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When is the cheapest time of year to remodel your kitchen?
Great question! With a big project like a kitchen, I can’t blame you for wanting to save a few dollars.
While there are pros and cons to renovating in every season, if your biggest priority is saving money, here’s the short answer:
Winter is the cheapest time of year to remodel your kitchen.
Here’s how you’ll save money by renovating during the winter months.
Table of Contents
The biggest costs of a renovation are labor and materials.
Supply and demand drives prices up and down, and home renovations are not exempt. With 2020-2021 still visible in the rearview, this macroeconomics lesson doesn’t need much explaining.
But bizarre-pandemic-times aside, winter will remain as the cheapest time of year to remodel a kitchen.
Less people renovate at this time of year for a myriad of reasons, including that it’s mid-school year, it’s around the holidays, and its weather can present varying issues.
By renovating when others won’t, you’ll be elbowing less competition, leaving you with more availability from your contractor and better availability of materials.
Let’s take a closer look at materials and labor costs.
Cheapest time of year to remodel kitchen – materials
The big-ticket material items for a kitchen renovation are appliances, cabinets, countertops, and flooring.
Hands down, the best time of year to buy appliances is black Friday weekend. And, since the odd year of 2020, black Friday has practically become a season!
No longer are big companies fostering fist fights at their front doors. They’re adapting to seasonal sales, keeping their bottom line healthy from the last Halloween candy to the jingle bells of Christmas.
It’s not just Lowes and Home Depot that celebrate black Friday – check Costco and Amazon, too! You never know where the perfect appliance might pop up!
Be sure to consider even at your local suppliers for black Friday steals.
Just like appliances, cabinets go on sale every so often!
For example, Cabinet Now admits that they run seasonal sales.
Big box stores do typically run sales on cabinets, too – but be advised that the chains are simply reselling cabinets from a supplier to you. They’ll even subcontract in your area for labor, so you might consider cutting out the middle man by buying local.
Best Online Cabinets has some great advice to save on your cabinets, such as buying direct from factory.
I will also attest – if you go with standard cabinet sizes (as opposed to custom!) you’ll definitely save a few dollars, too! Just choose widths in increments of “3” – as in 30″, 33″, 36″, etc. Avoiding a custom build will save both time and money.
Let’s see what some countertop manufacturers have to say about pricing.
Tampa Bay Marble and Granite admits, “Traditionally and according to the laws of supply and demand, countertop companies are busiest towards the end of spring, summer or the early days of fall.”
That leaves winter as a down-time – and the best time to capitalize on the countertop manufacturers’ readiness to make a deal!
Accent Countertops of Salt Lake City concurs that winter is the best time of year to buy a new countertop.
Companies like theirs will be happy to move stock before the springtime boom hits their industry. If you can be a little bit flexible in your vision, you just might snag a steep discount!
Stone Specialists also hint that winter will yield the best bang for your buck on countertops because it is less popular.
While they do warn that renovating your kitchen during winter time can get drafty, I’m here to tell you: don’t worry too hard about the weather – just put on a sweater! It will be well worth the savings on your renovation!
I can’t think of a company that doesn’t run a black Friday sale on flooring.
Check everyone Lumber Liquidators to your big box Home Depot and Lowes to even Costco, who has been known to stock LVP.
Take advantage of the cheapest time of year to remodel your kitchen and capitalize on some holiday savings!
Cheapest time of year for a kitchen remodel – labor
Let’s take a look at what some contractors say about the cheapest time of year for labor costs:
RWC of New Jersey says to do the kitchen in Oct-Dec space.
There is less demand for labor at this time of year. Think about it – it is not practical for people to build decks, re-pour their sidewalks, add an addition, etc. in the winter months.
All of these companies concur that people generally avoid the winter due to holidays.
A word of caution, though – if your contractor is never busy, there might be a reason for it! The best ones are often booked year-round.
Try to find your best contractor when they’re not too overwhelmed so you can have their attention towards your kitchen remodel.
Tips for your winter kitchen renovation
–Your kids will likely be in school. Their routine might be upside down. This isn’t the end of the world if you plan well!
Let us help you with our posts on Living Through a Kitchen Remodel:
- Cheap temporary kitchen – how to set up shop when your kitchen is in a dumpster
- How to prepare for a kitchen remodel
- How to survive a kitchen renovation with just one small appliance
We totally understand, though, if you wouldn’t want to disrupt your children’s’ routines. We currently have a toddler, which means even a mundane task like changing a light bulb is OH MY GOSH SO EXCITING, and therefore not conducive to productivity.
Unfortunately, you won’t have as much light to work with in the wintertime.
This can affect two things: paint color and lighting.
With paint, you might consider choosing your paint colors in the summer and fall seasons prior to your remodel. This will give your more ample light during the daytime to accurately assess what colors you want.
As for lighting, the darker winter months might have you scratching your head on where to put your newly designed fixtures. Add to that – if you rip out a bunch of electric, you’ll probably be working in the shadow of a work light, as we mention in our Open Concept Galley Kitchen Remodel.
The other obvious nature consideration is weather. If you live in an area easily paralyzed by winter weather, perhaps a different season will be best.
These are not to deter you from renovating in the winter, rather to help you anticipate and plan ahead.
No matter what time of year you decide to renovate, you’ll certainly save money (and headaches!) if you plan, plan, plan!
Order your materials in advance. Keep an eye out for sales year-round. Do you have eclectic or vintage taste? Spend some time well ahead of your renovation to explore estate sales, your local classifieds, and thrift stores.
As we have all learned since 2020, ‘tis better to be looking at your materials than for them. Avoid shipping delays and stocking issues by planning your renovation in advance.
And whatever you do…
…don’t volunteer to host the holidays!
If you really do commit to a kitchen renovation in the winter, don’t volunteer to host the family holiday gathering!
(…Unless, of course, your family knows how to install cabinets, tile, and appliances. Then, invite them over. But, you know, be honest about expectations.)
Going for it during the ho-ho-holidays? Read more about our experience renovating during the holidays.
By now you’re well versed in all the reasons that winter is the cheapest time of year to remodel a kitchen.
Considering materials, labor costs, and tips for your winter kitchen renovation, you should be prepped and ready to save money on your kitchen renovation!
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