Bad spring weather means crunch time for home builders

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It seems like new houses pop up everywhere you look, but it’s not magic. People spend a lot of time building them, and this year there’s more pressure to finish. Home builders are hoping to get projects done before winter hits. They don’t have as much time as usual, and the reason goes all the way back to last spring.

If you think building a home is a lot of work, you’ve hit the nail on the head.

Joey Frieler: This is day four here. So, we’re cruising right along.
Brady: You’re not messing around here.
Frieler: No, we’re not.

On Friday, workers were busy pounding nails, measuring two-by-fours, and slowly but surely creating the framework of someone’s home. Frieler expects to finish a home near east 10th Street and Six Mile Road by Christmas. There’s a lot to get done in less time because the spring and early summer weather wasn’t exactly a gift.

“It’s getting to be crunch time,” Dusty Rallis, president of the Home Builder’s Association of the Sioux Empire, said.

Rallis says lingering winter weather, weeks of rain, and spring flooding put a lot of crews behind schedule.

“It was a challenge. We got started quite a bit later than what we typically would. We had projects running as far as two months behind the start date,” Rallis said. “The first importance is to keep our good employees paid. So, starting with no income rolling in or little income rolling in, it’s definitely going to affect everything.”

Rallis says crews aren’t cutting corners, but they’re working as efficiently as possible. At one house, they’ve already installed a retaining wall to prepare for any more rain and ready the space for landscaping. That’s not typical, because Rallis says they usually wait until houses are framed and sided.

“That old motto, the horse before the cart, and sometimes we got to put that cart a little in front of the horse,” Rallis said.

It’s a big job, but Frieler says once he’s done building a house, he knows it was worth knocking down the challenges.

“It’s really satisfying to know we did something that’s really big and everybody’s going to look at it and see,” Frieler said.

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