Dealing With Builders Over Winter

Dealing With Builders Over Winter
  • Opening Intro -

    Dealing With Builders Over Winter!

    Our homes can really choose their moments, can't they?

    Just when you thought your humble abode was in ship-shape for the winter, the inevitable happens.


If you are planning some home repairs this winter you may be worried about the impact of the cold weather on your building project and how this may affect your costs. Home repairs or improvements can leave a large hole in your pocket at any time of the year. Whether you’re drawing on savings or taking out a loan, you’ll want the project to run smoothly and cost as near to the original estimate as possible. 

Could Cold Weather Make Building Work More Expensive?

If you were expecting week after week of frustrating delays, you may well be surprised. Although winter can be cold, it can also be dryer than some of the wet summer weather we’ve seen in recent years.

However, under the Construction Design and Management (CDM) regulations, all those who work in the construction industry have their part to play in looking after their own and others’ health and safety. If your builder is employing a team of workers, he has a duty of care to take every precaution reasonable to protect them. So, if he believes that onsite scaffolding is too icy or that anti-cold measures such as rest breaks and shelter are insufficient, he’s entitled to delay work until conditions improve.

If work is to be carried out in exposed areas, your builder may need to employ more people to shorten the time they spend in the cold. He may need to provide wind and rain shielding, extra protective clothing for workers and allow more time for each task.

Your patience is required, but just make sure that any increases in cost are agreed in advance.

Finding a Builder

If extreme winter weather prevails, home owners might discover it hard to find a builder who’s willing to work in these conditions. If postponing until spring is not an option, ask around. You never know, friends or family might be able to recommend a builder or you could try a website such as the Federation of Master Builders.

When hiring a builder, recommends the following tips:

  • Check the builder’s previous client references.
  • Check the builder is registered with an accredited trade association.
  • Ask to see the builder’s public liability insurance.
  • Get a quote before you hire.
  • If a quote sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of extremely low quotes.
  • Plan and agree on the project’s budget upfront.
  • Make sure you and the builder are on the same page when it comes to building regulations.


Working with expert builders, particularly during the challenging winter months, can be incredibly rewarding and worthwhile. To help ensure it’s a positive experience, rather than a burden, doing your research upfront and vetting the builder properly is incredibly important.

This guest post was written by Andy Moore on behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury’s Bank blog. The views expressed in this guest post are of the author and not of Sainsbury’s Bank. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury’s Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.

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