Winter Home Renovations: 11 Ways To Keep Your Project On Track
There are plenty of reasons why carrying out winter home renovations is attractive. For one, you will receive more personalised service from contractors during this period, as compared to when they are swamped during the summertime.
The increased builder availability results in more competitive quotes giving you the flexibility to choose the best team for the project.
That being said, the cold months come with their challenges. Poor planning could see your project stretching out for much longer than necessary.
Avoid these pitfalls by following our expert tips which will help you prepare for the tasks that lie ahead.
1. Secure Permits Before Local Council Shut Down
Winter months coincide with the festive period and annual closure of most firms in the design and construction industry.
Local councils will generally start to slow down their operations in the build-up to the holidays leading to delays in responses for approvals and permits.
We recommend submitting all necessary applications no later than mid-October. This will leave enough time for the relevant officers to visit your home and give the go-ahead for your plans. Failure to do this and your builder will not be able to progress without the sign-off.
2. Confirm the Availability of Labour
Due to reduced demand, certain contractors may take time off or only maintain a skeleton staff during winter. As such, it is best to communicate your need for labour well in advance so that provisions can be made to ensure there is sufficient help available.
A last-minute demand for labour could lead to service providers charging you way more than expected.
3. Secure Materials Early
As the year draws to an end, the slowing down of suppliers and transporters compounded by cold weather conditions results in unpredictable delays.
Building supplies you need may take weeks before delivery, especially if ordered from across local or national borders. Some products will be out of stock, with restocking only scheduled for the new year. Avoid project delays for your winter home renovations by securing everything you require by the onset of the cold period.
4. Complete Digging Before Ground Freezes
As soon as you receive the go-ahead to begin work, you should start focusing on all the digging work. Depending on your location, temperatures can easily fall to the point where the ground becomes frozen, making excavation a challenge.
The pouring of concrete will also become difficult and more expensive under cold conditions.
Complete all foundation work while the earth is still easy to dig through. If installing underground water pipes or a buried electrical supply, this too must be treated as a priority.
5. Practise Good Material Management
In preparation for your supplies, you should have a dedicated storage facility where weather-sensitive supplies can be protected from the elements.
It’s good practice to wrap most of these materials in plastic to ensure they are not exposed to wet conditions.
Plasterboard and floorboards will definitely get damaged and warp when damp. Coordinate all your deliveries with on-site staff that can correctly store them away on arrival. This little bit of planning will ensure you do not accumulate damaged goods.
6. Maintain Access to Your Home
A simple matter of excessive snow on roads and walkways can be a nightmare for your winter home renovation.
Contractors will need safe and easy access to and from your property at all times. This means you should have an efficient system for clearing out your driveway and pathways.
Keep stocks of salt stored for use on stubborn patches of ice. Apart from delays, you could be held liable for unsafe working conditions if one of the workers slips and falls.
7. Make Provisions To Keep Waterline Hot
It’s easy to overlook the issue of a regular water supply for your builders. Unlike in summer when flows run freely, pipes are susceptible to freezing when temperatures fall.
Most of the activity making up your winter home renovation will require a functional water line.
If you plan to move out of your house during the renovation, we advise asking your plumber to keep the water line hot. Otherwise, keeping the bathroom, kitchen and garage doors closed will help retain heat within the house and keep the plumbing from forming ice.
8. Adjust Timelines For Short Winter Days
No matter how well you prepare, unforeseen glitches will occur. With the working day being much shorter in winter, it takes longer to get back on track.
When planning your project timeline, add buffers for the reduced period of productivity. What takes a few days in summer, will run for a bit longer when builders have fewer hours in the day.
There may be periods when work comes to a complete halt due to harsh weather conditions. Factor this in to avoid disappointment.
9. Ensure Good Ventilation
To retain heat in the home when it’s cold, doors and windows are kept shut for most hours of the day. This is problematic when work is being done indoors which results in the release of fumes or dust.
Contractors may be hesitant to continue if there aren’t any plans for ventilation.
Whilst they will turn to low VOC paint and use special tools to keep dust to a minimum, you should also make an effort to keep a supply of fresh furnace filters and maintain a circulation of fresh air running in the house.
10. Supplement Lighting
Another downfall to working in winter is the lack of natural light. Precision work requires good lighting which is only available for a few hours of the day.
To extend work periods, it will be a good idea to set up supplementary lighting for your builders. Work will happen much faster when visibility is clear.
11. Consider Your Personal Comfort
Finally, construction work is generally loud. When you are enclosed in your home, the clamour of power tools can be overwhelming.
If you suspect you might find it unbearable, make arrangements for alternative accommodation.
Perhaps you have made plans for the family to visit during the holiday season, be sure to let them know that there will be work carried out. Pay attention to any children running around the construction site and carefully fence off any potential danger.
Design That Transforms Spaces
At FCI, we believe in the power of interior design to transform spaces. By forging positive spaces that bring genuine happiness to the people who inhabit them, we hope to inspire a community of people to pay it forward.
We’ve been designing interiors and exteriors in private and commercial spaces for almost 40 years. Our skilled team can offer you a range of individual services or the full interior design monty. We’ll draw up 3D plans for your new kitchen, create a custom colour palette for your walls and floors or help you find your perfect sofa match.
No job is too small and no request is too complicated. We can help you draw your design dream and we’ll work closely with you to bring that vision to life.
In addition to our interior design services, we have a wide range of premium furniture and accessories that can elevate the look of your space when your winter home renovations are complete.
Get in touch with us and let’s chat about your design requirements. You can call or WhatsApp us or pop into our London showroom – we’re open 7 days a week.