Chore list, meet calendar
While springtime is an ideal time for many home improvement and yard projects, it’s not the only time or even the perfect time to tackle everything. Some chores are better left to the heat of the summer, some are best to handle in the fall, and there are even a few that make sense in the middle of winter.
If painting the exterior of your home is on your to-do list, you might want to wait until May.
“We’ve got wind for the next month; the ideal time is first of May,” said Mike Skillo with Westwind Painting. Skillo says waiting until July might be a mistake because hot weather can cause problems with drying paint. Fall is another good time of year to tackle an exterior paint job.
Interior painting can be done anytime, although trying to paint the kitchen during the Christmas holidays might not be a wise decision.
Right now is an ideal time to plant trees and shrubbery, giving vegetation a chance to get established before the heat of summer. Although professionals continue planting all summer long, homeowners who don’t get that new tree in by the first of June might want to wait until the end of September. Planting trees in the fall gives them enough time to get established in moderate weather before the weather turns cold again.
Diligent homeowners should take a few minutes to inspect their foundation in the springtime.
“Look for standing water,” said Ted Munkres with Foundation Repair of Western Colorado. “It’s a great time to get in your crawl space and make sure there is no standing water.”
Moisture, whether caused by nature, a broken sprinkler or a poorly designed landscape that funnels water toward a home’s foundation, is the biggest cause of preventable foundation problems.
When you inspect your crawl space, pull back the vapor barrier, if you have one, and make sure the ground isn’t muddy underneath; if it is, find the source of the water and remove it.
When sprinklers are started for irrigation season, make sure they’re adjusted properly so water doesn’t hit the house or the foundation. Spring and fall are both great times to get a decorative concrete coating on an exterior surface.
“It has to be done when I don’t have to worry about hard freezes at night,” said Dave Melewski with Ultimate Decorative Concrete. “We do it all summer long, but in the heat of summer, we are limited because it’s hard to spray when it’s 100 degrees. The material wants to dry too fast in the heat.”
Replacing windows is best done in the spring or fall, too, when the house can tolerate having a hole in the wall without putting a spike in either heating or cooling costs.
Roofing is one of the rare projects that ought to be done in the heat of summer, when the heat helps composite shingle seal well.
“If you can tolerate the heat of July, do it then,” said Larry Benson with Sutherlands.
Although there’s no unwritten rule that says bathrooms and kitchens shouldn’t be remodeled in the middle of summer, most people like to postpone projects like that for the winter, when they can’t do outdoor activities.
One benefit to remodeling a kitchen in the summer, especially if you have a picnic table and grill outside, is that an inoperable kitchen may not be such a hardship when the weather allows cooking and eating outside.
“Spring is such a good time for our industry,” Benson said. The wintertime is a great time to notice what needs fixing, changing or remodeling. Spring brings a sense of renewal and an urgency to tackle those long-awaited projects before the heat of summer arrives.