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.