Winter Construction: Is it possible?

The short answer is “maybe.” The long answer is that it depends on what kind of project you’re looking to start. In this post we’ll lay out some tips to help you decide if winter construction is right for your project.

Sunlight

Sunlight in the winter can be tough to find. However, it helps a lot with winter construction. If your building site gets plenty of winter sunlight, the ground will thaw faster and stay warmer. This will give you an easier time with construction.

If your site gets little or no sun, the ground will most likely stay frozen. This will make construction difficult, maybe even impossible.

Availability

Because work is less common in the winter, subcontractors have more availability. It will be easier to find companies to work on shorter notice. You will also be able to get permits more quickly since the government won’t have as many to approve. The potential for starting a project in the winter and getting it done quickly is extremely tempting.

However, because of the extreme weather, you can expect weather delays. These delays can set your project back a lot depending on how many there are. The days are also shorter and colder, which means subcontractors can’t work the hours they would in the spring or summer.

Cost

There is a potential for cheaper costs wince winter is the construction off-season. Because of this, the subcontractors’ prices aren’t as high as they would be during peak construction season.

But there is a downside–once again weather related. Depending on how cold it gets outside, you might have to invest in a machine to thaw the ground. You might also need thermal blankets to keep the ground from freezing. You’ll also have to diligently shovel and/or plow to make sure snow doesn’t sit on the build site.

If you’re okay with taking the weather risk, then look into starting your construction project in the winter! If not, you might want to wait until spring. Winter construction is definitely possible, and is both easier (more availability) and more complicated (weather-related issues) than construction in the warmer seasons. Check with a construction company to see if winter construction is right for you.

Cassie Vu