Wet weather slowing home construction

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

BONO, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Realtor's Association told Region 8 News Wednesday it will release new and existing home sales statistics for the month of August Thursday morning. According to the ARA, new home sales are down 6.8% in Craighead County and 31.7% in Greene County. This comes after home sales were slightly up in previous months.

"It's picked up tremendously just in the last three or four weeks. I guess it's on the account of this government stimulus thing for the first time homeowners," said Tom Ford.

Tom said he has built 130 homes in northeast Arkansas over the last eight years. He currently has four projects under construction in the LenFord Village subdivision in Bono. Tom has been a general contractor for more than 30 years.

"I've built some custom built homes for people and then counting the ones in Harrisburg too, I've built 8 homes in Harrisburg," said Tom.

Tom told Region 8 News his four employees have been working indoors for the last several weeks. His sub-contractors work with carpeting, roofing and brick work, along with many others.

According to Tom, wet weather has caused delays with his business, as well as his friends in the farming industry.

"It slows us down quite a bit because you can't get foundations in when it's muddy and wet like this. The framers can't work when it's raining. Roofers can't work," said Tom.

"It's been terribly wet. We've had so much rain and we don't have enough drying period in between the rains where you could do anything," said Brian Ford, who is building the Craftsbury Village in Bono.

"It doesn't give you enough time to dry out. You can do some things, but when you're trying to pour concrete or anything like that, you just don't have enough time in between for it to dry out," said Brian. "We have enough homes in the dry that we're able to work inside and stay busy that way. As far as outside the last two to three weeks, it's been pretty minimal."

Brian told Region 8 News some of his employees have worked only four days throughout the month.

"With your phones nowadays, you can check it pretty quick. We definitely need to know when it's going to rain," said Brian. "We've stayed busy the last year or so when things did slow down. I guess it's just the area. We've stayed plenty busy."

"It's just like with the farmers. When it's rainy and muddy and nasty out, you just can't operate. You can't go," said Tom.

Tom said he has constructed homes in Bono, Jonesboro and Harrisburg. He said business will slow down with the winter months ahead.

"That's the way the framers and concrete people are getting off. We had one ready for concrete. We have one in Harrisburg where we need to be pouring concrete, but it's so muddy you can't get in there. You can't do yard work," said Tom.

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