To dig or not to dig in winter?

October 2021

What time of year is it better to start building a self-service car wash? What if it’s winter? How long does it take? Speaking about construction work and the weather step by step.

  1. Earthworks – zero cycle. When excavators are digging the ground and preparing a future construction site, the weather doesn’t matter. The pit for all the necessary utility systems does not need to be too deep, since it is not a foundation for a house.
  2. Pouring the concrete bed and laying the underfloor heating pipes. This is the most vital part of the construction. No cold and rain is acceptable. These works shall be carried out at temperatures above 0⁰ and in dry weather. But you’ll object – they pour concrete in winter as well! Sure, if there are antifreeze additives in the concrete grout. We do not recommend using them – they conflict with topping finish, which is necessary for the perfect smoothness of the slab. If there is a cold snap, and the concrete works are not over yet, what is to be done? We put up a film hothouse with a temporary boiler inside, finish the concrete pouring. Surely, these are extra expenses, so plan your timing better.
  3. Installation of metal structures. They can be erected in any weather. Iron does not care.
  4. Service room is the same story. Our builders use 80 mm PIR sandwich panels for walls. It is a lightweight and durable material with increased moisture resistance and thermal insulation. Why 80 mm? They keep the room warm well. To be honest, 50 mm would be quite enough, but then it won’t be possible to “fit in” the door and window openings (their standard width is 60-70 mm). Won’t the operator get cold in the service room? No way, given that there is underfloor heating, besides we install a mini heater connected to the boiler in it.
  5. Installation of banners (interpost partitions) is possible up to the temperature of 5-7⁰ below zero. It it’s colder, it’s not recommended. The material becomes stiff, and it is difficult to straighten all the creases.

How much?

  • a four-men professional team builds a facility for 6-8 washing stations in 3 months;
  • the cost of a turnkey construction (including a video surveillance system, electrical wiring, friezes, but excluding landscaping) will cost ~ 90 thousand euros.

Is it possible to reduce these costs by building with own efforts? Sure, by 20-25%. But don’t save on building materials and – most importantly! – prepare the required budget in advance. You cannot invest in the construction of a self-service car wash little by little. The longer you build, the more expensive the project becomes.