As a contractor, it’s understandable to feel apprehensive about starting a construction project during the winter. After all, it’s commonly thought that the cold temperatures, icy conditions, and shorter days make it impossible to get any construction work done. This of course, typically leads to business slowdowns during the colder season, which can put a strain on your bottom line. However, the idea that construction work should be avoided during winter couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, winter construction is not only possible, but it also has its advantages.
Advantages And Benefits Of Winter Construction
From faster project timelines to lower costs, winter construction offers a range of benefits that can’t be ignored. By expanding services to include winter construction, contractors can maximize their sales, gain a competitive edge, and ultimately keep their business profitable all year round.
One of the most significant benefits of home construction in the winter is the potential for material discounts. Many suppliers and manufacturers offer lower prices on construction materials during the winter months as demand typically tends to be lower. This can present a valuable opportunity for contractors to lock in lower prices on everything from lumber and piping to insulation and roofing materials. This not only saves money on materials but can also free up resources to allocate elsewhere in the project.
Another benefit of winter construction is the reduced demand for construction equipment rental. With fewer projects happening during the winter, many equipment rental companies may be willing to negotiate more favorable rental rates. This can result in lower costs for contractors renting everything from cranes and bulldozers to scaffolding and concrete mixers. By taking advantage of these cost-saving opportunities, contractors can optimize their project budgets, their resources, and consequently provide more value to their clients.
Labor And Material Availability
During the winter months, fewer construction projects are underway, meaning that there’s greater access to skilled labor and subcontractors. This can lead to significant advantages, such as expedited project timelines, more availability, and naturally, lower costs.
One of the top benefits of home construction in the winter is the decreased competition for contractors. This is because homeowners often shy away from construction projects during the winter months, which can result in a smaller pool of contractors vying for available projects. What does this mean for you as a contractor? It can lead to quicker availability of a labor force and subcontractors. Fewer projects mean fewer contractors are competing for the same workers and subcontractors, which can help reduce the length of the project timeline and boost your bottom line.
Easier Access to Materials
It is no secret that there’s generally less demand for construction materials in the winter months, which makes them more readily available. When there’s less pressure on the supply chain, building materials are often more affordable and accessible. This not only makes it easier for contractors to stick to their budget but can also ultimately expedite the completion of the project.
Faster Permit Approvals
Cities may have shorter permit approval times in the winter due to lower demand for construction permits. This can jump-start your project and allow your construction team to get to work sooner. Additionally, with fewer construction projects taking place during the winter months, permit applications may have fewer competing applications, which can make the approval process faster.
You might be inclined to think that home improvement projects should only be done during the warmer months of the year. However, winter construction can be an ideal time for certain maintenance and renovation projects. In fact, many contractors recommend winter as the perfect season to repair or replace roofs, HVAC systems, insulation, electrical work, and decorative projects like interior trim and fixtures. Why?
Better Material Performance
Winter tends to bring more stable conditions, which help avoid fluctuations in moisture levels. As a result, the performance of materials such as concrete, wood, and other common building materials is much better in winter as they are less vulnerable to moisture damage than in summer.
Cost Savings (Again)
Coming full circle with savings, many construction materials come at a lower price since it’s off-peak season. Thus, contractors can save significantly on home renovation projects for their clients, including roof repairs, HVAC systems, insulation upgrades, electrical work, and interior upgrades.
Ideal Conditions For Certain Projects
Winter lends well to some of the more intensive renovation projects, such as roofing, insulation, and HVAC replacement. This is because the colder conditions can help identify potentially problematic areas in your customer’s house that may not be detected during the warmer months, like heat loss and energy savings.
Easier To Schedule Follow-Up Maintenance
Completing renovations in the winter gives a longer period of time to manage follow-up maintenance in preparation for the next season. Your customers will be able to enjoy their new and improved homes during the summer months instead of scrambling to get maintenance done before the chillier weather sets in.
Things To Consider During Winter Construction
While home construction in the winter and winter construction in general can offer a number of benefits, it also comes with its own set of unique challenges. To successfully undertake home construction projects in the winter, contractors need to consider several factors, such as:
Winter season can be unpredictable regarding weather patterns, and contractors need to be prepared for anything. It’s essential to plan accordingly and have appropriate safety measures in place to mitigate any risks associated with cold weather. Investing in high-quality protective gear to protect your workers, implementing safety and risk protocol procedures, and keeping a close eye on the upcoming forecast can make all the difference in solidifying a successful outcome.
Proper Risk Assessments
Cold season conditions can pose various risks to workers on a construction site, ranging from slip-and-fall accidents to hypothermia and frostbite. As such, it is critical to carry out a detailed risk assessment to identify any potential hazards and implement measures to address them. Some effective safety strategies include keeping walkways and work areas clear of ice and snow, ensuring that all workers wear appropriate safety gear, and designing the build to minimize exposure to harsh weather conditions.
Invest in Proper Equipment
Winter construction typically requires specialized equipment. This usually and standardly includes snow removal tools, deicers, heating equipment, etc. to ensure a successful and safe project. As such, make sure you have the right tools and equipment before embarking on a winter construction project.
Plan for More Time
Despite the expedited advantages for labor and material, winter weather can make construction progress slower. Added to the challenge of the weather and less daylight hours, other setbacks such as sickness, winter storms, and unforeseen issues like frozen pipes can also contribute to project delays. As such, it is important to plan accordingly, budgeting extra time to accommodate these potential setbacks.
Partner With Simonson Lumber For Your Winter Construction
Winter is often viewed as a time to hibernate and relax. But for contractors, it can be a time of great opportunity. Despite the popular misconception that construction during the winter months is unfavorable due to the cold weather and snowy conditions, many contractors are discovering the key advantages of winter construction. Not only is there less competition for projects during this time, but home construction in winter offers ample cost savings, flexibility in scheduling, and above all, satisfied customers.
In summary, don’t let the colder weather deter you from taking on new construction projects this winter season, and instead, embrace the benefits and opportunities that can come with it. Contact Simonson Lumber today to learn more about how they can help you succeed with your next winter construction project.