Home Projects That Can Wait for Colder Weather

Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying, “Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today,” but some jobs are okay to delay until fall or winter. Spring and summer can be hectic for many contractors with long warm days and homeowner renovation plans after a long winter. However, for those willing and able to wait, fall and winter may be the time for projects that stretch the dollar a little further. 

The cost of building materials and labor has fluctuated dramatically recently, but costs generally go down between October and March. So, you can start planning now for the upgrades and repairs you want to complete when the chilly weather arrives.

 

Autumn Gold

When the breeze gets that familiar chill, and you can smell the leaves changing colors, we start to think of warm sweaters and snuggling up by the fire. But instead, it’s a great time to complete outdoor tasks that would be miserable in the summer heat.

  • Have a home energy audit completed – you may find you have cracks to seal around windows, doors or vents, or appliances that need replacement.
  • Roof repairs or replacement – after the storms of summer have done their damage and before the cold of winter settles in.
  • Cleaning the gutters – clogged gutters can lead to ice buildup and damage in winter and water damage with the spring runoff.
  • Tree pruning – once the growing season concludes, it’s time to prepare the foliage for the coming spring, and it’s somewhat easier in the fall to see which branches need to go.
  • Replacing windows or doors – with an experienced contractor, the exposure to the outdoors can be minimized, and the energy savings can be remarkable.
  • Landscaping projects – especially if you want to plant bulbs and other perennials to beautify your yard yearly.

 

Old Man Winter

As the cold settles in, we want to spend less time in the cold. However, plenty of projects can keep a house busy all through the winter months.

  • Air Conditioning Systems – upgrading an existing unit may be completed at a discount; be sure it includes a seasonal checkup to make sure it works well in the heat of summer.
  • Basement renovation/completion –most of the work can be completed indoors, so this is a great way for contractors to keep working and may offer a labor cost reduction.
  • Insulate the attic, ducts and foundation – insulation can be added any time of year, but summer heat can be dangerous.
  • Painting – whether you just need a touch-up or want a whole new color scheme. You may even consider painting a cement garage floor.
  • Tree removal – especially old or dying trees. The colder ground may make the removal less upsetting to the surrounding vegetation.
  • Repair or replace cabinetry in bathrooms, kitchens and garages – perhaps even consider a built-in set of cabinets or bookshelves.

As you plan your cold-weather undertakings, the Contractors Association of Minnesota is an excellent source of information and professionals in the Twin Cities area to aid in your home improvement.

 

2022-07-28T10:58:14-05:00

3 Tips to Ease the Stress of a Renovation

Renovating can be a terrific way to freshen up the look of your home, but it can be incredibly stressful without a solid plan in place. The interruptions in your daily routine and critical decisions can feel overwhelming and leave you frustrated. Here are three tips to help ease the stress of a home renovation. 

 

Find an Alternative Living Situation

The construction process during a home renovation can be time-consuming and messy. Depending on the extent of the work being done, you may want to consider an alternative living situation until everything is done. Getting a good night’s sleep in a space away from all the noise and mess can do wonders for easing your stress. 

 

Protect the Rest of Your Home

A home renovation can lead to drywall and debris infiltrating every area of your home. If you are only renovating a section of your home, you may want to section this area off from the rest of the house. Plastic sheeting and painter’s tape can help protect non-construction zones and ease your stress from an extensive clean-up. 

 

Plan Ahead with Home Renovation Purchases

Planning ahead can help you ease many headaches that can happen during a home renovation. Buy all the materials and have the items delivered before the start of the project. Consult with your professional contractor concerning all the building materials you need to prevent construction delays. 

 

Professional Contractors for a Less Stressful Renovation

While you may not be able to as all your stress when renovating your home, choosing the right contractors can save you from many of the headaches associated with construction. The Contractors Association of Minnesota (CAM) can help you find the best professional contractors that can help you reduce the stress of a home renovation. These local contractors have a compelling reputation in the community for delivering high-quality results. Contact us for more information today. 

 

2022-06-16T09:25:47-05:00

When Should You Reach Out to Contractors About Summer Projects?

Summer is the best time to get outside and accomplish those home improvement chores. With ice, snow, and cold weather out of the picture, the season provides ideal circumstances for most renovations, whether inside or outside.

Home Improvement Project Ideas to Tackle This Year

Unsure of where to start? Here are some ideas to inspire and get you going!

Replace Siding

Over time, aged siding develops rot, mold, and mildew, making it challenging to paint. Also, missing or damaged boards diminish your home’s weather protection and lead to increased energy bills.

