Building homes for the colder weather can pose more problems for developers than those in warmer climates. Winter weather can pose multiple threats to construction and the finished build as the elements take their toll on the materials used and the progress able to be carried out.

Construction crews have long battled to protect their builds from the elements. From protecting additional structures to proper supplies and framing, building barriers to avoid extra snowfall, reducing exposed pipework to prevent freezing and cracking, and avoiding excess damage to equipment and machinery required from the cold or even sub-zero temperatures.


Structure composition

Brick, stone, concrete, and even plastic are all viable options for home builds where the weather can drop drastically or even experience drastic climate change throughout the year. All of these materials have heat-trapping properties and provide extra stability and protection from the elements. While materials like concrete or stone might be more expensive, they will provide additional benefits to homeowners regarding protection and a more sustainable build.

Use Passive Heating

Passive heating of a home employs specific tactics to heat your home utilizing solar energy without using solar panels being used on the property. If you’re starting from scratch, you can build a completely passive house or incorporate some of the concepts into a remodeling project to save money on heating expenditures. Passive design, for example, requires that living room windows face within 30 degrees of true south. The bedroom windows must face north. To further capitalize on this, you should talk to an architect or a glazer to determine the correct type of window materials and sizes to get the most from the design.

Building Envelope

The building envelope is the barrier between the internal and external environments and how well separated each is to retain maximum heat within a home. Homes or additions to homes built in colder areas need airtight envelope systems to reduce or eliminate heat transfers from the indoor controlled environment and the outdoor environment to preserve energy efficiency. For homes wanting to achieve fully green eco credentials, you must follow the US Green Building Council guidelines to obtain a LEED certificate verifying energy efficiency.

Airtight Construction

To complement passive heating, your home build requires that all of your windows and doors are airtight. This avoids escaping heat via these sources; in typical homes, you can lose up to 30% of energy via windows and doors, and incorporating an airtight constriction into a building in colder climates will increase its energy efficiency. At a minimum, you need double-paned windows, triple-paned for extra benefits. The more layers of glass used, the more energy-efficient the home will be. Ensure fitting is achieved correctly; it doesn’t matter how highly rated your windows are if fitted incorrectly, and make sure any window seal repair used meets standards withstand conditions.

Sloped Roof

Homes in colder environments will typically receive more rain and snow than other areas of the country, so factoring in a steeper off is vital to help it cope with the extra demands that will be placed on it. Opt for a gable roof where possible. A gable roof is two sloping panes that will meet at a single point. This allows for an easier removal of snow as it can slide off better than other roofing styles. An accumulation of snow on a roof might look pretty in the movies and pictures, but it can put the structure under more pressure than it can handle. Always adopt a steeper incline when it comes to roofing.

Building and maintaining a home in colder climates proves to be extra challenging and can increase complications for many construction companies and homeowners looking to extend or renovate their properties.