BUILDING PROBLEMS: Cold Delays Construction

There’s a lot that goes into building a house in a timely manner.

To start, cities have to issue building permits, crews need the ground to be soft to lay a foundation, and concrete needs mild temperatures to set correctly.

This winter, Eric Miller, a field superintendent for Hubbell Homes says the cold weather has made all of that difficult.

“We’ve seen frost deeper than we’ve seen it in a long, long, time,” said Miller.

Crews are having to spend their days artificially warming up the ground and scooping snow from construction sites.

They’re also losing work days when the weather is nasty. As a result, everything else is being put on hold.

“It will back up some of the exterior trades like landscaping and siding,” said Miller.

Because homes started this winter are taking longer to build, homes scheduled to be built in the spring and summer will likely be delayed.

Creighton Cox with the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines says that could leave some people in a pinch.

“A lot of people want their houses done before school starts. Homes started in late August, September, and into October. Those homes may not be ready until November now,” said Cox.

Finding where to build your dream home may also be more of a challenge.

While building permits are down this winter, the demand for new homes is not.

“What we have found is people are online and shopping. Our website hits are the highest they have been in years,” said Rachel Flint, the vice president of Hubbell Homes.

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