General Question

Gabby101's avatar

Do construction workers work year round in the Seattle area?

Asked by Gabby101 (2478 points ) May 26th, 2011

My husband and I are thinking of moving there, but he has a construction related company that would be difficult to run if we moved to an area where construction virtually stops during cold/bad wheather.

He does utility locating (looking for cables, pipes underground), so people call him when they are getting ready to dig – no digging, no work ;)

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6 Answers

WasCy's avatar

I’ve worked construction in the Olympia area, and I can verify that “construction” (in broad terms) goes on year round in that area (and in every area of the country that I’ve seen so far, including the Rocky Mountains, Central Wisconsin, New England, Arizona, Florida and points in between).

That’s not to say that there won’t be significant weather-related delays, because if you do outdoor construction in Seattle, then you’ll have to plan for a lot of rain-outs during the winter. And if you do heavy construction work in Wisconsin, for example, then you have to plan for equipment movement to and from jobsites during the summer and winter months when the roads are “hard” – moving heavy equipment on public roads during a spring thaw breaks a lot of pavement that you’d be liable for. (And you don’t do much digging in Wisconsin between December and April.)

But surely if your husband runs a construction company he knows how to plan for weather? How would Seattle have been built in the first place if no construction company could operate there?

marinelife's avatar

Construction is more and varied during the summer, but it does not shut down in the winter. The climate does not get very cold in Seattle and the rain is year round (usually a light mist or drizzle) and people walk and work right through it.

john65pennington's avatar

Rain will be your only threat. It rains about 80–90% of the time in Seattle. My son and daughter live there. He changes windshield wipers blades about 3 times a year.

It would be a great location if your husband sold windshield wiper blades.

WasCy's avatar

@john65pennington

Do they not want you to visit, maybe? Summers in Washington are nearly unbeatable. They’re even better than summers in New England, and I love those. Summers in Western Washington are uniformly sunny, dry, warm days and cool evenings – pure delight. It rains in the winter, true, but even then it’s not as much as you’ve said – just “a whole lot of days with no sun”.

marinelife's avatar

@WasCy So right. This image is typical of Seattle in summer.

jrpowell's avatar

Summers in the PNW make the ten months of rain worth it.

The answer the actual question is that construction doesn’t stop but it does slow down. My brother-in-law is a union electrician and work is spotty in the winter. It isn’t uncommon for him to collect unemployment for a few months a year.

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