Spring is the start of busy season for home maintenance and upgrades. With some contractors less busy during the winter, doing certain work now can save you money. Here are some improvements to consider before spring:
Air conditioning: If you’ve been meaning to upgrade or add a cooling system, the experts at ShopSmart magazine say these contractors are probably more willing to negotiate now and are offering better deals than you’ll find as summer approaches.
Basement and roof repairs: You could get 5 percent to 25 percent off the total cost by doing roof work now rather than mid-March or April. Waterproofing, finishing or insulating your basement now can also save you money. Contractors get lots of calls in spring and fall when wet weather leads to leaky basements. Call when things are slow, and you’re likely to get a better price.
Gutter cleaning: Most people get their gutters cleaned in the fall and spring (experts say you should clean them at least twice a year). Do it now to beat the rush.
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Tree pruning: In winter, when trees are dormant and their leaves are gone, these jobs – which are often charged by the hour – should take a lot less time.
Window replacement: ShopSmart experts note that today’s window units can be installed any time of the year. They advise doing it in the winter to save money. Just make sure the installer measures the new windows before taking out the old ones and installs the new window immediately after the old one is removed. This way you limit your exposure to the cold weather.
If you aren’t offered a discounted rate up front for these jobs, be sure to ask.