Overcoming the Challenges of Winter Remodeling Projects
Every contractor knows spring and summer are the busiest times of the year, but to balance their work load, keep crews active, and to even out cash flow, many smart contractors take actions to sell and complete work in the months of December, January and February. In addition, many homeowners realize the advantages of winter remodeling and these families are looking to close these deals now – don’t leave them to your competitors.
Of course, the cold weather brings with it a seasonal set of challenges. Besides taking extra measures to keep tools and building materials in good condition, contractors must also keep homeowners happy and the home warm and dust-free.
Despite the sleet and snow, a few easy steps can make winter remodeling a comfortable and rewarding experience for both your firm and your client.
Walk through the process with your crews and clients. Purchase, stage, and deliver all the added equipment (traps, heaters, etc.) that are needed to the jobsite. Talk to your vendors to learn how they recommend you protect your building materials.
Protect your supplies
Throwing a tarp over lumber and tools might be enough to keep out the rain during spring and summer, but in the winter months it can be more difficult to keep everything warm and dry.
“Any tools that remain outside have to be properly secured, covered and accessible, because in the winter you have to worry about slipping on ice, frozen materials getting stuck together and other hazards,” said Dan Collyer from Collyer Remodeling, Inc. “You have to adapt.”
Contractors can also discuss storage with homeowners before a project kicks off to see if there’s space in the house to tuck away materials during off hours. This can be particularly important when completing renovations for families, as tools must be safely stowed out of the reach of children.
Prepare a dust control plan
Since it’s likely all windows will be closed during the remodel, homeowners will be concerned about fumes, dust and other air quality problems, especially while living in the home. However, clean contractors are making these worries a thing of the past by implementing robust dust control plans.
For example, Collyer uses the BuildClean™ Dust Control System to assure his clients and employees alike that the work environment won’t be enveloped by dust.
He explained, “BuildClean shows that I’m committed to maintaining the cleanest jobsite possible.”
BuildClean efficiently removes 90 percent of jobsite dust from the air and is increasingly effective when supplemented by other steps such as plastic wall barriers. This allows contractors such as Collyer to make livable remodeling a reality, even during the hectic holiday season.
Keep in mind that when a homeowner opts for a winter remodel, he or she is probably trying to avoid the surge of work contractors experience the rest of the year. Homeowners may expect that you have more time and energy to dedicate to their project.
More savvy homeowners may also simply be trying to take advantage of discounted materials in the offseason. In some cases, customers may just be hoping to get the brunt of the work out of the way while they’re away on vacation.
No matter the reason, work with homeowners to create a schedule with timelines and check-ins that works for both parties, and be realistic about what may have to wait until spring or summer.
For contractors to thrive during the off-season, convincing homeowners that a livable remodeling experience can be executed on a practical timeline is a must. Keeping job sites safe and clean is sure to make the winter a more common time for customers to tackle these projects and sets up contractors for year-round success.
What About You?
Do you have any great tips for dealing with remodeling projects in the winter? Please share! I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.