With winter arriving, you may be wondering if now is the time to start building your dream home. Building during winter has its pros and cons, but it is definitely possible! We’ve organized and answered some commonly asked questions you may have about winter building…
Frequently Asked Questions
Winter Home Building
1. Can it actually be done?
Yes! New products, methods, and technologies have made it possible to build a home during winter.
2. Is it a good idea to build in the winter?
It really depends on your situation. While it can be done, extra precautions need to be made in order to ensure your home is sound. With that being said, don’t let winter deter you from building your home. A good contractor will plan well and work efficiently, which will keep costs down and assure that your home is being built correctly.
3. What extra precautions need to be made?
Since winter is typically the harshest season, you really need to make sure you protect what is built and protect it well. This is really important during the digging, pouring, and backfilling stages. You have to be conscientious about not letting the ground freeze, otherwise, your house will be settling after the soil thaws, which is not a good thing. Using heaters and extra insulation is usually necessary.
4. Does it take longer to build during the winter?
Realistically, it probably will take a little longer, but not much. No matter the season, there are always factors that influence the time it takes to build a home. During winter, the days are shorter, so the crew works shorter hours. They are also bundled up in warm clothing, so they could be moving slower. It also depends on the weather. Generally, there will be more weather delays in winter.
5. Wouldn’t the snow make it much more difficult to build?
Snow can be a pain for contractors, but they can continue to work while it snows verses rain. If a blizzard rolls through and you get 2 feet of snow, contractors will have to spend time digging out the jobsite. They also have to worry about tarping the house to keep the interior dry and snow-free. But, it is easier to keep snow out of a house versus rain.
6. Does frost affect excavation?
It can, depending on how deep the ground is frozen. This is where snow becomes more of a friend than a foe. Snow is actually a great insulator. When snow covers the ground, it keeps it warmer. Ideally, if you are going to be building throughout winter, it’s better to get all or most excavating done before the ground freezes.
7. Does it cost more to build in the winter?
Labor prices will vary from contractor to contractor. When it comes to materials, the overall cost will probably be higher, but actual individual prices may be lower due to a decrease in demand. Special additives are mixed in with the concrete to prevent issues with the cold weather. Extra insulation, blankets, straw and ground heaters are also needed when the foundation is poured so it sets correctly. You’ll also have to pay for heat while the interior is being worked on, especially to protect things like your plumbing and plaster. All of this should not be a deal-breaker, though. Waiting to build can also have a price tag.
8. How could waiting for spring cost you money?
If you buy property in the fall, you will have to carry the cost of that land throughout the winter. Not only will you likely have to finance that land, but you will also be paying for your current residence. If you already have your permits to build, you will also have to sit on those for a few months, which can get expensive. Spring is also the most popular time to start building and therefore, material demand increases and scheduling becomes more difficult.
9. Are there any advantages to building in the winter?
Of course, there are advantages!
- You’re in your home quicker – obviously, choosing to build in the winter instead of waiting for spring means you’ll be in your new home faster.
- Saving yourself a headache with the yard – during winter, you are inside more, so having your yard torn up isn’t a big deal. Those who start building in the spring usually have to deal with dirt and mud throughout the summer.
- You are building during the “off-season” – that means that not only is it easier to line up contractors, but they are more likely to stay on schedule because they have fewer projects going on at once.
- Faster permits – since it is slower during the winter, government agencies will be less busy, so you can get your permits quicker.
If you're ready to get started on your dream home with a builder that will help you every step of the way, contact Hagen Homes today.