Almost half of UK homeowners (41%) have plans to renovate or extend their homes in the next 12 months. But, when is the best time of year to do home renovation and start your remodelling project? Is it the summer months, when the weather (should) be more reliable? Or are the winter months unrivalled when it comes to doing up a house?
Best house renovation time
When you’re planning a renovation project, the best time of year will depend to some extent on your personal circumstances. If you have children, it might be best to avoid renovating over the Christmas period, for instance. But if you’re child-free, you may want to take the opportunity of decent time-off and go for it.
Different jobs demand different conditions, but there is an optimum season for everything. Our 12-month home renovation guide lays down the universal guidelines and tips to help save you time and money. Let’s take a look at each season.
In spring it’s best to carry out anything outdoors, from garden remodelling to a kitchen extension or double-storey addition to your home. It’s a good time for brickwork, as long as the weather isn’t too wet. Rain is unfavourable for laying bricks. Mortar will wash away and walls end up unstable.
Also, consider that projects undertaken in spring could be ready in time for summer. So, plan timings accordingly.
If you’re hoping to make the most of your outside space in summer, getting a garden makeover done earlier in the year will give you the best chance of being able to put your feet up when the sun comes out.
It’s most likely that, by Christmas, all the best tradespeople will be booked up for spring renovation projects. So, start planning in autumn to get ahead.
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If you’re planning an extension, you will need to apply under Permitted Development (which gives homeowners certain rights to extend without planning permission – with some exceptions) or apply for planning permission.
Either process will take a minimum of six weeks through your local council. Plus, you’ll have to factor in delays caused by the Christmas and New Year break.
Pros of renovating in spring
Optimum time for outdoor renovations, especially after the clocks go forward in March and the days start getting longer.
Cons of renovating in spring
Often the most popular time. Don’t decide on a spring renovation project in February. The best tradespeople will already be booked up, so you’ll really need to plan ahead.
Warmer months are a good opportunity to have your boiler and central heating upgraded. You might also like to schedule projects which involve timber work.
Timber needs to be kept as dry as possible so it doesn’t expand and warp. This includes repairing or replacing the roof.
Choose summer months for replastering jobs if you can; cold and damp conditions are not favourable for drying-out. Kitchen projects are good at this time of year also – and one of the most popular home improvement trends. You can always set up camp in the garden and cook on the barbeque for a few days.
During late spring, when energy companies are likely to be offering competitive deals on new boilers and central heating.
Warmer temperatures and lighter evenings mean work can be completed more quickly than at other times of year. This could make it easier to find seasonal labourers to help with major projects, such as a full house renovation.
Busy tradespeople may be juggling several jobs, or disappear on holiday. Plus, school summer holidays mean children are at home and likely to get in the way.
Autumn is a good time for outdoor electrical work, such as new garden lighting or electrical heaters. Basement conversions are also good at this time of year as much of the work is done indoors.
Groundworks are sensible too as the earth will be workable, not frozen solid, dry and hard-packed. It’s an excellent time to be digging foundations or laying new driveways. Plants and vegetation will also have died back, making access easier. Also, a crisp autumn day with no rain forecast would be ideal for laying concrete.
Indoors: get painting and decorating done before shorter days and failing light kicks in. Warmer autumnal days are favourable to help paint dry. New flooring projects are also easy to accomplish at this time of year, as dogs and children are less likely to traipse in mud from the garden.
Get planning during the summer months, when you’re enjoying your garden. You’ll notice where new lighting and heating needs to be situated in time for next year. You might also decide that what your garden really needs is a new patio, or even a water feature.
Certain autumn home renovation projects can be finished in time to enjoy the Christmas holidays. Materials may be easier to source than during the busy summer months.
The nights start drawing in, cutting down on the hours available for outdoor work. Also, the weather grows increasingly unpredictable. Autumn is not the best time to have electrical jobs done indoors, as darkness falls early.
Internal structural work such as removing walls to create open-plan living. Smaller jobs, such as replacing doors and skirting boards, are also suited to winter-time. Plan these carefully to avoid clashing with putting up the Christmas decorations. Don’t attempt to do everything at once!
It’s also a good time to remodel the bathroom. Or you could redecorate a small room, such as a cloakroom. Brighten up the dark days by hanging some on-trend wallpaper and refreshing paintwork. However, avoid having a new kitchen fitted in the run-up to Christmas if you’re planning a big get-together at home. It’s far too disruptive.
The best architects, builders and structural engineers needed for complex internal work may have a waiting list of months, if not years, so plan serious structural alterations as far ahead as possible.
It’s fun to have a home renovation project – big or small – to focus on during the dull days of winter.
Snow and bad weather can cause delays to deliveries and halt progress. This may put a premium on items such as bricks and cement, and end up costing you more than you expected. Freezing temperatures are also bad for bricklaying and stonework. Mortar will not set when the air is too cold.
Need help finding tradespeople?
Top tip: get prepared in advance. We can connect you with expert tradespeople in your area that can get the job done well. Get in touch for free below!