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When is the best time of year to start your project? Here are a few things to consider.
By Wendy Oct 11, 2019

When is the best time of year to start your project? Here are a few things to consider.

When considering a commercial construction project, you may wonder what’s the best time of year to begin. Is it more ideal to break ground in the spring when the weather improves? Or are there benefits to building in the so-called “off-season”?  Truth be told, there are benefits to starting your project any time of year or any season.  However, there are considerations to take into account.

Spring

Construction generally begins to ramp up in spring as it’s the season many consider to be ideal for starting their commercial construction project. When you start a project in the spring, you generally have several months with largely favorable weather to complete your project.  However, because the season is so popular for commercial construction, you may find it difficult to secure the builder you want.  Plan ahead to get the design/build team you want, and the timeline you would like them in so your business is ready to open when you are.

 

Summer

If you begin your commercial construction project in the summer, you’re more likely to enjoy far fewer weather-related delays.  It’s important to remember, however, that the availability of key materials decreases, and the lead time increases during the summer months.  Also, the availability of subcontractors and their workforce decreases during the summer which can cause price increases and scheduling conflicts. Finally, the entities reviewing and approving construction permits can and do get backed up during summer months which leads to increased approval times before you can even break ground. However, many qualified design/builders strategically plan for construction during the summer months in order to be ready for customers by the holiday season.  Depending on your business needs, it may be worth it to navigate higher demand and pricing to be in the black, come black Friday.

Fall

As the leaves begin to change color, the hot summer construction season begins to wrap up in preparation for cold weather.  Demand for permitting drops, so you may be able to secure what you need much faster than you would during the spring or summer. General contractors and subcontractors may start to feel a little wiggle room in their schedules, meaning those highly sought-after design/builders may be able to take on a project that would have been lost in the shuffle of the spring or summer seasons.  Of course, your design/builder will need to take winter conditions into consideration, including provisions to protect foundations during the winter months. Depending on how quickly your builder can enclose the building, you may also need to consider temporary enclosures, snow loads, etc.  to maintain project progress.

Winter

Building might be furthest from your mind as you shovel the driveway, but there’s much to be said for starting project during the winter months.  Builders and subcontractors often have more flexible availability that may allow you to negotiate more for your money.  Winter may also allow a relatively quicker turnaround on the permits you need to break ground and start construction. Winter construction will require planning for winter conditions, which may include temporary enclosures, heat, and snow loads, and/or removal and planning for winter weather slowdowns is sometimes necessary. Winter can also be the perfect time to start planning your project and provides an opportunity to work with your designer/builder to hit the ground running in the spring.

Indeed, to everything there is a season, however when it comes to commercial design/build construction, any season will do depending on your ideas, budget, or your timeline.  Whether your commercial construction project sprouts up with Derby season, shines in the hot summer sun, comes to fruition with the harvest or builds with the snowfall totals, you’re sure to find benefits to beginning your project any time of year.

If you had to pick a month, winter is the best time to design a project to get it ready to permit in early spring, build it in late spring through summer to get it dried out and under roof as soon as possible.  That way, it’ll be ready for fall move in.  Moving in the fall is a lot cooler than summer and most movers slow down in the fall.   According to various moving professionals, peak moving season stretches from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, with roughly 70 percent of all moving takes place in the spring and summer.

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