Most of us in Pennsylvania put off thinking about construction work until the ground thaws, the days get longer and the temperatures begin to rise. In reality, however, now is the best time to plan for upcoming projects.
Programming the different phases of the construction project and organizing contractors and subcontractors during the winter can be advantageous for multiple reasons, including:
- Better contractor availability,
- More time to get and compare quotes,
- Easier to obtain permits,
- Time to plan for complications.
There are also a host of advantages to consider for beginning construction work during the winter season.
Why You Should Plan a Construction Project in the Winter
Because contractors and subcontractors are busiest during the spring and summer months, winter is a good time to consult with them. You will be able to meet with a few candidates who you are considering hiring and have time to make a decision about the best contractor for the construction or renovation job. They will also have more flexibility in the offseason to sit down and plan the project with you. Take the time now to discuss the details which are important to you and organize all the various steps of the process.
Planning a construction project in the winter can help you stick to the budget. You will have more time to request estimates, compare them and choose the supplier promising the best service or the lowest price. This will help you contain prices for the overall budget and program the bigger expenditures.
Applying for building permits and waiting for approval before starting construction work can cause big delays. Because the local permit offices have less applications to process during the winter, applying now can help speed up the process considerably.
Review the current building codes in your state: Pennsylvania Building Codes. Find out which local permits you will need to request for the construction project: Philadelphia Department of Licenses & Inspections.
Plan for Complications
Unfortunately, delays are a common problem for construction and remodeling work. Starting to organize a project in the winter will give you ample time to plan ahead. Use these slower months to meet with contractors, architects, engineers, suppliers and other important members of the team to make sure everyone is on the same page. This will help avoid costly communication problems and delays once building work is underway.
Advantages to Beginning a Construction Project in the Winter
Besides planning the project in the winter, there are further benefits for actually starting construction before spring. Consider these factors when thinking about the best time to move forward with your building or renovation plans.
- If your business experiences seasonal variations, you should consider organizing construction work around that. For companies that usually get a higher influx of customers and sales in the spring and summer, winter is the optimal time to plan work. This will minimize the impact and disruption that it has on customers and employees.
- During the winter, subcontractors are less likely to have scheduling conflicts. Ensuring that they can get their part of the job done on time can significantly reduce downtime and delays for the next steps. Having more time to dedicate to your project can help keep everything running according to schedule.
- Contrary to popular belief, winter is not the worst time to break ground. Frozen soil may make excavating and pouring the foundation easier than in the hot, humid summer months.
- Union rates tend to increase from June through October. This coincides with the peak months of building season. That means that programming work for the winter can help lower construction costs.
Find more helpful information about outlining a successful project: The Ultimate Checklist for Starting a Building Remodel Project.
Looking for a Contractor?
Meet with the experienced contractors at ACA to discuss your construction or remodeling plans. We would be happy to discuss your options, talk about the details which are important to you, and provide an estimate. ACA offers headache-free contracting services for residential and commercial projects.