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What you Need to Know About Winter Home Building

One of the advantages of living in the South? Winter is not the same cold, crummy stretch of months that our neighbors to the north endure. Still, when it comes to construction, things do change with winter home building. This article shares the pros and cons and covers what you need to know if you plan on winter construction.

Winter home building can have both advantages and disadvantages. On the pro side, winter home construction can be more efficient as the contractors may be more productive with fewer projects competing for their time. Getting permits can also be quicker as regulatory authorities may have fewer requests to process in winter months.

By building in the winter months you may also get the benefit of seeing how your property will handle heavy weather conditions. Plus, you may see less wear and tear on the landscape from workers and their heavy equipment as the ground is harder when frozen. Your construction might also benefit from snow — although this is the Carolinas — as water from snow helps compact newly laid gravel, creating an excellent base for concrete work.

Other considerations for winter home building

At the same time, frost, ice, snow, and sleet can frustrate foundation digging and setting stages. Rough grading, which backfills foundation walls and slants the land surrounding the home to drain water away, calls for dry ground. So, that has to wait if there’s snow.

Your builder might also hold off on creating driveways, building concrete stairs, installing fencing, or exterior painting. It depends on the conditions and the project management. The cold could also affect equipment negatively. Still, snow can actually be easier to deal with than heavy rains.

The weather could mean some higher costs as well. The builder may have to heat water or aggregates to pour concrete, which adds to energy costs. If frozen soil needs rock hammering, framing needs dehumidifiers for drying, or your builder needs to use or rent a ground heater and concrete blankets, that could also push the budget up. On the other hand, you might also save money on costs if your contractors are not as busy and willing to discount their work.

Debunking winter home building myths


While we’re at it, you may have heard about some common winter home building. These include:

  • Concrete poured in winter is weaker.
  • Lumber can suffer adverse effects in cold weather.
  • Workmanship won’t be high quality because workers are fighting the elements.

Since we started out calling these myths, you know they are not true. First, let’s talk about the people doing the work. They are used to working in all sorts of weather conditions. While working outdoors year-round may not be for you, construction workers are professionals.

While we’re talking about hardy resilience, let’s also address the concrete and lumber concerns. Yes, in an ideal world, every home would be built on a perfectly sunny and mild weather day. That’s not going to happen and both concrete and lumber manufacturers know it.

Framing lumber is milled and kiln-dried accordingly. It’s treated to survive weather, sun, wind, and rain for days or weeks, or even months. Plus, builders know to remove any snow before it melts on lumber so as to avoid working with wet wood. Any quality builder is going to protect your home’s materials from any weather conditions.

As for concrete, yes calcium chloride is often added to the concrete mix to accelerate curing in cold weather conditions. However, concrete with additives is not significantly different in strength when fully cured.

Quality home building all year round

The other big myth around winter home building? That construction has to grind to a halt in the colder weather. This entire blog disproves that notion. Good home builders will know how to get their work done all year long. We know you want to be in your home sooner rather than later. So, we work throughout the seasons to have new properties available to you.

Learn more about Saussy Burbank’s high-quality craftsmanship. Contact us today.

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