Are “Winter Builds” Right for You and Your Customer?

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Winter can be difficult, especially for traditional stick frame builders. In regions with bitter cold, harsh winds and heavy snowfall are the norm, and getting a house out of the ground the traditional way can be very challenging. While some builders choose to close up shop during the coldest months of the year, the educated Amwood builder opts to press on through the winter season (McManis, 2023).

Winter builds are much easier when working with prefabricated components, such as panelized home construction. The beauty of using Amwood’s components is a drastic reduction in on-site framing time, allowing your home to be weather-tight much more quickly compared to stick-frame construction on-site. Working with Amwood’s components decreases your outside time so you can be inside working on the interior finishes much sooner than traditional on-site stick-framed houses.

So, what are the pros and cons of a winter build?

Winter Construction Build


  1. Building through the winter increases total annual productivity, which increases profitability.
  2. Building Spec Homes and Models in the winter allows you to be ready to show that home as soon as possible to take advantage of the prime selling seasons.
  3. Lock down your buyers and do not give them a chance to talk with other builders or outright change their minds about building altogether.
  4. Availability of Subcontractors and Tradespeople – One notable advantage of winter building is the increased availability of subcontractors and tradespeople durin g the off-season. With fewer projects in progress, professionals are more likely to accommodate your schedule, providing you with their full attention (Cunningham, 2018).
  5. Building permits tend to go through the process faster (Home Building in the Winter Pros and Cons | Fidei Architecture, 2022).
  6. Though it may take a bit longer for it to cure, pouring a foundation in colder weather can result in a stronger foundation. While it may be necessary to cover foundations with insulative blankets during extremely cold temperatures, it is easier to tarp off and protect them from snow, than it is to try to protect them from a rainstorm in the warmer months (Home Building in the Winter Pros and Cons | Fidei Architecture, 2022).
  7. Help from Nature: You might find that Mother Nature is more cooperative during the winter than you originally perceived. In fact, a few environmental aspects of starting a build in the winter actually help ensure a high-quality home, such as: (Cunningham, 2018)
    1. Water from rain or snow helps compact newly laid gravel, which creates an ideal base for concrete work (Cunningham, 2018).
    2. Saturated dirt encourages more thorough work from excavators, which helps avoid the dreaded “settling spots” that often emerge after summer builds (Cunningham, 2018).
  8. Winter Delivery Incentives from Amwood Homes – Amwood Homes recognizes the benefits of winter building and provides an enticing incentive for winter delivery. These incentives can further enhance your cost savings and project timeline.
  9. Your homeowner gets to move in during the summer months allowing them the ability to enjoy not only the inside but the outside of their new home right away. This will allow them to get some of their landscape items taken care of immediately instead of having to wait until the following spring to do them.
  10. Avoid Spring price increases – Most subcontractors and suppliers use the winter months to re-evaluate their pricing and enact changes to their pricing structure in the spring causing the cost of building each spring to go up.


  1. You may have to cover your concrete for a short while as you await the arrival of your component package from Amwood.
  2. You will have to provide a source of heat to help things cure and to keep the contractors warm while they work (Home Building in the Winter Pros and Cons | Fidei Architecture, 2022).
  3. Snow removal will be critical during a winter build. You don’t want a construction vehicle sliding around the site or getting stuck. Keeping the site sanded and clear of snow would be a priority at all times. The equipment also needs time to warm up (Home Building in the Winter Pros and Cons | Fidei Architecture, 2022).
  4. Cold weather and less daylight take a toll on productivity. It can also slow productivity by dampening worker morale (Home Building in the Winter Pros and Cons | Fidei Architecture, 2022).

As you review the cons of a winter build you realize they almost exclusively revolve around a potential for increased cost to you the builder. A savvy builder can mitigate some if not all the extra costs of a winter build making these builds potentially more profitable and/or allowing you to offer incentives to your buyers to keep building through the winter season.

Here are just a few ways to mitigate the costs of a winter build:

  1. Explain to your customer that there may be additional costs to build in the winter and offer to split those costs with them. This shows your buyer you are willing to put some skin in the game and that will build an increased level of respect and confidence within your buyer that you care about them and their project.
  2. Negotiate with your subcontractors for some discounted services in the winter as they are slow and in need of winter work just as bad if not worse than you are.
  3. Use Amwood components on your build to greatly speed up the framing time of the build.
  4. Take advantage of winter incentives offered by Amwood and other suppliers for winter builds.

So, what can building in the winter do for you and is it worth it? Increased annual productivity is the most obvious advantage of building through the winter. By staying active 12 months of the year, you can complete projects earlier in the year, enabling you to take on more builds in the same 12-month period. This allows you to outperform and out-profit any competitor who avoids winter builds. Speaking of competition, there’s also less competition for you to contend with as you speak with buyers during the winter building season since many builders lack the will or resources to work through the coldest months. Yes, it is worth it!

In closing don’t be afraid of “Jack Frost”, let Amwood help you complete those winter builds.

Cunningham, K. (2018, November 9). Why winter is actually a great time to build a home – Special features – Columbian homes. Columbian Homes.

Home building in the Winter Pros and Cons | Fidei Architecture. (2022, October 6).

McManis, P. (2023, April 18). Pros And Cons Of Winter Home Building | 2-10 Blog. 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty.