When it comes time to build a home, there are several assumptions that people make. One of these assumptions has to do with the season that you are building in. “Don’t build in winter,” is a common assumption, but after a closer look at the reasoning behind this statement, it turns out that a lot of this advice is based on myths. From concrete to workers, here are four myths about building a house in the winter.
During the winter months, calcium chloride is added to concrete. This helps it harden faster, so that the process can be done quicker. However, this concrete is still up to code and has worked well for years. Of course, there is a limit to how cold it can get before you can no longer pour concrete, but even with this issue, there are still ways to protect and warm concrete while it dries. As long as the concrete is not poured during an extreme cold snap, it will be fine.
Extreme cold will not damage lumber while your house is being built. Lumber yards work very hard, in fact, to bring wood that is not going to be destroyed or warped in cold weather. The lumber used in framing will be dried and only has around eighteen percent moisture in it. High humidity is more of a problem. If snow is cleared off of the lumber before it melts, and the wood is given time to dry, the lumber will be fine. It is going to have to withstand extreme temperatures and weather as part of your house eventually.
Significantly Higher Costs
While there will be additional expenses when building in the winter, like ground thawing equipment for construction, these pieces are well-worth the additional expense. Overall, these expenses are considered by many to be fairly small, with spring costs being even higher. Pieces of equipment like the ground thawing equipment can help make the concrete pouring easier and more convenient. Some companies are even willing to work with builders, to keep their crews employed year-round. Either way, the costs are not significantly higher in the winter.
Lack of Workers
Although no one particularly enjoys working outside in the snow, it is also true that, generally speaking, construction workers are a rather tough group of people. There are always going to be problems with weather during a project, and many people would jump at a chance to have a job, even in winter. Of course, some people prefer working in the cold to the heat or the rain, so it all comes down to personal preference. Plus, if they’re working on the inside, this can all be solved with a couple of space heaters! Regardless, there are workers willing to work in the winter.
Despite the added expenses that might crop up while building in the winter, for the most part the stories about trouble with winter building are myths. Snow can be a wonderful insulator, and there are pieces of ground thawing equipment that can help the construction crews get the ground ready to go. If building during the winter is your best option, talk to your builder and find out what your options are.