Building a House in The Winter | Christine Cowern Team

| Homeowners

Walking through the city, it’s not unusual to see condo buildings under construction in the wintertime. While most of us are hurrying between our errands and spending as little time in the cold as possible, construction workers are hustling to make sure that these properties are ready for the spring. So, as someone looking to build their own house, this may spark the question: building a house in the winter, good or bad idea?

Logically, one would assume that the home building season stops once the freezing temperatures hit, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Below we’ve shared some insight on the benefits of building a house in the winter, as well as outlined the disadvantages – so bundle up and read on!

Canadian money

You may be able to get a better deal on labour.

Homebuilders, trades and contractors are usually less busy during the winter as it’s considered the slow time of year. Since most people prefer to build in the summer, you may be able to negotiate better pricing if you’re willing to build during the off-season.


reams of building permits

The permitting process will likely be faster.

Whether you’re renovating a home or building completely from scratch, the city you live in will require you to have necessary permits in order to build. Because winter is considered the offseason for building, city offices tend to have less going on and therefore you’re likely to have your building permits approved faster.


patio bbq

Your home will be ready for landscaping during the prime season.

Of course, the house itself is the most important part – but what about the rest of the property? Depending on the length of time your project will take, when building a house in the winter, it can easily be ready to move in by the spring, which is the perfect time to start planting. Enjoy backyard BBQs to the fullest and ensure utmost curb appeal just in time for the summer!


So, sounds pretty good right? Although there are most definitely advantages, there are also some precautions that must be taken when building a home in the winter.


Expect possible delays when building a house in the winter.

Although most homebuilders are well equipped and experienced with cold-weather building, there’s always the possibility that building a house in the winter can lead to delays occurring, mainly due to extreme low temperatures. Plain and simple, building in the cold weather is less comfortable for workers, so the overall process will likely be slower. Inclement weather could also pose commuting challenges for site workers, which could lead to scheduling delays or even absence from the job site.


refinishing the fence

Material costs could be higher.

In some cases, ensuring that building materials and environment are winter-proof takes special additives. For example, a concrete base will require calcium chloride in order to accelerate the curing process in colder temperatures, and the job site may require extra heating to keep materials and workers warm while the interior aspects such as plumbing and windows are installed. These costs can add up, so it’s important to talk them out with your builder and adjust your budget if needed.


frost on leaves

There are more challenges with cold weather.

In addition to the extra costs, building in the winter is more difficult than when the weather is warm. There are some elements of a home that cannot be constructed when the ground is frozen or snow covered, such as framing – this will need to be done either before or after the frost. As mentioned above, materials and environment will also need to be adjusted for the colder temperatures – although for seasoned Canadian builders, this will likely not be an issue!


Well, there you have it – the pros and cons of building during the coldest time of year. Whether or not you should build a home in the winter is based on your personal preference, but we hope that we’ve given you some insight on planning for the process if you choose to do so! If you have questions, leave them in the comment section below, or send a message using the form. Better yet, if you have experience with building in the winter, let us know how we can improve this post!

If you’re thinking of building a home, email or call us (416-291-7372) and let us know how we can help! Whether you’re looking for land, or need to sell your current property, we’re here for you. Or, simply fill out the form below to get in touch.

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