Top five reasons to renovate your home in winter

It’s difficult to imagine winter being the ideal time for anything, apart from naps, roaring fireplaces and mugs of hot tea. For those of us who can resist the urge to hibernate the cold away, however, the chilly months may actually be the best time of year for home renovations. Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, explains why.

Builders are more available

“Winter weather, particularly in high-rainfall areas like the Western Cape and Southern Cape, can cause delays in large building projects which require a lot of external and structural work,” says Clarke. “Because of this, a lot of developers and architects prefer to break ground on new and large constructions during months with more predictable conditions. That means a lot of contractors who are booked up during the summer months become available for smaller projects when the cold weather sets in.”

According to Clarke, this creates a wider-than-usual pool of available contractors over the off-season, which allows homeowners to be more selective in their choice of builder.

It’s cheaper

The increased builder availability also strengthens homeowners’ ability to negotiate contracts, and incentivises more competitive quotes.

“An idle building team costs a contractor money, since there are staff who need to be paid,” says Clarke. “With the decrease in available work during winter, this puts pressure on builders to stay busy, which makes it easier to convince them to reduce their profit margins in order to win your contract.”

Better quality workmanship

Another benefit of renovating during the off-season is that you don’t have to settle for a small-time “bakkie” builder with a dubious track record.

“In peak seasons, most well-established, top quality builders won’t accept a small domestic project,” says Clarke, “at least not at a price point your average homeowner is willing to pay. That often leaves no option but to use a local “bakkie” builder, whose quality may not be up to scratch. In winter, however, the larger builders often have spare capacity to accept small jobs at more reasonable rates, which gives homeowners the option of using a professional team.”

Clarke warns that, while some bakkie builders offer excellent service, many use artisans of questionable experience and training, to the detriment of the final product. “Larger builders who are registered with the NHBRC, on the other hand, tend to have more reliable quality and better accountability in the event that things go wrong,” he says.

Outdoor areas are not in use

It’s not only appointing a contractor that makes winter the ideal time to renovate – it can also be the most practical choice, especially when renovating outdoor areas.

“Winter is ideal for refurbishing swimming pools, patios and other outdoor entertainment areas,” says Clarke, “since they’ll largely be unused during the cold weather, and you won’t have to sacrifice their enjoyment while you build.”

Gardens can recover in spring

There’s no doubt that gardens take a knock during any kind of construction, no matter how careful your builder is and how little access they have. “The joy of renovating during winter is that any garden damage will recover far faster than usual with the flood of growth that happens at the onset of spring,” says Clarke.

It seems winter really can be the best season for home renovations, with cheaper, more reliable, and better quality building work on offer. Perhaps it’s time to break the hibernation cycle and get stuck into some property upgrades. After all, what could be nicer than looking forward to a brand new summer in a better-than-ever home?

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 20 Mar 2018
      Located close to the fast growing Fourways precinct, Dainfern continues to attract local and international interest from buyers seeking a secure lifestyle with affordable entry price of approximately R3 million.
    • 20 Mar 2018
      Property owners in the Durban CBD are addressing the affordability challenge that faces many prospective tenants in their area – and reconfiguring the inner city rental market in the process.
    • 20 Mar 2018
      One of the most misunderstood concepts in the process of selling a property is an exclusive or sole mandate.
    • 19 Mar 2018
      If a landlord opts to use a managing agent for the rental of his or her property, the inspection process can be easier as the agent is not emotionally involved and will certainly have concluded an in-depth inspection report in the interests of all parties.
    • 19 Mar 2018
      We all wish we could have the cheat sheet for selling a property – a simple Ctrl+Shift+C code that will magically secure an offer on your home in an instant. Though it is not possible to provide you with this cheat code (sadly, reality does not come with such perks), it is possible to provide you with a list of the most common blunders some of your neighbours have committed in their efforts to sell their homes
    • 19 Mar 2018
      Although property technology is now widely accepted as an established trend, especially in the international real estate arena, the industry has been cautious to advance and smaller markets like South Africa are still hesitantly dipping their toes in the water.
    • 16 Mar 2018
      Strange as it may seem, there is a stock shortage looming now in the luxury sector of the Johannesburg property market, because astute buyers have for the past few months been hurrying to snap up high-end homes being offered at excellent prices.
    • 16 Mar 2018
      No one likes having to claim but having insurance for your household contents is vital, and at the start of a new financial year, homeowners either applying for new household insurance or revising their existing insurance should take a comprehensive inventory of their possessions and keep track of the total value.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us