Winter Projects for Your Hamptons Home

Winter in the Hamptons is the perfect time to complete those home improvement projects you don’t want to concern yourself with while you’re out at the beach come summer. But where to start? “Anything that is indoors is a good thing to do in the wintertime,” says Nick Derosa, owner of Pristine East End Contracting, who shares his insights into the best seasonal projects, how to choose a contractor and more. “The main reason anything indoors is good is that certain tools can’t be out in inclement weather. Outdoor projects in the colder weather will also take longer. The days are shorter in the wintertime, so you have guys working full days but they have to go home when it gets dark out. Also in the springtime, when you’re doing an outdoor project, the contractors can physically move faster because they aren’t weighed down by their clothing.If you’re out there in bundles of clothing like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, you’re going to move a lot slower.”

What are some of the more important steps to take to make sure your home can handle the winter?

Nick Derosa Says: It’s super important that you have somebody make sure that your house is ready for the winter. Having somebody check for drafts throughout the home is huge. If you’re paying a high cost for Long Island home heating oil and then the heated air is flying out through a drafty door, it’s a big waste of money. You also want to make sure that your roof has no missing shingles or has any openings anywhere. During the wintertime it’s really important to make sure that your whole sturcture is sealed up and can withstand the elements. Sealing in around windows and doors can make a huge difference in how comfortable you are in your home and for it to stay in good condition long-term.

What’s the most common interior project people undertake in the winter?

Nick Derosa Says: Bathrooms. Bathrooms are a really good thing to take care of in the wintertime. You can’t live without a bathroom, and it’s smarter to hire your contractor during the wintertime to renovate it versus another time of year. I’d say second would be a kitchen renovation, third would be a basement renovation, then painting, then flooring and routine maintenance throughout the home.

What things should a homeowner consider in looking for a contractor?

Nick Derosa Says: You want to make sure that you read the reviews and list of complaints on places like Angie’s List or the Better Business Buerau. Another thing you can do is put the company name into Google along with the word “complaint” and see what comes up. Somebody that is accredited with the Better Business Buerau is very important. They have unbiased reviews on those types of sites ,and you can’t pay to have complaints removed. Also look for somebody who is associated with NARI, which is the National Association of the Remodeling Industry—this organization pre-screens contractors. If they aren’t in good standing with the Better Business Bureau and don’t have years of service, they can’t even join NARI.

Any warning signs homeowners should be aware of?

Nick Derosa Says: Always be wary of low bidders. If it sounds too be good to be true, it most likely is. They will start the work, and then begin to add things onto the job as they go along. This is a tactic that they use to get in the door. Be careful with a contractor that comes over instantly and starts instantly. That says that he doesn’t have any other work and is just sitting home. Generally if they are sitting home, they are sitting home for a reason. And you want to make sure that the guy who owns the company is showing up to do the estimate. If he’s not personally involved, that means he’s just basically a labor broker and is hiring anybody to do all of his work and isn’t concerned about quality.The quality of the contractor is really huge. You have to research everyone nowadays, and the Internet is a really powerful tool.

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