Sunday, May 5, 2013

We want to build a custom home but can't start in the spring, is it ok to start in another season?


Q:
We want to build a custom home but aren’t able to start it in the spring, can we start construction later in the year?

A:
Even though spring is the best time to start building your new custom home it isn’t the only time that you can start building a home.

The reason that general contractors recommend that you start building in the spring is because everyone involved in building homes is not overwhelmed with work like they are later in the year. This also gives you the maximum amount of potential good weather to be building the structure of your home.

Here is a brief summary of the challenges per season when you don’t start in the spring;

Summer:

This is the best time other then the spring to build a house, but in the summer general contractors, sub contractors and suppliers are at their busiest. This can cause delays in the building process as you have to wait for important sub-trades to become available. It is also when the best weather is available to be framing houses. For digging foundations, landscaping or general grading the summer is idea because the ground conditions are usually at its driest. It’s actually more preferable to dig a hole starting in the summer then in the spring because you don’t have all the mud to deal with. Hot summers can cause delays in building as well, if temperatures are to warm then sub-trades like concrete and insulation installers will have a harder time working around the heat for safety reasons.

Fall:

This is a very popular time for people to start building new homes. I lot of people do not want to start building a new home because they have other commitments throughout the summer but once September arrives and the kids go back to school then house building sees a bump in business. The fall is still a good time to start building a house as long as you start early enough so that you can get the house framed and the roof on before the weather turns to winter. Although sometimes you can really be slowed down with rain in the fall it is the last chance you have before winter to get the home framed and closed in. You will also be pressured to get the house closed in with Christmas slowing you down right in the middle of insulating and drywalling.
A major draw back about starting in the fall is that you don’t know when winter will start, so if you have stone to be laid on the outside of your home, chances are that it will have to wait till the spring to be installed unless you want to pay to tarp and heat the area’s where they are installing stone. Heating the home through the winter with portable heaters is another drawback, though easily done it can be a little hard on your hydro bill until the house gets to the point where you can turn the homes heating system on without damaging it.

Winter:

Winter is the most undesirable season to start building your home. But it’s not impossible to start building  a home in the winter. Some winters can be warm and light with little snow allowing you to work in almost fall like conditions for a lot of the season. Other winters are a deep freeze with endless snow, these winters are the challenge when you are trying to build your home.
If you start your home in the winter you will save on having to heat it, the time it takes to frame the home will take most of the winter, when it comes time to drywall the building it will be spring and will require a lot less temporary heat depending on the spring conditions.

Today’s modern construction techniques allow general contractors to start building homes all year long, so if you really can’t start in the spring then don’t be afraid to start it in other seasons, it can be done even with the above mentioned difficulties.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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