(BPT) - The rituals of fall include sending kids back to school, raking leaves and cheering on the hometown football team. In addition, a new fall tradition has emerged for America's nearly 74 million homeowners - home improvement.
This fall promises to be particularly popular for home projects. Lower gas prices are boosting people's discretionary income and Metrostudy's latest Residential Remodeling Index points to a continued rise in activity.
Like many trends, there isn't one particular reason fall has emerged as a popular time for home improvement, several factors play a role.
Energy efficiency is top of mind
With colder weather on the horizon, homeowners shudder at the thought of higher heating costs. They upgrade windows, layer in more insulation, service or replace old furnaces and, in some cases, do all of the above.
The weather is nice
Home improvement projects can be hard and even grueling work, particularly for DIYers. Lower temperatures and humidity create a much more comfortable environment for getting things done (and rhetorically keeping your cool when obstacles inevitably arrive).
The holiday entertaining wow factor
Everyone wants their home to sparkle when they welcome family and friends during the holidays. Completing a home improvement project during the fall sets up a big reveal when the holidays roll around.
Fall is an excellent time to save money by finding great deals on home improvement supplies and service. Year-end sales begin and discounts can be steep. Retailers like Lumber Liquidators, with their annual Yard Sale in October, often have discounts to clear inventory before the New Year. Also, contractors are busiest during the warmer months - their business cools as the weather does.
Facing tight timelines and tighter budgets, homeowners often need to prioritize their projects. Installing hardwood floors often provides a high return on investment, both from a quantitative (home value) and qualitative (pride in ownership) standpoint.
No matter what a homeowner chooses to do during the fall home improvement season, it will help reduce cabin fever during the winter months.