Keeping Your Building Work on Track During Winter

The outside world impacts our projects, making effective project management even more vital. By predicting the impact winter has, you can mitigate the risks and minimise the wider effects.

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Cold Temperatures

Some works can be affected by low and freezing temperatures. For example, brickwork can easily suffer if the temperature dips below freezing. The water within the mortar can freeze, which would stop it from mixing into the mortar, and the resulting mix can fail.

While the temperature cannot be predicted completely, the cold weather can be anticipated and particularly vulnerable works could be commenced earlier to avoid freezing.

Safety and Motivation

Building sites are naturally unpleasant and dangerous environments, which is even truer during winter. The mobility of the workers is inhibited due to thick clothing layers, and there is increased risk of sliding and slipping.

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Safety management needs additional measures as the weather worsens. Last year’s winter saw two large storms pass over the UK with wind gusts up to 94 mph.

Organise the work to be marginally less productive during poor weather, and consider trying to make the site a little more cheerful with treats like posh coffees on Friday mornings.

Limited Daylight

The shorter hours of light can also impede projects unless proper precautions are taken. Site heating and floodlighting are essential during dark winter days, and providing this equipment is part of essential site management. The last thing you want is your workers having to stop at 3 o’clock due to unacceptable lighting conditions.


Building sites are notoriously desirable targets for thieves looking for high-value tools, scrap metal and building materials. Major building sites may be able to afford security, but smaller sites cannot afford the overheads.

During winter, the longer hours of darkness benefit thieves, with bad weather leaving sites unmanned. Consider installing CCTV that can be accessed by the internet as a good way of monitoring the site. However, it is usually only useful for watching what may have already taken place rather than preventing theft of materials such as UPVC fascia boards from companies like

Staggering deliveries of high-value materials such as copper wire, boilers, kitchens and sockets can avoid expensive items sitting around and tempting thieves for longer than necessary. Ensure you order them to fit around your schedule.