Shop off-season for major home improvements



NEW YORK — An often overlooked side-effect of the recession is that many people cannot afford to move and have decided to stick with the home they have and make desired improvements.

Thanks to off-season discounts, some months of the year may be better than others for renovations. The home improvement industry is not much different than any other. When demand is high, prices are generally at their peak. When demand is low, prices are lowered to entice shoppers to buy.

Shop smart

Right now, many homeowners may be thinking of certain improvements, such as the installation of a pool or deck, or even replacing an air conditioning system in advance of the warm weather. But it could be financially savvy to wait until the warm weather is gone to do so.

Many pool companies and stores discount their inventory considerably after September. That’s because this time of year in most of the country is when the weather starts to change and people are less likely to think about a dip in the pool

Furthermore, in an effort to capitalize on both the summer and winter seasons, many pool stores double as Christmas tree and accessory outlets come the colder months. That means they’ll need to clear out their showrooms and stock areas of pools prior to delivery of Christmas merchandise. You may land a considerable discount on the pool package.

Plus, if you have room in a garage or shed to store the pool equipment and assembled materials, you can wait until the next season to hire an installer to set up the pool when you desire.

Hot and cold

As you are thinking about turning down the thermostat and enjoying a blast of cool air-conditioning, it might be wise to think about the performance of your furnace, too. While HVAC professionals and home improvement chains could be charging top dollar for a new air conditioning system, they may offer discounts on furnaces because they’re simply not in demand this time of year.

If you find an affordable furnace, store the furnace until the time is right to have it installed.

Remodel in late December. The holiday season tends to be a slow time for home-improvement contractors simply because most homeowners are thinking more about shopping and entertaining than knock-down, tear-out jobs. Waiting until the end of the year for some major renovations could be advantageous.

The spring and summer are prime times for outdoor entertaining, so the addition of decks or elaborate landscaping may come at an elevated price. However, once autumn arrives, the same services may be much cheaper, depending on the job and if the contractor can secure materials at a discounted price.

If you can hold off on that new deck or patio until after September, it may be in your best interest. However, if a winter installation is in your design, you may find yourself actually paying more in labor costs if inclement weather delays the installation.

Other tips

Explore wintertime reductions on air conditioning systems.

New appliance models released could mean year-end reductions on that model year.

Purchase bulk topsoil and other landscaping materials in the winter when this industry is slow.

Many pests enter a dormancy during the winter, so exterminators may discount for termite reduction during the winter and early spring.

Fireplace installation or chimney masonry work could be discounted during the summer months.

The spring season is an ideal time for roofing projects, although some contractors will work in the winter, too. Roofing companies are often tied up during the summer months and may ask for premium charges.

Keep in mind that summer is a prime time for any and all improvements. Beat the prices and the wait time by shopping off-season for your renovations.

Get our Top Stories in Your Inbox

Next step: Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.


  1. This is a great strategy to save some money. Of course, it requires planning ahead in most cases. Many service providers lower their prices during the “off peak” times.


We are glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment policy.

Receive emails as this discussion progresses.