When to Start an Exterior Renovation

Exterior renovation projects are on the horizon. Unpredictable weather in our Chicago and Naperville markets poses a unique challenge for the timing of these projects, highlighting the importance of waiting for the perfect time to start an exterior renovation. Today I want to discuss a few points on why patience is beneficial.

Complete Ruin

Not to be Mr. Doomsday with exterior renovations, but the reality is you can completely ruin your project if you start too soon. Additions that require require excavation and foundation work need ideal weather before you can start. It’s true that you can build a home at any time of the year, so technically the same can be said with an exterior renovation. That said, you may end up ruining the integrity of the project if you try to pour the foundation too early. If you are going to risk the weather, chemicals will need to be added to your foundation.

Clients pushing their contractors to get the foundation and quickly start the work so they can be ready for graduation parties may end up causing massive delays in the long run. It is better to be patient or plan to spend the extra money to properly secure your foundation before starting with the additional work. Otherwise, you risk ruining your yard for extra time just to see your beautiful concrete foundation sit for an extra week or two before the footings properly set.

Exterior Renovation

Cost Increases

We had a framing project this winter where we were working in the extreme cold. To get a clear picture of what I’m trying to explain, stand outside for 30 minutes in below freezing temperatures and try to do anything with your fingers or toes. You simply don’t move as fast when it is freezing outside.

Longer labor times result in higher costs for you. Construction managers understand this and will raise quotes accordingly with colder temperatures. If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to wait until the warmer months before starting an exterior renovation.

I also recommend being the “first in line” for the year and paying a fee for that privilege. Be patient and wait for your work to start in June when exterior repairs start to slow down and contractors want to guarantee they have work for their summer help.

Fixing the Wrong Repair

This winter in Naperville, we saw a tremendous amount of ice damming issues that caused interior water to get through roofs and behind siding. I do not blame clients for being eager to start their exterior renovation repairs so they can be assured that this will not happen again. However, I caution clients to be patient and let a few hard rains come through to make sure that the true root of the evil is identified.

You may find that you do not need a full roof, and can make exterior repairs simple versus a fix it all approach. Better yet, you can avoid making all of your interior renovations, only to find that the leak is still present.

So when planning your exterior renovation project and thinking that the weather has flipped because it’s 60° on Tuesday, just remember the likelihood of snow in Chicago or Naperville is still in the forecast for the weekend.