The prospect of adding a custom deck, porch or other outdoor living project to your home just naturally sparks excitement. In the Fall and Winter we often wonder why homeowners who have everything in place to have a project planned and built will then decide to “wait until Spring” to begin. Based on our experience as outdoor structure specialists, we know there is a common misconception that we don’t build in the Fall and Winter… when nothing could be farther from the truth… and here’s why:
There are a number of advantages to building in the cooler Fall and Winter months. The single biggest reason is that there are shorter “design time” lead times in the Fall and Winter because of reduced demands on our time. You may be able to get your project completed in time to enjoy it during the upcoming holidays or before early Spring… well before the beginning of the outdoor living season.
Here is a list of the other five (5) reasons why NOW is the best time to move ahead with your plans to add an outdoor living project.
Since the average daily highs remain above freezing in Central Connecticut for most of the Winter, chances of inclement or freezing weather impacting your project are minimal. The advantages of Fall or Winter construction outweigh any challenges brought on by Mother Nature. As with any construction project there may be some damage to the turf caused by foot traffic. In a Fall/Winter project the turf is more apt to recover more quickly because it has the opportunity to overwinter in time for Spring, taking in valuable nutrients present in precipitation. Some turfs are dormant during the Winter and this aids in quicker recovery as well.
Prices for many building materials we use increase every year – usually during January and February. Moving ahead with your project now instead will insure you are locked into this year’s pricing – and we’ll put that in writing. In addition, outdoor furnishing and accessory sales during the late Fall and Winter can reflect deep discounts as retailers making room for holiday merchandise. This means that getting AND furnishing your new space now may save you a significant amounts of money over waiting until the outdoor living season has begun. Savvy shoppers can have their cake and eat it too!
#3 -Increased Productivity
Another benefit of cool weather construction is productivity. A crew that is working in humid 95 degree weather, even in the shade, is less productive than one that is working outside during cooler months. Less heat = more stamina and less time lost to hydration and rest breaks for the crew. In our experience most Fall & Winter projects are completed in less time than similar projects built during the Summer.
Since humidity levels are much lower during the Fall and Winter, all wood used during construction of your project will “season” more quickly, which means that anything that needs to be painted or stained will be ready for finishing sooner and will accept those finishes more readily. The “wait time” for stain and paint is greater during warmer, humid months and is much shorter during Fall and Winter.
#5 – Your Space Will Be Ready When YOU Are!
That’s right. When the outdoor living season begins and warmer weather is here your outdoor living space will be ready and waiting to bring you years of enjoyment!
One small note: There is one question about cold-weather construction which many homeowners ask us every year: “How can you pour concrete footings when it’s really cold or even freezing outside?” The short answer is “We use a pier technology which eliminates that concern – so we’re able to install piers throughout the year.“ For now we’ll skip the long technical answer but we’ll be happy to discuss this in detail during our first meeting.
Finally, if you are on the fence about when to begin your outdoor project, please keep in mind that lead times – from planning through completion – during Spring and Summer generally runs from 8 to 12 weeks. In Fall and Winter our completion lead time drops to 4-6 weeks. Quicker turn-around will insure you get the full benefit of your outdoor living project when you are ready. There really is no reason to wait…