, but they won’t compete with contractors for use of their own backyards, and the work will be ready to use by spring.
While unpredictable weather can delay work, contractors have more time to devote to that project. Lynch says prices for materials and labor also drop in winter months, which can translate to savings of anywhere from 7 to 12 percent. “I’d sooner sell more projects for slightly less than a few projects at full price and not have anything to do all winter,” Lynch says.
Member Christa Rendino and her husband hired Lynch’s remodeling company to add a covered deck to her Monroe, N.C., home and another company to install a pool last January. “We wanted them to work off-season,” Rendino says. “We thought maybe pricing would be favorable, but also we figured there’d be less competition, so our job would be more of a focus for them. And we wanted something to look forward to.”
Both Ward and Lynch recommend scheduling projects ahead of time — even as far out as next winter, if timing isn’t critical. Get creative and ask other home improvement contractors about seasonal discounts or how to take advantage of slower times of the year, be it winter or otherwise, as times will vary by industry.
Chris Horne of Horne Heating & Air Conditioning in Charlotte says the off-season for HVAC, for example, is during “window weather” between peak summer and winter demand, and manufacturers often offer discounts or rebates during spring and fall. Highly rated painter Jack Slesinger in Charlotte recommends scheduling interior painting when it’s too cold for exterior paint to cure — from about November through mid- April.
“That’s the best time to find someone,” he says