Replace Old Windows

You do not want to cope with a chilly, drafty dwelling and soaring heating costs when the winter season arrives. Replacing old windows in the summertime ensures you avoid such a situation. In addition, new windows improve your home’s curb appeal.

Reseal Your Asphalt Driveway

You can extend the lifespan of an asphalt driveway by resealing it.

Revive or Add Outdoor Decking

Summer is all about outdoor activities and living spaces, so adding a deck to your home is a fantastic idea. Plus, installing a hardwood deck will dramatically raise the value of your property.

If you already have one, touch it up. Porches and decks suffer significantly during the harsh winter months.

Build a Shed or Convert an Existing One into a Living Space

If you cannot fit your car in the garage, it might be time for a storage shed.

If you already have a shed, but it is not being used, you can convert it into a home office or a guesthouse.

Replace Gutters

Sagging or leaking gutters require replacement to effectively direct water away from your roof and home’s foundation.

As a bonus, you will be pleasantly surprised by how much new gutters improve the appearance of your home.

Replace Your Roof

Delaying a new roof increases the risk of water damage, which exacerbates leaks and mold.

Painting

Painting a house increases its value and curb appeal quickly. Nothing else can make a property presentable in such a short time.

When to Hire a Contractor

Start planning as soon as possible if you want to take on one of these projects this year. A project requires careful preparation, so contractors will not begin immediately.

Therefore, hire a contractor a month or two before you expect to start the project. You should anticipate waiting three months for all-out renovations and half that time for more minor projects.

Choosing a Professional Contractor

The Contractors Association of Minnesota (CAM) is a great place to start your home-improvement-project contractor search.

Choosing a CAM contractor gives you peace of mind knowing other contractors trust them, that they are local, have a longstanding presence in the area and have outstanding company ratings. In addition, using a reputable contractor protects you from liability risks.

2022-05-11T10:41:45-05:00

To Do or Not to Do It Yourself

Spring is often the catalyst of projects for homeowners. Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it,” and recent DIY books and online videos make it appear that nearly anyone is capable of any project. However, tackling a job yourself is not always a reasonable or safe choice, and there are several aspects to consider when deciding whether to hire a contractor.

The Haves and Have Nots

Materials needed for home repairs are available in most markets and are generally not the limitation they once were. Instead, it’s important to consider the following:

  • Do you have the tools you’ll need to complete the job properly? Tasks such as painting touch-ups or minor landscaping may require common tools you have on hand. On the other hand, more involved jobs may call for expensive tools that you may never use again.
  • If a mistake is made, have you the means and willingness to fix it? Quality contractors will often warranty their work so that if you experience difficulties, they’ll return to make things right.
  • Do you want the liability if the job is done incorrectly, or will it affect your home’s sell-ability? At some point, your home will likely be inspected. Repairs that are not done to code may need to be removed or re-done to sell.
  • Do you have the time? Many contractors offer free estimates, including the time needed to complete the job. One simple comparison is calculating how long it would take to do it yourself, multiplying that by your hourly wage, and comparing that total to the contractor’s bid.

Prudence Is More Than a Pretty Name

A good deal of home renovation and remodeling tasks are best completed by a professional, and if you’re not sure, it’s wise to err on the side of caution:

  • Tasks that may need a building permit, such as major remodeling projects
  • Projects that run the risk of killing you or destroying your home
  • Any major electrical upgrades
  • HVAC system servicing and updates
  • Tree removal
  • Work with chemicals such as pest control materials and sewer or septic systems

The Contractors Association of Minnesota is an excellent resource in your search for a professional for your upcoming home improvement job.

2022-05-05T09:40:56-05:00

To Do or Not to Do It Yourself

Spring is often the catalyst of projects for homeowners. Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it,” and recent DIY books and online videos make it appear that nearly anyone is capable of any project. However, tackling a job yourself is not always a reasonable or safe choice, and there are several aspects to consider when deciding whether to hire a contractor.

The Haves and Have Nots

Materials needed for home repairs are available in most markets and are generally not the limitation they once were. Instead, it’s important to consider the following:

  • Do you have the tools you’ll need to complete the job properly? Tasks such as painting touch-ups or minor landscaping may require common tools you have on hand. On the other hand, more involved jobs may call for expensive tools that you may never use again.
  • If a mistake is made, have you the means and willingness to fix it? Quality contractors will often warranty their work so that if you experience difficulties, they’ll return to make things right.
  • Do you want the liability if the job is done incorrectly, or will it affect your home’s sell-ability? At some point, your home will likely be inspected. Repairs that are not done to code may need to be removed or re-done to sell.
  • Do you have the time? Many contractors offer free estimates, including the time needed to complete the job. One simple comparison is calculating how long it would take to do it yourself, multiplying that by your hourly wage, and comparing that total to the contractor’s bid.

