Construction work usually goes through a quieter period in the winter months, when the cold and wet weather combined with shorter days makes it a much less popular season for projects such as masonry, roofing and building. However construction workers don’t go into hibernation during these months, and if you’re eager to get your stonework project done as soon as possible, you’re much more likely to be able to find an available stone mason.
But before committing to a masonry project, here are a few top tips for completing such work out of season.
Choose a Professional
Whenever investing in building or renovation work, a professional stone specialist will ensure that you get quality craftsmanship for a quick turnaround time with impressive results. However in winter, this becomes all the more important.
Stonework in the cold requires an understanding of the properties of natural stone and the mortar that you’re working with, and when the temperature drops below 5 degrees it can seriously affect the chemical reaction times and finished results of the cement.
An experienced mason will be able to monitor the weather, and where necessary take steps to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with their work through warming or covering the masonry. Failing to do so can lead to weak structures and faults in the stonework that make it look shabby and affect its resilience.
A Realistic Schedule
Although you will be much more likely to find an available contractor during the winter, be prepared for the fact that you will probably need to allocate a longer time frame for the work to be completed within. Working in harsh weather conditions can be extremely dangerous even for the most experienced and well-trained workmen, so understand that if they cancel a day’s work, it isn’t out of laziness.
Even when the weather conditions are suitable for them to visit the site, shorter days reduce the amount of time spent on the project per week, meaning that you’ll need to factor this in to your schedule.
Prepare Your Site
During conditions of snow and ice, much of the precious daylight hours can be lost by workmen trying to clear the site to make it safe for working. Especially if you are hiring stone specialists as sub contractors, preparing the area before their arrival will ensure that they can get straight on with the task at hand. Gritting the surfaces can prevent a build up of snow and ice, to keep it clear overnight.
Don’t let a bit of cold and frost put you off completing your stone building or renovation work. Especially if your building is in a poor condition, leaving it exposed to the elements for the entire season could make it deteriorate rapidly within the space of a few months. Take on board all of these tips for your winter masonry projects and you’ll be able to get your work fully completed before the spring with the help of a professional.
This article is written by Kelly Gilmour Grassam, a freelance copywriter from Yorkshire. You can follow her on Twitter at @KellygGrassam. This article has been written with helpful information from Henley Stone.