To an outsider, one might think of Minnesota as a relatively slow if not completely stagnant time for new construction. In reality, it’s not only possible to build year-round in Minnesota, but there are advantages to building during the colder months. Don’t believe us? Check out these reasons why building in the winter is a good idea.
Snow is Better than Rain
Hear us out–it’s not about the cold. One of the biggest challenges to a construction crew is moisture. Snow is much easier to control than rainwater. It can be controlled and removed much easier than rainwater. Snow is also relatively a good insulator as it traps air, the very foundation of good insulation systems used today. While areas under our roadways freeze sometimes as deep as 6’, undisturbed fields often have frost merely 12” below the surface. Our crews need to “expose and cover” while we work, though we don’t fight the frost as much as some people think.
Much of the Work Can Still Be Done Indoors
Once the bones of a structure are up and enclosed, the rest of the work can be completed within the building itself. The exterior of the building can be wrapped in a temporary vapor barrier and even heated to keep workers more comfortable than in the exposed elements. We often rely on existing mechanical systems or temporary systems to heat the space, but if we can keep heat in, much of the work returns to a relatively normal pattern as traditional construction.
Construction Staff are More Available
The summer months have a lot of available work. You will see and hear construction companies scrambling to find workforces during the summer and fall months. In winter, work has traditionally been scarcer. There is less overtime occurring and more available crews to complete the work. Good construction companies find ways to stay steady in the winter and harvest in the summertime and fall.
Getting a Permit is Easier
Two factors in a construction project’s timeline are materials and time. One unique item that takes time is procuring a building permit. Simply speaking, most people plan to start a project once spring returns or sometime in the summer months, creating an abundance of permit applications from March through October. The winter season sees fewer permit delays as there are fewer projects to review. Approval times and review periods are much shorter, and often, much easier.
It’s Not All Rainbows
While there are benefits to winter construction, it doesn’t mean it is best to move your construction period into winter. We do tend to spend more to create a controlled construction space. It may be some sort of temporary enclosed structure, ground thaw units that utilize hoses, heated water, blankets, a generator, temporary heaters, straw, blankets, or a combination of these to get work done.
We have studied many projects that occur over many seasons, and the most successful projects are well planned and met with consistency. Once things start changing and come unplanned are when extra dollars are spent and groups grow frustrated.
Here at BCI Construction, we encourage our clients to plan ahead and consider all outcomes. We act as a professional guide service to share our experience and wisdom. If you are looking for an expert planning and coordination team with a passion for their work, look no further than BCI Construction.