What to Expect When Remodeling Your Home
During the Holidays

‘Tis the season to deck the halls, though maybe you’ve found yourself redecorating the halls this year. The holiday season is normally a stressful, busy time for most households and being in the middle of a remodeling project adds an extra level of complication. Between the regular holiday rush and the change in your routine from the renovation, a little extra patience is needed to survive remodeling during the holidays.

In short, it’s usually not recommended to try to renovate your home during the holiday season. If you can avoid scheduling your project during the most wonderful time of the year, you save yourself a lot of extra stress. For those who have a high tolerance to chaos, just being aware of the possible holiday-related hiccups will help to keep a cool head during the renovation process.

While challenges can happen with any home project, large or small, there are some unique obstacles to the holiday season. Expect to make some concessions to your usual holiday traditions and try to keep these tips in mind.

Reconsider Holiday Gathering Traditions

If your home is usually the hotspot for family gatherings, holiday parties, and formal meals, then you might have to sit out this year as the host or at least adjust your expectations. Depending on the project that your home is under, the home may not be properly equipped to prepare a meal for the family.

You may find yourself in a situation where you can host, just not the way you usually do. Consider alternate solutions like having the holiday meal catered this year or inviting family and friends for a potluck dinner instead of preparing the multi-course spread. You may find that a new or altered tradition is even more fun and more suitable for your guests!

Deck the Halls, but Keep it Minimal

What decorations you’re able to put up on or around the house will entirely depend on what sort of renovations you’re doing to your home. If the renovation is focused on your exterior —replacing siding, roofing, gutters, windows, or doors— then you may have to forgo most of your outdoor decorations. Strings of lights and garland will only get in the way of workers and become a hazard.

For any interior renovations, it’s wise to keep any fragile or sentimental decor items safely packed away instead of displaying them this holiday season. Even if your decorations are not in a room that’s directly touched by the renovation, the vibrations from power tools, hammering, and putting things in place can reverberate throughout the entire house and knock things in other rooms down. If you usually put up a Christmas tree, you might want to consider getting a smaller tree than previous years so you can tuck it into an untouched corner, away from the construction. Using plastic bulbs and ornaments to decorate it instead of glass or other fragile materials is also a wise move.

Plan for Extended Material Lead Times & the Holiday Shipping Rush

With all of the holiday shopping that happens between November and December, the economy surges. As the demand for goods and materials increases, the strain on the shipping industry also skyrockets, leading to delays and extended delivery dates. Unfortunately, building materials are also affected by this relationship.

Materials shipped during the holiday season typically take longer to arrive than products ordered during almost any other time of year. Cabinets, appliances, flooring, lumber, trim, and other supplies are all affected by holiday shipping delays. There’s also no “typical” or predictable delay this time of year; it might be a few days behind schedule or it could be a few weeks.

Expect Holiday Vacations & Staff Shortages

Nearly every industry sees some level of staffing shortage during the time between Thanksgiving and New Years, particularly around the last two weeks of the year. Construction is not immune to this phenomenon. With kids out of school, families tend to take advantage to spend as much time as possible together over the holidays.

A one or two week delay should be factored into any renovation taking place over the holiday season to account for workers’ vacation schedules. Remember that it’s not just the construction staff that have time off; some suppliers and manufacturers may shut down operations over the holidays to give their employees time off as well.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing! With the endless noise, dust, and chaos that comes from living in a construction zone, sometimes a little break around the holidays is needed for both the homeowners and the workers. Appreciate the break as a time to recoup and recharge, celebrating the season with family and friends before getting back to work in the new year. Sure, the project’s timeline will be extended a little longer, but the much-needed reprieve will have everyone come back to the project reenergized and reinspired.

Anticipate Inclement Weather

If you’ve been dreaming of a White Christmas, then you’re also dreaming of inevitable weather-related delays to your renovation project. Exterior work in particular may be put on hold for safety concerns due to snow, hail, and freezing rain. While not impossible to replace roofing or siding while there’s snow on the ground, certain weather conditions are too dangerous to try to work through.

Interior work may also be affected by the weather. Rochester’s infamous lake effect snow can pose some serious issues for the crews who need to drive out to your home. Having trucks on the road in hazardous driving conditions is a massive liability to any construction company. It’s just not worth the risk; the safety of the construction staff is prioritized over any timeline.

Stay Merry & Bright

Remodeling during the holiday season is going to be a high-stress endeavor. The noise, dust, and inconvenience of the ongoing renovation can become discouraging and frustrating as traditions are modified or skipped entirely to accommodate the situation. Even the best made plans can’t account for the inevitable hiccups and delays, adding to further stress during the holidays.

Remember to have grace during the renovation process both with yourself and the team working on your project. Your decorations might not be as spectacular this year and traditions may have to be temporarily altered for the situation, but it’s all going to be okay. Don’t sweat the small stuff and just keep the end goal in mind to motivate you through the process. The end result is going to be the bright, cozy, beautiful home of your dreams for years to come!