Why winter might just be the optimum time to get started on site

Building In Winter

With concerns around the negative impacts of winter weather on build schedules, conventional wisdom puts spring or summer as the optimum time to push forwards on-site with a self-build project. Building through the winter months is generally perceived to be a bad idea, but is this justified?

At Fleming Homes, we believe that winter can be the ideal time to build. Here’s why….

Building works can be broken down into two distinct phases: messy work and clean work. The messy work starts at the beginning of a project and is largely associated with the construction phase; groundworks, erecting the structure and building works. Clean works come later and are characterised by all the finishing detail such as painting, decorating and soft landscaping.

Ironically, popular thought leads to messy work taking place during “clean weather” when it is clear and dry, and then clean works running into “messy weather” when it is wet and muddy. Consequently, it is not unusual for finishing details to get delayed until the clean months are back upon us pushing build schedules over by months.   

We regularly see self-builders looking to break ground during clean weather months and project start dates delayed to coincide with this “optimal start” time. Scheduling around temperateness is based largely on the fear of bad weather and the risk of delays associated with this. But just how risky is a winter start?

There is method in the perceived madness of a messy weather start. Put simply, this allows a logical sequencing of the various work phases to be aligned with the complementary seasons. The messy construction work can take place during the messy weather months, allowing cleaner work to take place during the spring and summer.

If you choose timber frame as your structural system you are off to a good start when it comes to stacking the odds in your favour for speed of construction. This is one of the most compelling benefits of building with timber frame. However, a less well-recognised advantage is the fact that the speed of erecting a timber frame home in winter varies little compared to erecting in warmer months.

With just a couple of weeks to erect a timber frame kit your build schedule can factor in follow on trades quickly thereafter, meaning there is less risk of slippage compared to a traditional masonry build. In this respect choosing to start a timber frame self-build in December, January or February makes sense. There is every chance your messy works can be completed during the messy weather and with more control over your build schedule you are free to get on with your finishing details during the clean months.

For more information on getting started on-site with your timber frame, contact our knowledgeable team who are on hand to help you understand why waiting out the winter isn’t necessarily the only option for optimum timeframes.

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