Contractors to Target Homeowners with Best Improvements by Month

BY Courtney Huckabay

Here is a way contractors can be sure home improvement to-​do lists never end for homeowners. Use marketing campaigns to encourage homeowners to organize projects by month. There’s always something to be done, but certain times of year are better to tackle specific projects, whether the goal is to save money or sanity, and local business owners can educate homeowners about this.

January: Clean your carpets and rugs
"Your flooring gets really dirty during the winter," Jonathan Barnett, founder of Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning says. "Waiting until spring to remove all that grime can make it harder to get stains out. Plus, the lack of humidity during the winter months allows moisture to evaporate quickly so wet carpets dry faster."

Carpet cleaners can sweep up new customers with this insightful reminder in ad campaigns. The new AudienceSCAN survey showed 7.8% of Homeowners plan to pay for carpet/​window/​chimney or duct cleaning services in the coming months.

February: Paint a room or two
"If you’re hiring someone to paint for you, winter is a good time to do it. You’re likely to get a much better price than you’d get during the spring and summer, when many people book exterior painting jobs. But even if you’re planning to do it yourself, there are still benefits. Brisk winter air is good for curing paint, so cracking that window for ventilation serves a double purpose."

March: Clean your gutters
To avoid a wet basement or crawl space, clear out gutters. Clogged gutters do an ineffective job of directing runoff away from your home’s foundation. "All that moisture can cause major foundation problems. Depending on your gutters (and whether you have overhanging trees), you may need to tackle this task more than once a year. Even so, it’s best to do this before the April rains hit."

April: Refinish your hardwood floors
“If you wait until it’s really hot out, the finish can cure too quickly and the sheen might not dry properly, which leads to a glossy, uneven finish,” says Arne Johansson, owner of Arne’s Floor Sanding in Minneapolis.

May: Buy a new refrigerator
"Although most large appliances go on sale later in the year, refrigerators have their moment in May, in preparation for the summer. To make room for that new inventory, the older versions usually go on sale, which can mean big discounts for consumers."

June: Freshen up your exterior
"Now’s the time to wash your windows (or pay someone to do it), power-​wash your siding, and install screens in your windows. Before you power-​wash, be sure that all your weatherstripping and caulking is secure (and your windows are closed)."

Local handymen can tout their services early to get business year-​round. The AudienceSCAN study found 9.9% of Homeowners intend to hire handymen in the next 12 months.

July: Fertilize your lawn
“Your lawn needs a solid four to six fertilization applications throughout the year to keep it healthy and growing,” says Gene Caballero, co-​founder of GreenPal, an app that matches customers with landscapers. “Fertilizing in July will give your lawn the vitamins and nutrients it needs to get through the rest of the hot summer months. Also, this midsummer application helps to prevent weeds from germinating — setting you up for less weed pulling in the fall.”

August: Paint your home’s exterior
The best time to paint your home’s exterior is when temperatures remain consistent from day to day and don’t drastically dip overnight. “The real key,” says McCarthy, is “to work your way around the house so that you’re always painting in the shade" if you're painting it yourself.

September: Replace your windows
"Caulk adheres better when the temperature is between 40 and 80 degrees, so those glorious days of late summer and early fall are an ideal time to replace your windows."

A great way to educate Homeowners about these monthly projects is through newspaper advertising. Contractors can inform and influence readers. The AudienceSCAN research revealed 26.7% of Homeowners took action after seeing ads in newspapers (print, online, mobile or tablet) in the past month.

October: Buy new appliances
"Big-​ticket appliances such as stoves, washing machines, and dishwashers debut their newest models around this time of year. That frequently means deep discounts on the old ones. Some retailers will even start their holiday sales early."

November: Remodel your bathroom
"Contractors are entering their slow season this month, so they’re more willing to jump on a small project and get it done quickly, says McCarthy. “A powder room is a good way to test a contractor out, especially if you’re in the market for a larger renovation like a kitchen,” he says. “If you like the way it turns out, great; if you don’t, it’s low risk.”

December: Build a deck
"You’ll probably get a good deal, because deck builders will be winding down for the winter. But adding a deck onto your house when it’s cold out makes sense from a building perspective too. December is less humid, so if you’re using pressure-​treated wood, it’ll dry more consistently and evenly. Also, the hot sun won’t beat down on it, which can cause warping and cracking."

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.