How Does Winter Weather Affect A Construction Project?

During winter months, construction projects can become more difficult for many reasons. If you are planning to break ground this winter or your project will endure the coldest months of the year, Herr & Co. can help you better understand these winter construction variables and outsmart “Old Man Winter.”

Frozen Ground Can Freeze Progress

Winter is often not the best time to break ground on a new custom build because of ground temperatures. Frozen ground can extend a foot or more below vegetation, which complicates both excavation and the pouring of concrete foundations. While ground thaw machines, insulated blankets, and anti-freezing concrete components can be offered as solutions, they will increase the cost of your project. To avoid the risk of foundation damage down the road, contact your contractor and reserve your spot in the schedule during warmer months.

Time is Money

If your project has been started and is underway during winter months, it is important to understand that even basic tasks may slow down. More than likely, this has been accounted for in your budget.

On-site workers have to change or dig through clothing layers, take gloves on and off for dexterity, warm-up throughout the day, et cetera. While these minor details only take a few extra seconds, they can add-up quickly as the days and weeks go on. Many workers may also run the risk of running late or having to miss days on-site if snow or ice storms affect your area. The same applies to supply deliveries.

Clean-up at the end of each day will also take longer when working construction during winter. Materials will need to be covered or moved indoors to stay protected from harsh temperatures and precipitation. Any liquid or temperature-sensitive materials such as caulks and adhesives will need to be moved to a climate-controlled area or to and from the shop on a daily basis as well.

Snow removal is another important line item in your budget. For the safety of workers and visitors, construction sites should be completely cleared after a winter storm. This detail can take hours of time after each storm and can have an impact on your budget if you aren’t prepared in advance. 

Cold-Sensitive Components May Have to Wait

Construction during winter can also be complicated by temperature-sensitive tasks like spraying insulation, manipulating electrical wire casing, and drying any type of concrete or indoor muds and adhesives. Your contractor will manage the timing of these tasks based on the stage of your project, but know that waiting for heating unit installation or appropriate overnight temperatures may further delay your project.

Herr & Co. offers transparent communication to customers, which can be valuable during winter projects. Contact your general contractor or use online tools to track the progress of your custom home, office building, or addition during each step of the way. Stay warm out there!