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Is winter a good time to install new gates and railings?

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This is a fairly simple question we get asked a lot at SL Wrought Iron (especially, as you can imagine, at this time of year). And the slightly irritating answer, as it so often is with these types of questions, is: it depends. 

It’s certainly not impossible, but there’s no denying that it can be difficult. Doing any kind of home improvement job during winter can frequently be challenging. Then again, demand for materials and expertise tends to be higher during the spring and summer months, so it’s easy to see why some homeowners are willing to wait out the rush and do it in winter instead, especially if they’re waiting for installers to get the job done on their behalf. 

So, if you’ve got the time and will then you can install your metal gates and railings during winter, but you do need to be aware of all the extra challenges involved. Here are some of the biggest ones in a nutshell!

Cold temperatures and tricky working conditions

Working in cold temperatures is for starters uncomfortable, and often more difficult to boot. Aside from the general unpleasantness associated with the cold, it can make your hands slower and clumsier unless you’re wearing the right PPE, which can sometimes lead to accidents. If you’re lucky, it’ll just be a matter of slowing down the job a bit. If you’re unlucky on the other hand, it may damage the materials (or even you). It’s also worth remembering that some types of metal can become a bit more brittle in cold conditions.

So, if you’re installing your gate as DIY job, you can make the task a lot easier for yourself by ensuring that you have all the necessary tools and equipment best suited for working in winter conditions. That includes all the basics as well, such as a heavy coat, hat, and gloves! 

Terrain considerations with rain and snow

Let’s start with the obvious – the wet weather can make the ground muddy, which potentially complicates the installation. (For example, it can make it a lot easier to slip, which can be especially risky if you’re carrying heavy components.) It’s also a good idea to check in advance that the ground isn’t frozen, as this can make it much harder to dig and set foundations. If so, and it’s a DIY job, it’s generally better to wait for a slightly warmer day if you can.  

Planning and contractor availability

Here’s something you may not have known – if you’re not installing the gate as a DIY job, the good news is that you don’t need a specialist installer to get it done. Professional yes, but specialist no – a builder or handyman will generally have all the skills and equipment they need to install your gate. 

As we’ve covered above, their busiest seasons tend to be in the summer and spring, where it’s more pleasant to work outdoors. That means you may find they have a lot more time and availability in the chillier periods, and you may even be able to enjoy more competitive prices during the winter months. Either way though – whether it’s DIY or being professionally installed – the installation will need to be planned with a careful eye on the weather, to avoid falling victim to some of the pitfalls we’ve outlined above. Ideally, try to schedule the work on dry days, and brace yourself for delays if the weather looks particularly horrible.

That’s just a brief overview of some of the biggest things you’ll need to bear in mind – as with so many of these things, your mileage may vary! And if you’re currently in the planning stages of sizing up your property for new wrought iron metal gates or railings, you’re in exactly the right place.  

We offer a wide range of choices to cater to every taste, including our popular Chatburn and Ribchester styles. If you can’t find the size you need on our website, don’t worry! Our bespoke services allow you to get a custom size that meets your specific requirements. Simply get in touch with our friendly team on 01254 236994 and provide us with your measurements, and we’ll give you a bespoke quote. We’re always happy to help!