5 home renovation projects you shouldn’t complete in summer – according to expert contractors

Starting these five projects in summer will only spell disaster, experts warn

(Image credit: Paul Raeside / Tina Kulic, Andrea Rodman / Betsy Wentz, Sargent Photography)

Summer is usually when we feel most motivated. It is when we are most likely to want to get a start on new projects and challenges to improve ourselves and our homes.

However, rushing into home renovations in the warmer months could spell disaster for both our wallets and our properties, expert contractors warn.

Here, they have shared the five home renovation projects you shouldn’t complete in summer, and why holding off until the cooler months will make all the difference to your timeline and budget.

Home renovation projects you shouldn’t complete in summer

Timing is everything if you want to renovate a house successfully, begins Jodi Peterman, designer and owner of Elizabeth Erin Designs:

‘Ah summer – the kids are out of school, the weather is gorgeous, and vacations are being planned. This is when clients typically start to contact us for design assistance on projects they want to complete before school starts. However, due to the season, a low number of contractors, and the high demand, people are generally disappointed to hear the time frame for projects in summer.

‘Being well-informed can assist you in achieving your vision on budget and in your time frame,’ she assures.

1. Replacing or servicing AC


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Your AC goes through a lot in the summer months, which is why you want to arrange your HVAC system service before summer, not during, begins Richard Ala, professional contractor and director at Six Brothers Contractors:

‘The summer is a peak time for air-con contractors. They're in high demand for emergency calls and repairs. If you leave it till the summer to maintain your A/Cs you'll typically wait some time to get a call-out,’ he warns. ‘You're also at risk of your own A/Cs breaking down. Replacing A/Cs in the summer is not ideal, as you’ll have difficulty scheduling a contractor.’

2. Replacing or repairing a roof

Garden roof ideas

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

Given that the weather is often nicest in summer, it would make sense that you would schedule any outdoor work, such as roofing, for then. However, this is the worst possible timing, advises Josh Rudin, expert contractor and owner of ASAP Restoration.

‘Replacing or repairing a roof in the middle of summer can be awful and potentially dangerous, too. In some states, like where we are in Phoenix, AZ, roof replacements and repairs happen at the crack of dawn before the sun heats things up, or it doesn’t get done at all. In summer, roofers work morning hours and nothing else.’ Typically, roof maintenance and repairs are home maintenance tasks to complete in February, when the weather is starting to dry up a little, but it is not yet too hot.

A wooden attic structure exposed

(Image credit: northlightimages via Getty Images)

‘Similarly, working in the attic is not fun no matter what time of year it is, but during the summer months, it can be like working in an oven,’ adds Brendon Walker, superintendent at ASAP Restoration. ‘Save the tasks that you need to do in the attic for the rest of the year, or if they are emergencies of some sort, then try to make them happen in the early morning before the sun has cooked the roof and heated up all of the air in the attic.’

3. Painting home exteriors

157512001 - somone standing on a ladder painting the side of a house white

(Image credit: wbritten via Getty Images)

The best time to paint a house exterior is spring or fall, not summer, despite the nice weather, Brandon Walker, of ASAP Restoration, continues.

‘It is much more difficult, if not impossible in some situations, for the paint to dry and cure if the ambient temperature is too high,’ he explains. ‘Paint has a specific window of temperature and humidity levels that it can dry and cure at. If you paint out of this Goldilocks zone, then it won’t cure correctly, and it will accept airborne debris much more readily.

‘This will lead to dust and debris getting embedded in the paint.

4. Concrete work

home exterior painted beige with driveway and blue car parked outside

(Image credit: Betsy Wentz, Sargent Photography)

'Similarly to painting, concrete does not cure properly in high temperatures and with inappropriate humidity levels,’ adds Paige Warrington, reconstruction project coordinator at ASAP Restoration. ‘Odds are strong that the concrete will crack, warp, or not set properly if laid in high temperatures or during less-than-ideal humidity conditions.’

This means everything from planning a new driveway design to designing a patio needs to be put off until later in the year when it is dry but cool.

5. Kitchen and bathroom renovations

kitchen with wooden cabinets and white hood and range cooker

(Image credit: Tina Kulic)

Summer is also the worst time of year to plan a kitchen remodel or bathroom renovations, explains Jodi Peterman, designer. This largely comes down to the high demand for workers, but also the fact that these high-traffic spots are essential for hosting, Jodi says:

‘Summer is the peak season for contractors, making scheduling harder and potentially more expensive, not to mention that both homeowners and contractors may find the heat uncomfortable, particularly if renovations require turning off the air conditioning.

‘Instead, consider moving these reno plans to the fall and winter, when contractors have more availability, and the cooler weather is more conducive to indoor work.’


What is the best time of year for home improvements?

Generally speaking, fall is the best time for home improvements. The weather is still relatively warm and dry, but it is not so hot that it is uncomfortable for contractors or will affect the drying and setting times of paint and other project products. It is also the time of year least likely to cause disruptions, as the peak of hosting season is over until the end of the season with Halloween and Thanksgiving, giving you plenty of time to work without the need to rush to completion.

How can I speed up my home renovation?

While you should never rush a home renovation, you can shorten the project run time by working at the ideal time of year so that your workers can make the most of the full day and your product will have enough time to dry and set, ensuring quality work so nothing has to be done again, and planning well in advance so that everything is taken into account and you don’t come across any surprises that will set the project back.

Working around the seasons and the weather can be infuriating when you have a vision and want to upgrade your home, however embracing slow renovating and working at the appropriate times of year will often work out a lot better for you, your home, your workers, and your budget.

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.