It’s common for us to get the question, Why Florida? So we figured in honor of the construction season in Florida kickin off this last week, we’d answer that simple question. It’s pretty well known that Minnesota winters are tough to weather. Most Minnesotans plan trips to warm sunny destinations to give them the break needed to make it through until Spring. It is also common for Minnesotans to transition to having a second home in which they spend two to three months and become what are known as Snow Birds.
The Southwest Florida Coast in particular seems to be where many Minnesotans are calling home in the winter months. Between Naples, Capitva Island and Siesta Key, it is not uncommon to hear the infamous Minnesotan accent while out to eat or walking on the beach. This is ultimately what led Hagstrom Builder to become a licensed general contractor in Florida. We had clients from MN that were looking for a general contractor they could trust for their projects in Florida. This is what spurred Peter on to get his Florida license in 2015. Since then we have completed seven projects with fantastic clients and designers.
Just like the weather, there are many differences between construction in Minnesota and Florida. As a company that has primarily worked in the midwest, we have had to learn how to navigate the differences between Minnesota and Florida such as weather, construction schedules, industry partner relationships, building code and environmental considerations.
In the five years that we have worked in Florida we have done a variety of work from condos to resort beach homes to single family beach homes. While the permitting process is done through the county, many other qualifications and regulations for the project are determined by the specific building or resort. The state of Florida does not have any laws against having construction during the winter months, but many developments and highrises don’t allow construction between November 1st and April 30th. Those that are heading to Florida to escape the frigid winter do not want to be met with construction traffic and noise. Many of the high rise condo buildings in Florida are made of concrete in order to withstand hurricanes which means noise easily reverberates through the walls and floors. Due to this, our projects have a strict time frame between May and October. November is when those that winter in Florida start arriving for the season.
Other differences we are keenly aware of that can impact the project is the high humidity, termites, hurricanes, coastal land regulations (we aren’t worried about sea turtle glass in MN!) and building strong relationships with subs, vendors, and building managers. These differences have expanded our construction knowledge and we are grateful for the ways we have grown as a company to meet the needs of our clients and projects in Florida.