If you've always thought that harsh winter weather made new construction impossible during a few months of the year, you’ll be pleased to learn you don’t need to wait until the spring to build a new home. Experienced builders are able to work in almost any type of weather with good planning and a focus on completing as much as possible. Read on to see what the home building process really looks like in the winter.
Builders Work Year-Round
Good builders are able to work in all seasons. They take certain precautions such as using heaters when building in the winter to get the job done right. This is no different than taking other special steps when building in the spring, summer, or fall, too.
While workers definitely prefer working on the interior design during the winter months, it’s still possible to frame your home during the winter. If this season is the best time for you to buy, talk to an Area Manager about what your timeline will look like.
Some Things Do Have to Wait
At the same time, there are a few things that simply can’t be done during the winter months. For instance, the rough grading–which makes sure that the foundation walls are backfilled and that the land surrounding the home is slanted to drain water away from the home–can only be done when the ground is dry. If there’s snow, the workers can’t do it.
During the winter, this can mean a bit of a wait. Builders also typically do not create driveways, build concrete stairs to the entrance of the home, install fencing, or paint the exterior during the winter months. This will all be explained to you when you discuss the contract. Each situation is unique and timelines can move up, though.
Winter-Built Homes Are Just as Strong as Summer-Built Homes
Since you know that materials can expand and contract with heat and cold, it’s natural to think this might affect a home’s sturdiness. Fortunately, this is not something that you need to be concerned with. Whether a home is built in the winter or the summer, it still has to be built to the same safety standards and building codes.
You Won’t Miss Out on Anything
Many people assume that you won’t be able to move into your home until all of the work listed in the contract is completely finished, but this isn’t always the case. Certain things like landscaping and fencing may need to wait until warmer weather, but you can still move into your home as long as the home itself is finished and passes inspections.
A good builder will set a more appropriate date for these finishing touches and will come back when the weather is cooperating. You don’t have to worry about not getting all of the same features your neighbours have.
A Winter-Built Home Could Save Money
Since sales can be sluggish during the winter months, builders tend to offer their best promotions at this time. This makes it the perfect time to snag a great deal on your home.
With incentives like free upgrades, you could get the home of your dreams at a lower price, or you might be able to add a few extras you never dreamed you could afford. Either way, you stand to gain a lot by visiting show homes in the winter.
Snow Is Easier to Handle
Many people worry about building in the winter, picturing piles of snow settling on the inside of their home's frame. Surprisingly, it’s easier to protect building materials from snow than it is from rain. Any time there’s likely to be precipitation, builders take care to cover the areas that might be affected by rain or snow.
In most cases, the snow that piles up just sits there. Builders simply brush it off the next day. A good builder is careful to protect the building materials in any type of weather, and snow is no different.
The Timing Could Work Out Better
Many families try hard to plan the timing of their move. Some try to make sure they get into the new home during the summertime so that kids can make friends before school starts. Others plan to list their home in the spring when the housing market starts to take off.
Knowing that it typically takes around a year to build a new home, these people tend to think that the spring or summer is the best time to start the process of buying a new home. It’s always smart to confirm timelines with a builder, as this varies. If their timeline is shorter, it might require a winter build to line up with your desired move-in schedule.
Quick Possession Homes Are Plentiful
Some builders take advantage of the slow sales by starting work on quick possession homes. These are brand-new homes built with popular floor plans and features, saving you the time it takes to build from the ground up. In many cases, these homes are only partially finished, and you still have the opportunity to make decisions about the interior look.
Depending on when the builder started this home, you may even be able to move in just a few short months. These deals aren’t always available in the summer.
Don’t be afraid to purchase your new home in the winter. A good builder knows what precautions are needed in cold weather and can help bring you closer to owning your dream home.
If building in the winter is on your radar, but you're concerned about your ability to sell your current house, check out our post on How to Sell Your Home Fast in Winter.