Myth Busters on Winter Building

Over the years many myths have been created about winter building and like so many other myths they become accepted as a fact.

MYTH # 1. Concrete poured in the winter contains additives that make the concrete weaker.

FACT: Calcium chloride is added to the concrete mix to accelerate the curing process in cold weather conditions.  Concrete with additives compared to concrete without additives is not significantly different in strength, when both are fully cured. Concrete walls with additives in the mixture do meet building code requirements.

Obviously, there are low temperature limits when pouring concrete. There are ways to protect newly poured concrete from the cold such as blankets or straw, but even this type of protection has limits to their effectiveness and waiting out a cold snap may be the best approach.

MYTH # 2.  Cold weather will damage lumber that is exposed to the elements in the framing stage.

FACT: The lumber industries continue to develop procedures that are used in the milling process that inhibit the effects of poor weather.

Framing lumber is kiln dried and delivered to the job site at 18%-19% of moisture content. This is the case throughout the entire year and it is when ambient humidity becomes a factor. Homes under construction must be heated in the winter and in conjunction with the low humidity the drying out is accelerated.

MYTH # 3. Workmanship will suffer when construction workers are working against the frigid weather.

FACT: Most everyone would prefer to have perfect 72 degree weather to perform their work in but contractors have accepted the fact that they will need to perform in all types of climates year round.

MYTH # 4. Homes built in the winter are priced higher than homes built in the summer.

FACT: While it can be true that there are additional expenses to account for to get a project completed in the winter, compared to the overall cost of the project they are relatively insignificant. These additional costs may however, be the least of two evils when one takes into account that the price for materials and labor usually increase in early spring. These price increases can easily exceed any additional expenses related to cold weather construction.

Call JEMM to answer your Myths!