The kids are back at school and you’re back to reality. If you’re in the middle of a veterinary clinic construction project or starting one soon, you’re probably sweating the return of colder weather, too.
At Scott Build, we always factor in the season when we provide our value-engineered estimates to our vet clinic clients. Starting a project in the late summer, fall, or winter can be tricky, but with the proper preparation, completing a construction project in the colder months is possible. Here’s what to expect for your fall and winter build and the steps we take to make sure you, your site, and our team stay safe and productive.
Get the Digging Done Early
Frozen ground poses the largest challenge for winter construction projects. When the ground and materials freeze, moisture gets trapped as ice within the soil and the materials. Once it thaws in the springtime, this moisture melts, causing settling. This can be a disaster if you’ve already built on top of the slab.
Whenever possible, we try to dig foundations and pour concrete before the ground freezes for the season. This avoids any chance of moisture freezing and getting trapped in the soil around your building or within the foundation materials. It also avoids possible weakness in the concrete, which can chip or crumble in cold temperatures. However, it is possible to dig and pour concrete when temperatures dip below freezing. It requires expertise and experience as well as additives that add to the cost of the project. This is just another reason to dig and lay a foundation before winter conditions set in.
Plan for Shorter Work Days
Shorter days mean that work crews may be limited by daylight. Starting a project in fall or winter will require site lighting to make sure workers can do their jobs. The sooner we can erect your building’s walls and roof, the less winter’s short days affect your project timeline. If your vet clinic is well underway before the time change, your project’s progress can continue even when the sun goes down.
Consider Temperature and Fuel Use
Colder temperatures not only affect how fast and safely crews can work, they can increase the fuel costs for your project. Machinery and other tools, such as cement mixers, can be less fuel efficient in freezing temperatures. Others require temperatures to be above freezing to function at all. Fueling machinery and heaters in fall and winter can be more expensive than during the warmer months. This is even more reason to get started on your project sooner rather than later. Working in winter conditions can be tricky, but with proper planning, your vet clinic construction project can move forward regardless of the season. Scott Build is the Master Builder with the experience and expertise to prepare your site for winter conditions and create a project timeline that minimizes interruptions due to the season. Get in touch with our team to get started on your project.