Welcome back to the Home Base. A blog about Home Improvements written by me, Jeff Moeslein, owner of Legacy Remodeling, I have worked in this industry for over a decade and write this blog as a way to share my views of this business as well as helpful information with homeowners.
The winter months of December and January are typically slow time for the remodeling industry. Many smaller companies simply shut down, while larger ones resign them selves to the fact that those two months are essentially an opportunity to prepare for Spring. From the homeowners perspective this type of work often gets forgotten at this time of year, what with holidays and gifts and family and good food, there is little time left to think about getting new windows, let alone to do it when its 30 degree's outside.
This however does not need to be the case. Both homeowners and home improvement companies can use this time of year to get meaningful work done.
For a customer who is shopping for remodeling projects, December can be a time that is full of opportunity. For most of the year, the saying "you get what you pay for" holds true. Better companies and better products cost more and with good reason. However in December, even the really well regarded remodeling companies are generally slower than they would like to be. This opens the door to negotiate what is probably the best deal you will get all year long. Many home improvement companies run low on work by the end of the winter and are therefore anxiously awaiting spring. With this in mind, you may find companies willing to negotiate much better rates on projects than they would when they are busier. If you give a company the opportunity to add some work to their schedule in December, you will find that most will work very hard to find a way to make the project work for both you and them.
This opportunity for a better price doubles when you consider that many home improvement manufacturers implement price increases in spring. Therefore if you wait until spring, you will not only be buying at a time when business in abundant for contractors, but you will also be paying a premium for the material they use.
By spending time selecting a good quality company, a homeowner in December can get high quality work done at a price that will typically be better than at any other time of the year. Further, many of the more reputable companies have financing options that allow up to a year with no interest and no payments. If you are expecting a tax return that could help pay for the project, a savvy homeowner can finance the project now, at a better price, using someone else's money and paying no interest as long as the loan is repaid quickly.
Plus, as an added bonus, if the product you are purchasing adds insulation value to your home like insulated siding, replacement windows, or attic insulation, then getting them project done now will also allow you to reap the benefits of this efficiency immediately.
Viewing December from the other side of the equation, Remodeling companies must set their goals appropriately. December will never be a stronger time of year than the spring, but it can be a meaningful part of your companies yearly business. December is an excellent time for companies to reconnect with their existing customer base through a newsletter, customer postcard, email blast, or any other way that keeps you in front of your customers for a reasonable cost. Pairing this with a holiday promotion may earn you some additional business at a low cost. The holiday season also lends itself to holiday centered promotions, these can come in many forms. From delivering inexpensive holiday themed gifts to recent installs in order to look for referrals, to becoming involved in a promotion with a charity. There is a lot that can be done to continue to market in December. Lastly, with all of the other distractions that potential customers are dealing with at this time of year, if a homeowner does agree to spend the time to get an estimate on a project they are considering, chances are good that they are probably serious about actually doing this job at some point in the near future. If you can show them homeowner why it makes sense to do this project now, you may have a good chance at earning a sale.