The days are getting shorter, and the weather is getting colder. The fact is that the winter will affect starting or completing a construction project, but you may be wondering how or in what ways. The following information will provide you with more guidance and knowledge about what to expect and help you decide if it’s a good time for you to move forward with your construction project or not. In most cases, it’s not that it can’t be done but that there will be challenges to face and obstacles to overcome.
1. Freezing Effects Will Play A Role
The winter weather doesn’t always cooperate and may bring some cold and freezing temperatures with it. Therefore, it may not be possible to break ground to build a new home if the ground is frozen. Frozen ground can extend a foot or more below vegetation. It creates complications both for excavation and the pouring of concrete foundations. Also, all construction projects that deal with water will be affected by freezing weather. Extreme cold temperatures can stop the drying time for many mixtures. It may present trouble for tasks, such as pouring concrete, drywall finishing or repair, and painting. The workers may also need to use some type of heating element to stay warm. During the winter months, fuel usage can increase dramatically in certain kinds of equipment, including concrete mixers and on-site heaters.
2. May Slow Progress
Time is money, so it’s important to note that winter may slow down the progress of your construction project. The weather and temperatures and precipitation can be unpredictable. While there are ways around it or to work with it sometimes, other times you simply can’t make any progress and will lose time and money on it. Even the most basic tasks may be impacted. However, it’s likely that you’ll account for this reality and possibility in your budget. Workers have to mess around with winter clothing or may not be able to drive to the site due to snow accumulation or blizzard conditions. Also, cleaning up at the end of the day takes longer, and you may need to add snow removal as a line item in your budget. There’s less daylight to work with as well.
3. There are Some Benefits for the Homeowner
Another fact about how the winter affects a construction project is that there are some benefits for the homeowner. For instance, contractors usually have more availability in the winter months so you can get on the schedule right away in most cases. You may be able to fit in more services within the timeframe because they’re less busy. You may also save yourself some money. Many companies and contractors will offer better rates and more discounts over the winter months. Also, proper permits are easier and smoother to obtain. For all to go well, any homeowner must have patience and flexibility and be willing to make adjustments based on the weather conditions and temperatures.
4. Consider the Materials Being Used
It’s also wise to think about what materials you’re using for your winter construction projects. The cold weather can cause the drywall to be slow to dry, paint can freeze, and concrete can be compromised. Therefore, you’ll need to adjust what type of materials you’re using or the environment to ensure it doesn’t become damaged. Many assume that if you can’t get the roof on before the first snowfall that you should wait until spring. Well, the truth is that this isn’t necessarily the case any longer. If you finish your home in the winter using the right materials then you can enjoy it and the improvements once spring and summer arrive. You may also be able to work ahead and lay the foundation for a new home so that when winter hits, you’ll have a completed structure to work in and can focus on the interior.
Winter construction is not only feasible, but it can offer advantages for both the homeowner and the contractor. Crews are ready and prepared to work through the cold and long winter months. It’s wise to understand facts about how the winter affects a construction project, so you’re prepared and know what to expect. Speak with your contractor and come up with a plan that you both feel comfortable with before starting any work. A good contractor will be knowledgeable about the risks and how to proceed and can guide you in finding success with your next construction project. It’s all about working with and overcoming the challenges that the winter months bring.