Over the years I have heard the familiar question often, so what do you do for work? My answer, I build
decks, is almost always followed by another question, what do you do in winter time? To which I answer, I build decks. Here at Decks R Us we believe that building decks in winter is a great idea, we have been doing it since 2003. Despite its challenges, it has some advantages for us the builder as well as you the customer.
One major advantage for us as a company, is we are able to specialize in one thing while retaining our employees year in and year out. If we were to do other types of work in winter, we would need to buy different tools, and train our guys in different types of work. Therefore we would lose some profitability as well as the advantage of experience. Being able to provide our employees year round steady work is a huge blessing and enables us to keep experienced craftsmen on all our crews.
Some advantages for the customer are that you will see less of an impact on your life. Your children typically spend little time playing outside in winter, so the construction area will not pose an inconvenience to them. Also your deck will be ready to go on the very first sunny, warm weekend of spring. Our workload is typically lighter in the winter, so we would be able to get to your project quicker than in the spring/summer. The same is true for your local township/borough, so they will have the permits ready faster as well.
Two common questions we get asked about winter deck building are, how do you dig holes in the frozen ground? And, how do you pour concrete for footings when it is that cold? We use walk behind Bobcat hole diggers that have plenty of power to get through the frost layer. Once you get down 3’ below the grade, dirt is actually a good bit warmer than the surface temperature. So with minimal extra work such as covering the holes with plastic and/or insulation, we are able to accomplish both of these things.
It does however take a bit longer to build a deck in winter than in summer. With the added layers of clothing and gloves the guys have to wear to keep warm. The frozen, snowy ground, and sometimes hazardous driving conditions, you will definitely get to see our craftsmen for a day or two longer depending on the size of your project.
If you have any more questions on winter deck building or if you would like to meet with our owner John for a free consultation, please contact us.
By Ray Ebersol