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  1. #1
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    Sep 2002
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    Hopkins, Minnesota.
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    44

    Winter home construction in Minneapolis

    My wife & I are planning on builing a new home. If all goes well with bidding & such, I think we could be ready to break ground in December/January. I'm concerned about excavating, pouring footings and walls, backfilling, etc. in the dead of winter. My gut tells me it would be better to wait until the frost goes out in the spring to break ground. My wife tells me the sooner the better. I think my builder is going to try to convince me everything will be fine with starting during winter. This is our first new home, so I'm looking for advice and/or past experiences from those of you in the know or in the industry. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Cloverdale, CA, USA.
    Posts
    653

    RE: Winter home construction in Minneapolis

    I'd find a neutral party and ask them-----building dept., friends who are contractors'---friends of friends---etc. I could picture this might be more expensive----just guessing---but they'd have to do something to keep the wet concrete from freezing---tent--heaters or whatever----also wonder how fast workers will work in full thermal clothing and how often they'd be warming up in the truck? I've lived through cold winters, but nothing like yours----buurrrrrr!

  3. #3
    Member
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    Sep 2004
    Location
    Iowa CIty, Iowa, usa.
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    1,989

    RE: Winter home construction in Minneapolis

    I don't know how far you are in the process, (permits, design, etc. ) but even assuming that you are ready will all of that I am wondering if you can find a _good_ contractor that will be able to start in on it that soon. If they are good they are busy, at least around here. By the time you deal with several and find one you like and then get a date I, I can't imagine ground being broken that soon. It took me two months just to get my cement poured for my additions. The good part is that the question about winter construction may be solved. Spring is better anyway :-)
    Congrats on the new space. Wish I could do it.
    brent

  4. #4
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    Aug 2002
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    RE: Winter home construction in Minneapolis

    Greetings,

    I live a bit farther south - in northern IL a few miles from WI. We work year round and have built a few times starting in Dec/January. It is possible to build in the winter time, but I would also add that it is not desirable.

    First, it costs more. Everyone is bundled up, heaters have to be fired up from time to time, tools do not work as effictively, coffee breaks are a bit longer, snow has to be shoveled off the subfloor, excavation is harder etc.

    It is hard on the materials, beginning with the concrete, which has fluid (I believe chloride) added to the concrete to hurry along the curing. I have seen a lot of cement poured in bitter weather and it works, but I am not sure that it is for the best. Siding is hard to apply, shingles are brittle, the air is dry - so in the spring when it the snow melts and the moisture increases, things expand more than you would see if the house was built in the summer.

    We try to get our last basements in by October - thus providing us with a couple months of inside work and we have houses ready to commense in March. Occasionally, though, we have built in the winter - and I am unaware of any problems resulting by so doing.

    Bob


  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Jose, CA.
    Posts
    378

    RE: Winter home construction in Minneapolis

    Scott

    Being from the Bay Area means we don't have winter. It is really, really cold now, like in the high 40's. So, please excuse my comments.

    This is from a site with info on pouring concrete in the cold:

    "Make sure that the temperature of the subbase and any other surfaces that come in contact with the concrete are not below freezing." http://www.kuhlman-corp.com/cold.html

    Water crystals in concrete will rip apart the bounded aggregage and you'll be left with a pile of gravel and sand. Are you prepared to heat the basement area for a couple of days before and after the pour to keep it above freezing.



  6. #6
    Member
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    Dec 1969
    Location
    Bradford, Vermont, MerryCanna.
    Posts
    18,751

    RE: Winter home construction in Minneapolis

    Scott, wait till spring to pour that 'crete. How deep is the frontline? About four feet, right? Five? Six? Consider the frost heaves in the ground outside the basement - that totally unheated (!!!) open basement which won't be able to keep the ground immediately outside it thawed. We're talking major concrete cracks. Sure, almost all basements crack at some point - but here we're looking at bigger & worse cracks than otherwise. Much better to wait till the frost is out of the ground entirely. You'll get higher-quality concrete, too.

    Yeah, it IS done... but I sure don't like it.

    -- Tim --

    Be well.
    Be happy.
    Live in love.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Green Bay, Wisconsin.
    Posts
    71

    RE: Winter home construction in Minneapolis

    When I first saw this header, I thought you were getting ready to build your winter home. In Minneapolis. My advice to you would have been: build your winter home in Florida, SUMMER home in Minneapolis.
    But, alas, I was wrong about the topic.

    FWIW, I would hate to be the guys having dig that hole and pour that concrete in the dead of a Minnesota winter. I live in Green Bay, so I know winter, and you couldn't pay me enough to work outside from about December until March...

    Good luck,
    Don


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