Building During Winter Months
When is the ideal time of year to commence building work in the UK?
I personally think that there is no real perfect time to start any construction work, as the weather in the UK is so unpredictable. The commercial building sector does not stop construction over the winter months it just operates as normal and follows the necessary rules and accepts that progress maybe a little slower.
There are obviously more factors to consider during the winter mouths; the dark nights can reduce working hours, the risk of heavy frosts and snow are always a possibility.
If the work that you want done is internal only then the external weathers do not really have any impact on building works, however if you are to do external works they can have much more of an effect.
Frost and Snow
With regards to the frost and snow an example of what can happen is in 2013/2014 we had a very mild winter despite a very bad November so this particular year we hardly lost any time due to the weather, on the other hand in the summer of 2012 where we had a lot of storms and rain and we lost more time.
To build using normal cement based products the temperature has to be 4 Celsius and rising otherwise you run the risk of the product never achieving its full strength. When doing any stonework and using specialist N.H.L 3.5 mortar then that temperature must be 5 Celsius and rising.
This rule may mean some days are completely lost, or you may have to start work later and finish earlier depending on the external temperature. It is essential that any cement based product used during winter months is covered over and has two layers of protection, the first being hessian (insulates against frost) and the second should be a lightweight polythene sheet (protects against rain/snow).
Building during winter it is critical that you have a site thermometer to monitor the temperature so that you can start and end your work accordingly. As long as all the necessary precautions are taken and the rules are implemented the work should be fine.
This is not an issues as such but it can cause a little inconvenience especially if you want to stay back and work late to hit a deadline on a project. To address this matter you may have to source out additional lighting etc. to ensure that the site can still operate in a safe and constructive manner.
The reality of building works is time can be lost at any month of the year due to rain, wind, frost, snow or extremes in heat. So there is always a risk regardless of what month you start it just boils down to when you want to start and what Mother Nature’s throws out at that particular period.