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Photo by courtesy of Parket Thomson

Somebody finally figured out how to control the weather. Well, sort of.

Parker Thompson, a contracting company in Providence, Rhode Island, keeps crews working through the winter by enclosing entire job sites in massive tents. That way workers and your new master suite stay dry and toasty no matter what nastiness Mother Nature slings at them.

Besides the fact that you no longer have to wait till spring's thaw to get your addition built, you're more likely to get personalized attention and better crews because wintertime is when business tends to be slow for most contractors.

Building the tent, which can add about 5 percent to your overall construction budget, involves anchoring scaffolding in the ground with concrete blocks and topping the framework with roof trusses. The structure is then wrapped with thick plastic sheeting. Thermostat-controlled propane heaters pump warm air into the tent, maintaining a constant 60 to 68 degrees.

"You end up with zero lost man-hours due to weather conditions," says Glenn Parker, a principal of the company. You'll also be one step ahead of the Joneses come springtime when they—and the rest of the neighbors—scramble to book a contractor