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Pros And Cons Of Winter Construction

by | Dec 22, 2022 | Facilities Management, Productivity

winter construction
Photo: Adobe Stock – Serhii

Nichole Shahverdi

During the winter, many facility executives halt construction or postpone new projects until the next spring. However, if you’re looking for a way to reduce real estate costs, working through the winter may be beneficial.

Should you build during the colder months? Are you looking to make big moves before spring rolls around? If you’re on the fence, consider the pros and cons of winter construction.

Pros

Less Expensive: One of the main advantages of winter construction is that it is often cheaper. Many facility executives plan to get work done around spring or summer when it’s much warmer, creating a high demand for contractor services. However, winter months fall into the off-season period, and builders tend to tack their prices down. Thus, if you’re working with a tight budget, consider checking rates and speaking to contractors now.

Less Competition For Labor: During warmer months, prices are just one expense that goes up in the market. Laborers also become scarce, and you might have to wait several weeks or months for your contractor to have a free schedule. This timing can mess up your deadlines, especially if you don’t plan properly. Facility executives should consider hiring a contractor to come when there’s less rush. With more contractors available, you can negotiate and find the best one for your project. Contractors will have more time to focus with less projects on the table.

Easier To Get A Permit: As highlighted earlier, more people gravitate toward construction projects in the spring and summer. That means the authorities granting permits for such projects are swamped with work. Since colder months have slower traffic, you can quickly get your permit and move on with construction.

It Keeps You On Track: Many people shy away from hiring a contractor during winter because the weather can make it hard to stay on track. While there’s some truth to that, it might not affect you, depending on how harsh your winter is. In some states, you could have multiple sunny winter days that make it easy to get your work done. Sometimes, it is easier to stick to your timeline than in the spring when the rains start.

Cons

Working In Winter Weather Conditions: The most apparent disadvantage of a winter construction project is battling the elements. Melted snow or ice can make it hard to break ground or set up necessary construction materials to get projects done. Sudden snow storms may force you suspend projects for days.

Higher Heating Bill: Temperature drops may hinder construction materials workers intend to use. So, money saved on labor may end up going toward a higher heating bill. In addition, there may be higher costs associated with workers needing to bring in special tools that can withstand the cold, weatherproofing their materials, and shoveling snow daily to stay on track.

Impact To Work Productivity: Finally, workers’ productivity and efficiency may suffer in cold weather. Fewer hours of daylight can lead to fewer working hours. The temperature can also take a toll on the workers as they battle colds and dampen work morale. You also must consider that more effort goes into menial tasks like heating more water, snow removal, and temporary lighting.

Carefully consider the pros and cons of winter construction to determine if it’s the best fit for you, the facility, and for the project in mind.

Shahverdi is the Director of Operations for Bay Property Management Group. Prior to taking over operations and marketing, Shahverdi worked as the Director of Leasing where she worked daily with investors and property owners to market and lease homes throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, DC and Northern Virginia and ensure maximum ROI on their investments.

Click here for more news and insights about facility management in winter conditions. 

Read the full article "Pros And Cons Of Winter Construction" on Facility Executive Magazine.

Facility Executive Magazine