Five rea­sons to ren­o­vate this win­ter

Lesotho Times - - Property -

IT’S dif­fi­cult to imag­ine win­ter be­ing the ideal time for any­thing, apart from naps, roar­ing fire­places and mugs of hot tea. How­ever, for those of us who can re­sist the urge to hi­ber­nate the cold away, the chilly months may ac­tu­ally be the best time of year for home ren­o­va­tions.

This is ac­cord­ing to Tony Clarke, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of the Rawson Prop­erty Group, who gives five rea­sons why this is the case:

Builders are more avail­able “Win­ter weather, par­tic­u­larly in high-rain­fall ar­eas like the west­ern and south­ern Cape re­gions, can cause de­lays in large build­ing projects which re­quire a lot of ex­ter­nal and struc­tural work,” says Clarke.

“Be­cause of this, a lot of de­vel­op­ers and ar­chi­tects pre­fer to break ground on new and large con­struc­tions dur­ing months with more pre­dictable con­di­tions. That means a lot of con­trac­tors who are booked up dur­ing the sum­mer months be­come avail­able for smaller projects when the cold weather sets in.”

Ac­cord­ing to Clarke, this cre­ates a wider-than-usual pool of avail­able con­trac­tors over the off-sea­son, which al­lows home­own­ers to be more se­lec­tive in their choice of builder.

It’s cheaper The in­creased builder avail­abil­ity also strength­ens home­own­ers’ abil­ity to ne­go­ti­ate con­tracts, and in­cen­tivises more com­pet­i­tive quotes.

“An idle build­ing team costs a con­trac­tor money, since there are staff mem­bers who need to be paid,” says Clarke.

“With the de­crease in avail­able work dur- ing win­ter, this puts pres­sure on builders to stay busy, which makes it eas­ier to con­vince them to re­duce their profit mar­gins in order to win your con­tract.”

Bet­ter qual­ity work­man­ship An­other ben­e­fit of ren­o­vat­ing dur­ing the off­sea­son is that you don’t have to set­tle for a small-time “bakkie” builder with a du­bi­ous track record, says Clarke.

“In peak sea­sons, most well-es­tab­lished, top-qual­ity builders won’t ac­cept a small do- mes­tic project - at least not at a price point your av­er­age home­owner is will­ing to pay,” he says.

“That of­ten leaves no op­tion but to use a lo­cal “bakkie” builder, whose qual­ity may not be up to scratch. In win­ter, how­ever, the larger builders of­ten have spare ca­pac­ity to ac­cept small jobs at more rea­son­able rates, which gives home­own­ers the op­tion of us­ing a pro­fes­sional team.”

Clarke warns that, while some bakkie builders of­fer ex­cel­lent service, many use ar­ti­sans of ques­tion­able ex­pe­ri­ence and training, to the detri­ment of the fi­nal prod­uct.

“Larger builders who are reg­is­tered with the NHBRC, on the other hand, tend to have more re­li­able qual­ity and bet­ter ac­count­abil­ity in the event that things go wrong,” he says.

Out­door ar­eas are not in use It’s not only ap­point­ing a con­trac­tor that makes win­ter the ideal time to ren­o­vate - it can also be the most prac­ti­cal choice, es­pe­cially when ren­o­vat­ing out­door ar­eas.

“Win­ter is ideal for re­fur­bish­ing swim­ming pools, pa­tios and other out­door en­ter­tain­ment ar­eas since they’ll largely be un­used dur­ing the cold weather, and you won’t have to sac­ri­fice their en­joy­ment while you build,” says Clarke.

Gar­dens can re­cover in spring There’s no doubt that gar­dens take a knock dur­ing any kind of con­struc­tion, no mat­ter how care­ful your builder is and how lit­tle ac­cess they have.

“The joy of ren­o­vat­ing dur­ing win­ter is that any gar­den da­m­age will re­cover far faster than usual with the flood of growth that hap­pens at the on­set of spring,” says Clarke.

It seems win­ter re­ally can be the best sea­son for home ren­o­va­tions, with cheaper, more re­li­able, and bet­ter qual­ity build­ing work on of­fer.

“Per­haps it’s time to break the hi­ber­na­tion cy­cle and get stuck into some prop­erty up­grades. Af­ter all, what could be nicer than look­ing for­ward to a brand new sum­mer in a bet­ter-than-ever home?” — Prop­erty24

THE chilly months may ac­tu­ally be the best time of the year for home ren­o­va­tions.

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