As Minnesotans, we all seem to agree on at least 2 things about our warm weather season: 1) It’s never long enough; and 2) We are determined to squeeze every last drop of enjoyment from our comparatively short spring and summer months.
If you are considering a new deck, porch, patio or other outdoor living project and want to maximize its use this year, my only question is: What are you waiting for??? Believe it or not, many outdoor structure companies (including Archadeck) build year round. It can take a bit longer due to limitations on how effective carpenters and their tools can be when the temperature gets too low, but the majority of carpentry for framing, decking , wall construction and roof building does not require that temps are consistently above-freezing. The benefit of having a contractor start your project before spring is fully in bloom is having many aspects of your project expedited earlier in the season. The same “critical path” tasks that are part of every deck or porch project may take significantly longer if you wait even a few more weeks to get started. One example is city building departments, which are typically slammed with permit applications by mid-April. If you are able to finalize your project plan and your contractor selection by the end of March, you should be at the front of the line for having you permit reviewed and approved.
The opportunity to “extend the season” with your outdoor living space can also come down to the types of options you choose for your specific project. For instance, although summers in Minnesota may be too short for most of us, summer days in July and August can be downright HOT in western exposure areas that have little protection from the sun. Transforming your existing deck into a “sun room” can be as simple as adding a 12′ x 12′ pergola or as transformative as recreating an entire outdoor living room with a screened-in porch or even an open gazebo structure over an existing deck. And for those Minnesotans who would like to extend their summers as long as possible into the fall season, adding removable window inserts into a screened porch can give you an extra month or two outside, especially with a little help from a space heater! There is no limit to the creativity and the willpower of Minnesotans who may not be able to change the weather where they live, but who CAN adapt how they live regardless of what the weather dishes out.