If you live in a climate that has hot summers and cold snowy winters (we're in Northeast Pennsylvania).
I'm not sure if we should shoot for this fall, or should we wait until next spring?
I'd appreciate your thoughts/experiences.
I personally think it depends upon how much you can accomplish before winter sets in. If you can get the house closed up prior to harsh weather, I think you are safe to start in the fall.
I'm a small builder and am finishing up a home we started in mid-December in Toronto. Not the first winter build. And I've started others in the summer, spring, and fall.
Poured concrete and masonry veneer can be tricky. But if you can get the foundation poured before sub-zero weather, it's no big deal. Just thoroughly protect your footings.
Carpenters often prefer working in cold weather: you can dress warm, you can't dress cool. You can "tent" the structure and use propane to do the masonry.
Building in the winter gives you the advantages of a buyer's market with regard to both trades and supplies. Lumber prices soar in the spring, usually drop in the fall.
Given a choice, my favourite time to start is late August, early September. Summer heat has retreated and you can get closed in by winter, so inside work is comfortable too.
I hate waiting for manana.
Here is a link that might be useful: Winter Construction
We are having ahouse built in Northern VA, in the Blueridge Mtns. The foundation footers were in by early Nov, house was completely framed, windows/doors in, and roofed on by end of Jan. Once you get to that point, the trades can do their thing inside in just about any weather. So starting in the early to mid fall in your area sounds like it would work just fine.
In the early stages, rain was more of a factor for delays than cold. Within limits, they can pour cement in cold weather. After a hard rain, they had to wait for the ground to harden up to support the heavy cement trucks.
Start in the fall - move in by summer. If you reverse it, you might wind up having to move in around holidays or in really cold weather.
Mud is your enemy. Snow can be brushed aside. So, try to skip the rainy seasons and go for cold over heat. Once the build is enclosed (windows in) everybody is fine indoors. Moderate and dry are best for painting exteriors.
Thank you! That all makes sense! We are meeting with builders this week, so hopefully they will consider starting late summer/early fall!