Warm weather brings sunny outlook for local construction companies

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The warm winter weather is allowing homeowners to save on heating costs, but it is also helping construction companies to pick up productivity.

Michael Goad with ML Goad Homebuilders, Inc. in Jonesboro says his business is about a month ahead of schedule on several projects.

"We have been able to put lawns in, which is almost unheard of in February," Goad said. "We've been able to pour footings, pour concrete without worrying about freezing temperatures overnight. It's really going to increase our productivity this year and enable us to build more units."

Goad says February is normally one of the least productive months for his business, but the warm temperatures are allowing him to put the finishing touches on the five homes he's built in the Sage Meadows neighborhood.

"Normally with our construction schedules, we allocate quite a bit of additional time for this time of year during construction," Goad noted, "and actually we've been kind of sticking to a summer schedule if you will through the winter."

Sales are pending on two of the homes on Aberdeen Road, and Goad expects the buyers to move in sooner with few weather delays in the forecast.

"We're off to a great start, no complaints here," he added excitedly.

The weather has started off the year strong, but Goad has recently had to scale back the homes he's built because of the economy.

"We would not hesitate to build 3,000 to 3,500 square foot homes on a speculative basis," Goad said. "When we saw that the housing economy was going to change, we thought we would gear down and diversify our business and start building smaller homes."

With productivity picking up earlier than expected, though, Goad says he and other contractors see a sunny outlook for the rest of the year.

"We'll take this every year," he concluded.

The warm weather will likely add to some of the gains recently reported by the Commerce Department. Numbers show single-family home construction rose in the final three months of last year, which may make homebuilders more confident.

Copyright 2012 KAIT. All rights reserved.