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Can You Build a Jamaica Cottage Shop Design In The Winter Months?

This 20x40 Vermont Cabin is being constructed in the cold, which keeps the lumber from warping. It's not so hard to build in winter.
This 20×40 Vermont Cabin is being constructed in the cold, which keeps the lumber from warping.

Some would say that doing a new construction in the wintertime is crazy, especially if you live in an area with harsh winters like we have in New England. However, it might be less of a hassle than you think to build in winter. We say that constructing one of our designs in the winter has many benefits!

What are those benefits, you ask?

Lower humidity makes winter building better

Humidity is much lower in the winter, and this is great news for your lumber! The high humidity of warmer months can damage lumber, causing it to warp and lose shape. Doing construction may seem more appealing on a hot summer day than a cold winter day. However, the lumber you are using would strongly disagree.

The cold may not be the most comfortable to work in, but it will lessen the threat of having any lumber warp in high humidity. Working outdoors in the heat and high humidity can also be very draining on your body. The frigid air could even help keep you at a more comfortable body temperature.

It is easier to keep snow off your lumber than rain

The weather can help in ways other than just the cold. Rain during the spring and summer can wreak havoc on a job site. It will create mud and potentially damage the lawn where the new construction is going. Sustained rain is also not good for lumber. You can certainly tarp your lumber to keep it as safe as possible from the rain. However, depending on how sustained the rainfall is, a tarp may still allow too much moisture in. Any small rips or tears in the tarp would also allow rain to flow directly on to the lumber. Snow is much easier to keep out of your lumber with a simple tarp. Even small rips and tears won’t be of any major concern.

The area around your build is less likely to be damaged

Construction areas also need space for the lumber and tools, as well as trucks and personnel moving in and out of the space daily. If that space is a firm, partially frozen ground, the concerns of ruining landscape drop exponentially. If there is a layer of snow, it can also help with getting lumber in place, as using skids will help heavy loads glide more easily than they would in warmer weather.

Help is more readily available when you build in winter

This 20x40 Vermont Cabin is nearly finished being built in the winter, and looks beautiful against the snowy landscape.
This 20×40 Vermont Cabin is nearly finished, and looks beautiful against the snowy landscape.

Another perk to a winter build is the availability of contractors. Contractors typically work several jobs at once, which can spread their availability thin. While uncommon, if issues arise with another build, yours could be delayed. If yours is a smaller build, your contractor might not make you the highest priority, which would understandably lead to delays and other issues. The winter months typically slow down for builders, so it may be easier to not only schedule a contractor for the build, but to ensure your project runs on schedule. If you are not doing it all yourself, that is.

You will be better prepared for spring

Building in the winter will also mean that you can focus on landscaping in the spring. If the build is already done and in place, once the ground starts to thaw, you can begin to prepare the area around your new building ready. Since the work is done while the ground is frozen, the area around the building will be in much better shape than it would if construction occurred in the spring or summer. Now, you can plant flowers and hedges that will grow in time with the rest of the fauna. It is also much easier to move in furniture and other household items during the warmer weather. If you were to construct in the warmer months, you might be moving in with snow already on the ground.

Sure, it does sound like working in the winter would be less desirable than in the summer, but with an extra layer of clothes, a winter hat and some nice warm gloves, you could have your new design ready for use once the weather warms up.

If you are looking for a builder to help you construct your Jamaica Cottage Shop design, check out our list of Recommended Assemblers. The people you find on this list are professionals that have some familiarity with our products, and can help you complete your build any time of year!

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