Why Winter’s the Best Time to Build!

As the days get shorter and the temperature drops, it's only natural to start thinking about holiday cheer, warm family getaways and winding things down until spring. Why press on over the winter when you can procrastinate?

As a builder, we see this every year: the summer is busy, the fall is busy, and then the winter is a construction black hole. No one wants to start until it gets warm! What many people don't know, however, is that there are many advantages to building and renovating through the winter.

Here are just a few reasons why you should avoid the winter procrastination trap:

1) Greater Efficiencies and Availability: More contractors are available and looking for work in the winter. This often results in better pricing and contractor availability for your project. That means tighter scheduling, less downtime and often a better overall cost.

2) Quicker Permitting: The winter isn't just slow for builders, it's also a ghost town at the permitting office. Start building in the winter and you can get shorter lead times on permits which amounts to less hassles and less waiting.

3) Less Disturbance to Your Customers: For many of our business clients, the winter is THEIR slow time, too. By beginning a project in the winter, you can take full advantage of your downtime with the least disruption to your customers.

4) Set Yourself Up for Success in the Spring: If your goal is to be building in the spring, winter is a great opportunity to start and finish the design, permit and pricing phases. Thus, when spring comes, we can get “boots on-site” right away.

5) We Work in the Cold: Foundations, framing, all interior work, some exterior work and even roofing are perfect examples of jobs that can be done throughout Winnipeg winters. As winter ends and spring approaches, this leaves us able to focus on patios, exterior painting and other minor weather-dependent jobs. This means we'll be out ASAP and your customers can be back in sooner for the patio season.

So why build in the winter? Procrastination is poor business! Wouldn't it feel great to say you had the most efficient winter on record? And wouldn’t you rather enjoy your summer running your business than spend it renovating?

Let’s take advantage of the full twelve months of 2018! Give me a call at (204) 942-6035 and let's chat about ways you can make the most of your winter.

Our 2014 Pipe Thawing Story and Being a Proud Winnipegger

A recent Google search on Tractus Projects will result in numerous articles relating to “pipe thawing”.  Some may think we are plumbers, and although we know a ton of plumbers, allow me to explain, because it has everything to do with being a proud Winnipegger.
This past winter was freeking cold!  In terms of astonishing weather facts, it doesn't get much more impressive than being as cold as a distant planet for a day, or colder than the North Pole, or coldest winter since 1898.  With temperatures this extreme, things are going to break, and for those living in Winnipeg, you have to find ways to stay mentally warm or you break too.

The home of a business neighbour of mine, Pam, had fallen victim to frozen pipes in February.  I couldn’t help but feel really bad for her and her family, knowing that she had small children, and how I had taken for granted a hot shower every morning.  Later that week, I was visiting with my father-in-law, a businessman and welder who lives in Grand Forks, ND.  We would always talk shop, complain about weather and drink a few beers.  When I inquired about “how many residences in Grand Forks had frozen pipes”, his response was “10”, and that he was helping with the thaw.  Winnipeg was at 1,200+.  I inquired further, almost demanding his trade secrets.  Luckily he shared, and we were well on our way to building our first prototype, pipe thaw machine and “Idea 1.0”.

There’s nothing special about “Idea 1.0”, because it couldn’t be.  The machine and technique needed to be built using parts readily available thru local box stores and cost less than $350.00.  It was a challenge, but after a full weekend of shopping, building and testing in my garage, we were ready to try “Idea 1.0”.  My business neighbour, Pam, was our first test house, and after five grueling hours of breakdowns, adding more pipe clamps and miles of Teflon tape, we were finally successful.  Words cannot explain the relief and emotional experience felt by both Pam and our Crew - the sound of water sputtering thru the kitchen tap was euphoric.

We went on to refine “Idea 1.0”, eventually creating two reliable machines and techniques, and successfully thawing numerous residences and businesses within Winnipeg.  We grabbed Canada wide media attention, were trending on Twitter, and considered “local heroes” within the community.  The experience was amazing. 

But you know what the best part was?

Our small pipe thawing “Idea 1.0” sparked a movement that motivated local Winnipeggers and The City of Winnipeg Public Works Department to look around the community, not settle, re-boot, re-think, be proud, and begin with “Idea 1.0”, continually refining into “Idea 2.0” until it runs like a top.  In our case, our idea happened to be pipe thawing. 

Hey you, proud Winnipegger, what’s yours going to be?