Winter creates a strikingly different environment for construction and commercial contractors. When taking on projects, it’s absolutely vital that general contractors consider these conditions. Here at W.L. Decker we take elements of nature very seriously—from hurricanes to blizzards, we know every change can cost a great deal without the proper preparation. On Construction Dive, author Kim Slowey points out three key tips that could save a build this coming winter.

1. “Protecting Your People”

Working under intense heat can cause many dangers on it’s own, but winter deserves a special attention to safety. Kim points out some of the winter dangers to workers: “slips and falls caused by icy, wet conditions, as well as…winter-related injuries due to cold stress, such as frostbite and hypothermia.” During these intense temperatures, it’s important to give workers shelter to stay warm during fluctuations in temperature, a spot to warm up can mean the difference between a safe build, and an workplace injury.

2. “Protecting Your Schedule”

When scheduling projects in the winter, your schedule needs to account for days when snow will push things back. “A contractor may experience delays early in a project,” says Construction Dive, “that cause it to be outside doing tasks such as concrete work, for example, during the dead of winter when it should already be working on the structure.” In order to avoid these tricky situations, commercial contractors needs to look at average snow and rainfall for the project location. Keeping these and material costs—like extra lumber and tarps—in mind is essential to staying on schedule.

3. “Getting Started Early”

As with almost any work, being prepared and getting a head start will always come in handy. Getting all exterior work done well before bad weather is a threat is a great way to accomplish that. In her article on Construction Dive, Kim says, “the steep costs associated with weatherizing projects make planning ahead essential. And the more detailed the contract is, the less likely there is to be any ambiguity about who pays for what when bad weather hits.” That’s something we value very deeply here at W.L. Decker; clear and concise communication. Making sure our partners are all on the same page when going into a project is absolutely essential to our success.


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You can read the rest of Kim’s article here.