Construction in Winter?! Why this may be the perfect time to start your construction project
As the weather cools down, there is no reason for your construction plans to follow suit. Although winter construction does pose a few challenges, most can be overcome (or planned around). There are many advantages to scheduling your construction project now.
The most important and significant advantage to starting work in winter is that general contractors and subcontractors are generally less busy during winter months. Thus, they are more available to do your work. This sets off a variety of related benefits.
1. Less downtime
Scheduling conflicts with subcontractors are a top reason projects miss deadlines. It takes a lot of strategizing and careful planning to make all the pieces of a project fall into place, and project managers build time into production schedules assuming there will be delays at some point. If one element of a project is delayed, there is a domino effect on all the work that follows. With less work typically being done in winter, there is less competition for subcontractors’ time. That makes it easier to keep your project on schedule. It may even mean your project will be completed more quickly due to less downtime.
Because less construction is going on in winter, there are fewer permit submittals. That translates to quicker approval by municipalities. Many cities and townships can get overwhelmed with building requests during the busy summer construction season. Depending on the size of your project and the amount of required permits, licenses and inspections, delays with municipalities can add significant time to your project. Submitting your requests and completing your work during “off” months can shave off weeks of permit approval times.
2. Possible price breaks
General contractors and subcontractors are motivated to fill their schedules in winter and keep their staff busy. This is particularly true for internal remodels, which will not add cost to the process because they are not weather dependent. Talk to your project manager about what you might save in overall cost if you schedule your project during slower months.
Another factor that may impact overall project cost is that unions standardly increase their rates in June, just as the heavy construction season is gearing up. Starting and completing your project before then can save you money.
3. Less interruption to employees and customers
As we continue to battle the national pandemic and resulting impact on face-to-face business, most companies – particularly those in the retail segment – are seeing reduced in-store traffic. The after-holiday slow down will only exasperate the situation. That provides a perfect opportunity to tackle the remodel you’ve been considering with minimized impact on your customers and staff.
4. Advance planning for larger projects can accelerate your spring project
If you are planning a ground-up project for 2021, you can realize some of these benefits by starting your project timeline now. Oftentimes contractors can get started on site preparation, including demolition and tree removal, so you are ready to get started as soon as the ground thaws. Additionally, locking in subcontractors now for work to be completed in spring will help you avoid delays later.
Of course, there are certain construction projects that lend themselves to being performed more easily in winter. Tenant improvements, buildouts, remodels, interior finishes – anything where you are staying within an existing exterior shell – are ideal for obvious reasons. However, advancements in equipment and careful planning can make even outdoor winter construction feasible.
For more information about Peter Schwabe, Inc.'s winter construction services, please contact Michael Gilbert, Director of Business Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262.352.9786.
Project Profile: Community Building at Frontier Park
Peter Schwabe, Inc. completely renovated the Village of Butler Community Building at Frontier Park. Now a gorgeous facility, it has become a welcoming venue for community concerts, family gatherings and weddings. The renovation boasts a fully modernized event room with acoustic panels and all-new windows, lighting and flooring. There is a fully functional kitchen with a pass-through concessions service window to serve the adjacent volleyball court and baseball/softball fields. The restrooms and storage rooms also received a full face-lift.