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Wet Weather a Headache for Home Builders

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RALEIGH — Home builders are scrambling to make up for lost time. Last month was the second-wettest January ever. It was followed by even more rain last week. The ground is saturated, and that makes work on a construction site a little sticky.

Home builders have been inside waiting for the rain to stop. No work means they lose money. And once the skies do clear, they still have to deal with a lot of mud, and a lot of hassle.

A clear sky Tuesday presented a golden opportunity for home builders in the Triangle to finally get some work done. Over the past few weeks, the constant rains have turned the foundation of their work into a slippery nightmare.

"It creates a lot of mud problems," explains builder David Zanfardino. "You can't really do much when you're trying to frame houses. Nobody really likes to work in the rain."

With no one out working because of the rain, most construction is well behind schedule. The delay, in turn, costs the home builders more money. Since no one can control the weather, future homeowners like Daniel Lee can only hope for the best.

"The builders had to take some extensive measures to dig deeper footings, use more gravel and concrete in order to get it to pass inspections," Lee says.

While it's time consuming and costly for builders, it's not necessarily bad for buyers.

Jim Wahlbrink says there can actually be plus side to the delays. With more time, buyers can spend more time picking out last minute colors and decorating.

Typically, around this time of the year, home builders start to see these kinds of problems. But this year, the home builders association says there has been a lot more rain and things are slightly worse than in previous years.


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