QUESTION: Has the late onset of winter weather been a benefit to the construction industry? Or does it really matter, since most projects are managed by schedules that were set months ago?
Jim Hoffman, president of Hoffman Construction, Black River Falls: “Good weather is always a benefit. The only downside is working off backlog. We’ll take it whenever we can! I’m OK not having a white Christmas.”
Terry McGowan, president and business manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139: “In spite of the late winter, many contractors did slow down this fall as a result of what was accomplished during the favorable weather earlier in the spring. For those contractors that still have a robust workload, a late winter is always preferred in Wisconsin as it ensures you are not laying foundations on frost. You also have better conditions for the curing of mortar and concrete as well as no fuel or hydraulic freeze-up on your equipment. But the best advantage is the lack of danger to frostbite exposure, ice-related slips and falls and injuries related to snow-covered building materials.”
Brad Boycks, executive director of the Wisconsin Builders Association: “I believe that a late winter is overall beneficial to residential contractors. Specifically with outdoor projects (roofing, siding, decks) a late winter could mean taking on some additional projects that you normally would not have been able to complete until spring.”
Ken Kraemer, executive director of Building Advantage: “Yes — the late winter is absolutely a good thing for the construction industry. It gives us a chance to catch up on projects that are behind, as well as continue the momentum surrounding all of the great projects in progress and in the pipeline for Milwaukee.”
Anna Stern, vice president of Tri-North Builders, Fitchburg: “Our project schedules are fixed regardless of when winter arrives, but this late winter has certainly helped some of our projects in terms of maintaining schedule or getting ahead of schedule, and also in keeping winter conditions costs down (thus far).”