WEST MICHIGAN (Feb. 26, 2014) — Home construction sales increased 28 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to the Homebuilders Association of Michigan. A continued increase in new home permits is projected for 2014.
However, this winter’s deep frost and cold temperatures have slowed home construction. The actual work faces delays.
Rich Kogelschatz owns Heartland Homebuilders. His company broke ground on a home in Ada this past December.
It was the start of what would be the worst winter he said he’s ever seen with 17 years in the business.
Kogelschatz is also president of the Homebuilders Association of Michigan.
“I’ve never cared so much about the weather report as I do today. We’re constantly looking at weather,” Kogelschatz said.
The frost is so deep in the ground, he said digging takes a lot longer than it would during the average winter. The conditions also aren’t good on equipment.
He couldn’t quantify, but depending on when a project started, he said most home construction across the state may face some sort of delay.
For one, a hard ground hinders utility work.
“The home that we’re standing in right now, we just got power yesterday, we were supposed to have power two weeks ago,” Kogelschatz explained.
“When it gets to be below 10 degrees, people start to slow down, but equipment also starts to slow down, ya know, bulldozers, hydrohose, all of that type of stuff, nail guns,” he said.
Jeff Noeker is owner of the new home. FOX 17 caught up with him off site.
“I talked to the builder almost everyday,” Noeker said.
Noeker said he sold his old home in March 2013 and moved to an apartment. He waits as the anticipation builds right along with his new home.
“The stress I guess of waiting for the weather to be cooperating with us has been the biggest issue,” he explained.
Kogelschatz said, “We would schedule this home is gonna take us 4.5 months to build, really probably closer to 4 months.”
However, he said it could be 5 months because of this winter weather. The inconvenience is the time delay, and as they say, time is money.
“There is the potential that we would have to stay later in our apartment, deposits for construction loans entail a schedule also, so there is the potential that this could effect us monetarily too,” Noeker explained.