Three smart hires to make in winter

With the holiday rush and cold weather creeping in, it can be easy for homeowners to slip into hibernation and forget about home maintenance, but now is actually a great time to cross off some items on your to–do list. As a bonus, you may actually save some money.

If you’ve been putting off that bathroom or kitchen remodel, now may be the perfect time to do it.

“The winter is typically the off–season for contractors, especially around the holidays heading into the first of the year,” said Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks. “They’re not as busy and you are potentially going to get some savings because they’ll have staff that they’ll want to put to work.”

In addition to easier scheduling, hiring a contractor in the off–season can also lead to big savings on products. You can often avoid price increases that typically happen in the spring for items like lumber, windows and doors.

Pest control isn’t just a priority when it’s warm. If you want to avoid unwanted guests this winter, hire an exterminator.

“This time of year, as all the berries and all the fields have been plowed, the rodent activity increases quite a bit,” pest control expert Greg Johns said. “So, your suburb areas are going to notice an increase in your mouse calls that are coming in.”

Along with sealing up windows and doors, experts recommend replacing your mulch with rock because mulch holds onto moisture, which attracts bugs.

“If we can replace that mulch with rock and have that nice rock barrier between your house and your yard, you’re going to eliminate a lot of your insects,” added Johns.

Now is also a smart time to have your trees trimmed, which can help with pest and disease control.

“Most people think about tree trimming in the spring or summer, but the winter is actually a great time of the year because those trees are dormant, and also for the arborist, they’re able to get an unobstructed view of the tree, and they can more clearly see where they want to trim,” said Hicks.

Angie’s List says if you’re having trees trimmed find out how the debris will be handled. Will the company remove it, or are you responsible for getting rid of it? If you want the limbs for firewood, make sure that’s known. Remember that you can’t burn that wood right way. It needs to stay dry and covered for six months to a year.