3 Winter Home Building Myths

December 27, 2017

Many would-be homeowners delay building their dream home until the spring. Their reasoning is often based on a variety of myths, and winter ends up with a bad reputation when it comes to new construction. Winter is a great time to build a custom home. If you were planning to delay building your dream home because of winter, make sure it’s not due to any of these winter home building myths:

Myth 1: “Winter Weather Delays Construction”

After living through the weather here in Pennsylvania, it’s tough to picture anyone working outdoors during winter at all. We’ve seen white-out blizzards, golf-ball hail, freezing sleet, and mighty gusts – just in last few years alone! But there is some good news: while winter truly is a force to behold, so are people.

Will Contractors Work in the Winter?

Absolutely. Contractors embrace all sorts of weather to get the job done. They are expected to build during spring storms, summer heat, and fall winds and don’t shy away from the winter cold. In reality, many builders prefer the cold to the blistering heat of some summer days. They can simply wear coats in the winter, after all. You can’t escape the heat as easily.

Does Snow Delay Construction?

Snow isn’t the almighty stopping force that many people think it is. Contractors don’t mind flurries, and actually prefer snow to heavy rain any day. Usually, they can toss up a tarp and continue working unbothered. That being said, too much ice or temperatures below 20 degrees may cause difficulties during exterior work. If this is the case, contractors will just shift to interior work that day – a minor inconvenience, at most.

Myth 2: “Building in Cold Weather Makes Materials Weaker”

As anyone trapped outside during winter can attest, the cold is brutal. In the winter, your morning newspaper freezes solid, your car won’t start, and everything becomes brittle. It’s tough not to think the cold will damage building materials. Fortunately, this myth isn’t true.

Does the Cold Reduce Concrete’s Strength?

The colder it gets, the longer concrete takes to set. Even though this is inevitable, people have found a way to overcome nature! To combat cold, calcium chloride is added as an accelerant. Using the additive ensures that concrete sets on a similar timetable in the winter as concrete set during warmer weather.

The misconception that the additive reduces concrete’s strength is simply not true. Concrete with and without calcium chloride retains similar strength – and both meet building codes.

Does the Winter Weaken Lumber During Framing?

A big myth concerning lumber and snow has been circulating for some time: that snow lying on lumber weakens its integrity. Although there is some truth to the idea that moisture is harmful to lumber, snow isn’t as moist as weather can get. In fact, more humid climates and rainy seasons can be worse for the lumber overall.

As long as someone brushes it off, the snow is nothing to worry about. Moisture absorption rates in lumber are significantly lower in winter than in summer.

Myth 3: “Building in the Winter is More Expensive”

With the perceived transportation difficulties and material scarcity, it stands to reason than anyone would think winter building is pricier than any other season. However, winter incentives tend to negate the extra costs.

Won’t Materials Cost More for Contractors During Winter?

Some materials, like certain types of lumber, may come at a higher cost to the contractor at different times of the year. That being said, the winter might not be one of those times. Lumber mills often offer discounts to contractors during slower times, like the winter. So, winter may very well wind up providing cost-savings instead.

Won’t Contractors Charge Me More Over Winter?

Not at all! Many contractors are happy for the work during the winter. In addition, they may offer incentives just like their suppliers – because winter tends to be a slow time for contractors, too. They may include certain seasonal charges, like topsoil or heaters, but overall the process will be less expensive.

Fact: Winter can be Prime Building Time

So many potential homebuyers write off the winter because of these winter home building myths – don’t be one of them! If you have a dream home in mind, don’t let the winter slow you down. Our contractors will brave the cold to make your dream come true.

If you’re looking to build a custom home, look no further. Contact Custom Home Group with any ideas, questions, or comments today!