Prudence Is More Than a Pretty Name

A good deal of home renovation and remodeling tasks are best completed by a professional, and if you’re not sure, it’s wise to err on the side of caution:

  • Tasks that may need a building permit, such as major remodeling projects
  • Projects that run the risk of killing you or destroying your home
  • Any major electrical upgrades
  • HVAC system servicing and updates
  • Tree removal
  • Work with chemicals such as pest control materials and sewer or septic systems

The Contractors Association of Minnesota is an excellent resource in your search for a professional for your upcoming home improvement job.

2022-04-13T11:51:33-05:00

Best Ways to Prepare for Construction Projects in the Spring and Summer

We are seeing more warm days, which means that the busiest construction season is almost here. Are you prepared? You shouldn’t wait until spring is here to get your business ready. For a successful construction season filled with lucrative projects, prepare fully for the next couple of weeks.

 

Build and Train Your Team

You can’t keep up with a full calendar of projects during the busiest season of the year if you don’t have enough of the right people. Depending on your business, you may decide to contract teams for specific tasks, but that still leaves a lot of work to be done by your crew. You’ll save money by paying your own workers to do a good job the first time, so it’s vital you have a reliable, skilled team that’s ready to go as soon as the weather breaks and you can start working.

 

Inventory Your Equipment and Supplies

Having the right equipment and supplies on hand is just as important as having the right people. Before the busy season starts, take the time to go through your equipment and make sure everything is operational. If anything needs to be fixed, do it now before you are in the middle of a project and are depending on it. You may also know what types of projects are coming up and what equipment you may need that you don’t already have. Specialty gear you won’t often need can be rented to cut overall costs, but you’ll need to crunch the numbers to make the most sensible choice.

 

Fill Your Schedule

You’ve probably heard from home and business owners over the winter who are eager to get projects completed. Now that spring and summer are almost here, it’s time to reach out to them and get them on the calendar. You’ll need more details to estimate how long it will take, so why not take this downtime to talk? As your schedule fills up with pending projects, you can evaluate your business needs. Do you need to advertise your services to fill in gaps in your calendar, or should you announce you are hiring additional crew members?

The Contractors Association of Minnesota is proud to support our local contractors with continuing education, community outreach, and more. To learn about CAM and to become a member, apply online. Reach new customers with our contractor listing and network with industry specialists to help grow your business.

2022-03-07T13:28:07-06:00

How General Contractors Can Support Their Communities

As general contractors, we offer vital services to our customers. These services are necessary but not always attainable for some or are needed in high demand in the case of widespread disasters. This is where we can show our dedication to the people of our community by volunteering time and resources to support those most in need.

 

Target Vulnerable Populations

When volunteering your time and sometimes materials, you want to ensure you are making the most impact. You can do just that by targeting those who need the most support. The elderly, disabled veterans, and low-income residents are among the most vulnerable in many communities.

 

You may choose to offer your services to anyone in need, but by selecting a specific population to support, you can build a reputation as an advocate and champion for those who need you most.

 

Partner With an Organization

A larger organization that provides contracted services for those in need will often already have a list of who needs help and what exactly they need. This can make it much easier to know where and when you are needed, saving you time and effort finding volunteer opportunities so you can get to work.

 

Organizations may be regional and focused on helping your specific community or much larger, like Habitat for Humanity, which supports communities nationwide. Not only does partnering with an organization to volunteer your services support those in need, but it can also help you network with other professionals and grow as a leader within your industry.

 

Join a Relief Effort

General contractors are in high demand following natural disasters. Many homes and other buildings may be severely damaged or completely destroyed after widespread flooding, wildfires, tornados, or other extreme events.

 

After the dust has settled and the extent of the damage can be more accurately determined, construction specialists are needed to help rebuild these communities. There may be an organization or a community liaison helping to direct the reconstruction efforts in the area that can get you set up with the most critical projects that fit your skills.

 

Let Your Customers Decide

Many general contractors have turned to their customers to find people in their community that can benefit from their services the most. By running a campaign that allows customers to nominate someone they feel needs and deserves your services, you can decide who you are capable of and wish to help. You also show the public that you are an active participant and engaged in your community by listening to them.

 

In their latest Community Outreach project, the Contractor’s Association of Minnesota (CAM) has supported a local veteran with a handicap accessible entryway to her home. Learn more about CAM and the many benefits of membership, then apply online.

2022-03-03T11:10:17-06:00
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