Cold with a chance of construction

Who says it’s too cold to work?

The thermometer hadn’t budged past 13 degrees on a clear day in early January, but Scott Bestul and his crew from Bestul Construction in Iola, Wis., were bundled up and toughing it out as they worked on the latest post-frame structure to populate the Iola Old Cars Show grounds in central Wisconsin.

After they’d plowed and shoveled several inches of wildly blowing snow that fell the day before, when nobody was crazy enough to be working outdoors if they didn’t have to, the three-man Bestul crew picked up where they’d left off earlier.

Concrete for the 30 x 60-foot storage building was “done before gun hunting,” says Bestul, referring to deer season that began in mid-November.

Bestul said he expected to finish work on the structure in another week, depending on weather. They’d already been held up by some brutally cold temperatures and below-zero wind chills.

This mid-teen degree day, with plenty of sunshine, allowed them to keep going. However, Bestul was happy to step into a nearby heated shed to talk about the project.

The new building will house food/concession supplies during the Old Cars Show, an annual summertime attraction. Last year, the four-day show drew more than 115,000 people to view 2,500 show cars dating from 1979 and earlier. Show dates this year are July 8 to 11. More information is available at

The structure, which won’t be insulated, will be clad with rib steel by Metal Sales Manufacturing. Bestul mentioned the paint and its long-term warranty as key to the choice of panels. The supply shed was stocked with rolls of rFoil Bubble Barrier and boxes of Marco Industries’ Weathertite ridge venting. Daylighting will come from clear poly panels at the ridge.

Bestul, in business for 27 years, says the key to surviving the tough economic drought is the ability to be flexible. He does post-frame and metal frame construction, as well as traditional home building.

“We finished a house in November,” he says, and there is other work currently on the calendar.

Down to one full-time and one part-time employee, and onsite full time himself, Bestul remains hopeful.

“One night this week, I was sitting there at home and I had two calls, back-to-back, that are possible jobs. I think I’m going to stick near the phone,” he says with a grin.

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