February 13, 2017
Pros and Cons of Winter Home Building
Winter can be difficult for builders, especially in regions with bitter cold, harsh winds and heavy snowfall. While some choose to close up shop during the coldest months of the year, others opt to press on through all but the worst conditions. To better assess your options, it pays to weigh the benefits against the costs.
What Are the Benefits?
Increased productivity is the most obvious advantage to working through the winter. By staying active more months, builders are able to complete projects faster, enabling them to take on more tasks and so on. There’s also less competition during the winter, since many builders lack the will or resources to work through the coldest months. On the other hand, winter construction can also bring a number of headaches that put a dent in a builder’s profit margin. These include:
- Cost: There are a number of extra costs that go along with winter construction, including temporary heat inside a building, heating for concrete and snow removal. Slow digging through frost and other encumbrances can also reduce worker productivity.
- The Elements: Frost, ice, snow and sleet can be a big frustration, especially during the foundation digging and setting stages. That said, as long as you employ proper roof truss storage on the job site, snow can actually be easier to combat when compared to spring rains.
- Heat: Cold weather construction forces builders to heat water or aggregates when pouring concrete, resulting in added fuel costs.
- Efficiency and productivity: Cold weather and diminished daylight take a toll on productivity. Equipment needs longer to warm up. It takes more time and effort to set up temporary lighting and heating equipment. Cold weather can also slow productivity by dampening worker morale.
Making a Sound Decision
When it comes to winter construction, there are different schools of thought. For some, increased costs and lengthened construction times outweigh potential benefits. On the other hand, sitting on a permit is an expensive prospect, as well.
In the end, there’s no universal right or wrong. Since every business and every project is unique, builders must weigh the specific advantages and disadvantages. If you have the budget and experience to push through trying conditions and unexpected delays, there’s no reason you can’t remain productive 12 months a year.
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