Air conditioner

The end of the year might be a good time to look at home improvement project purchases.

An often overlooked side-effect of the recession is that many people cannot afford to move and have decided to stick with the home they have and make desired improvements. Thanks to off-season discounts, some months of the year may be better than others for renovations.

The home improvement industry is not much different than any other. When demand is high, prices are generally at their peak. When demand is low, prices are lowered to entice shoppers to buy.

The holiday season tends to be a slow time for home-improvement contractors simply because most homeowners are thinking more about shopping and entertaining than knock-down, tear-out jobs. Waiting until the end of the year for some major renovations could be advantageous.

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As you are thinking about turning up the thermostat and chasing away the winter chill, it might be wise to think about the performance of your air conditioner, too. While HVAC professionals and home improvement chains could be charging top dollar for a new furnaces, they may offer discounts on air conditioners because they're simply not in demand this time of year. If you find an affordable air conditioner, store the unit until the time is right to have it installed.

Right now, many homeowners may not be thinking of certain improvements, such as the installation of a pool or deck. But it could be financially savvy to do so now rather than wait until the weather is warm.

Many pool companies and stores discount their inventory considerably after September. That's because this time of year in most parts of the country is when the weather is frigid and people are less likely to think about a dip in the pool.

Furthermore, in an effort to capitalize on both the summer and winter seasons, many pool stores double as Christmas tree and accessory outlets during the holiday season. That means they have cleared out their showrooms and stocked areas of pools prior to delivery of Christmas merchandise. You may land a considerable discount on the pool package. Furthermore, if you have room in a garage or shed to store the pool equipment and assembled materials, you can wait until the next season to hire an installer to set up the pool when you desire.

The spring and summer are prime times for outdoor entertaining, so the addition of decks or elaborate landscaping may come at an elevated price. However, at the end of the year, the same services may be much cheaper, depending on the job and if the contractor can secure materials at a discounted price. If you can hold off on that new deck or patio, it may be in your best interest. However, if a winter installation is in your design, you may find yourself actually paying more in labor costs if inclement weather delays the installation, so order it today before snow is in the forecast.

Here are some other ways to save off-season.

* Explore wintertime reductions on air conditioning systems.

* New appliance models released could mean year-end reductions on that model year.

* Purchase bulk topsoil and other landscaping materials in the winter when this industry is slow.

* Many pests enter a dormancy during the winter, so exterminators may discount for termite reduction during the winter and early spring.

* The spring season is an ideal time for roofing projects, although some contractors will work in the winter, too. Roofing companies are often tied up during the summer months and may ask for premium charges.

Keep in mind that summer is a prime time for any and all improvements. Beat the prices and the wait time by shopping off-season for your renovations.


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