Do carpenters work in the rain? Or do they get rained off?


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The weather is always a challenge in the construction industry. There are many jobs that can’t be completed due to certain weather conditions. Things like frost, snow, rain and even wind, can slow a project down.

The rain is particularly disruptive to certain jobs. For example, working with cement, pouring and floating concrete, applying render, etc. Most of these jobs can’t be done in heavy rain, without some kind of cover to protect from the weather.

However most trades will work through light rain and drizzle.

do carpenters work in the rain

Carpenters work on a wide variety of jobs throughout a building project. Whilst much of this is inside, there are many jobs that will be done outside. In most cases they will be able to continue working in the rain.

If rain is particularly bad, carpenters may be able to move inside and work on other jobs while the rain passes. This will be more common in larger building projects where the building work is carried out in phases.

For example, a residential building project, will usually have properties at various stages of construction. If the carpenters are outside working and it begins to rain heavily, they can often move inside to other buildings and do internal work.

Just like other trades, carpenters will easily work through light rain and drizzle on most jobs. They also don’t have the challenge of wet building materials that can be ruined by the rain. This means they are less likely to be rained off, compared with bricklayers, or ground workers for example.

What challenges can a carpenter face due to rain

Whilst carpenters can usually work in some amount of rain, there are still issues that will affect their work. Below are some of the biggest problem that carpenters may face due to rain:

  1. Working at height – Any job working at height could be more dangerous in the rain. Things like roof timbers and exposed joists can be slippery when wet. This could result in slips, trips, and falls. For this reason, carpenters will usually get rained off this type of work.

  2. Damage to tools – Carpenters have a lot of expensive tools. This includes power tools and hand tools, all of which could be damaged by rain. Ideally, tools would be stored somewhere dry, out of the rain until needed.

  3. Slowed down by other trades – Often carpenters are waiting for other trades, such as bricklayers when working outside. If bricklayers get rained off, this could result in a hold up for carpentry work starting.

  4. Issues moving materials and heavy tools – A wet boggy site can make moving materials and tools extremely difficult. Again this could result in more slips trips and falls. Also plant machinery may have issues moving on site. So this will mean they can’t help moving larger items.

  5. Lower morale – Lets face it, no matter what job you’re doing, working in the rain sucks. Your cold, wet and most jobs become more difficult. This can really dampen the spirits and cause work to slow considerably.

As you can see, whilst carpenters can work in the rain. It is not ideal and there are several problems that can be created by bad weather. If they are not affected directly, there is often knock-on effects from other trades that will impact their work.

For this reason, even carpenters can expect several days per year when they are rained off. Even if its not full days they may end up leaving site early due to issues with the weather.

Times carpenters won’t be rained off

All the issues caused by rain that we have mentioned, relate to a percentage of jobs where carpenters are working outside. However, this is often not the case.

After the early stages of any building project, the majority of a carpenter’s work will be inside. This will include the remainder of first fix work, such as:

Following this, they have all the second fix and finishing work to complete. Again this is all indoor work and will include things like:

  • Skirting and architrave
  • Hanging doors
  • Fitting kitchens
  • Adding banisters to staircases
  • Etc.

All of this work is carried out inside and away from the weather. In this case, it is extremely unlikely that weather would affect the carpenters. Unless the job is flooded or snowed in, the carpenters will be on site.

Carpenters will rarely be working outside after the earlier stages of first fix. Obviously this will vary from project to project, but for the most part, in the later stages of most jobs the carpenters are inside working away from the rain.

Conclusion

Weather is one of the biggest impacts on building sites. Heavy rain and other severe weather can cause jobs to grind to a halt. This is even more of an issue early in the building process, where most work is done outside.

Carpenters do work in the rain if required. However, they can still run into problems, meaning they need to down tools in bad weather.

As a job progresses, the weather is less of an issue for carpenters. This is due to most of their work being indoors. Once the roof is on and a property is sealed from the weather, the rain really isn’t an issue for the carpenters anymore.