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When most people think of Texas, one of the first things that come to mind besides football and Southern hospitality is the scorching heat. However, Texas sees its fair share of rain too. In fact, in Temple, Texas the yearly rainfall is around 37 inches, just one inch shy of the US rainfall average. Meanwhile, College Station gets 40 inches of rain every year.
With these stats, it’s quite possible that you’ll be waiting on your new home construction in the rain. While construction workers may work in light rain when they can, there are certain steps in the construction of a home that may be paused in inclement weather. Although the best home builder experts will account for rainy days in their completion time estimates, it’s still good to know what to expect when the weather turns. Typically, the average seasonal rain can negatively impact the construction of your Texas home at three key points during the process:
1. Pouring the Foundation
Not only does the weather have to be clear to pour the concrete, but it’s extremely important that the fill material in the form boards is completely dry first. Pouring the concrete before the form fill is dry will cause the slab to bow, which can lead to an unstable foundation.
If it rains after the fill is set, the plumbers will have to wait for it to dry completely before walking on it or it could collapse the beams.
When the plumbing rough-in (the installation of the plumbing system that goes within the slab) is complete, any additional rain will cause further delays in pouring the concrete — wet ground can’t support the weight, and the foundation may not cure properly. So, do construction workers work in the rain? Not when it comes to the critical step of pouring the foundation of your home. After all, no one wants to see their beautifully designed home sinking into the ground.
Pouring the concrete before the form fill is completely dry will cause the slab to bow, which I've heard is not a good thing and something our team absolutely won't do.
2. Pouring the Driveway
For similar reasons, it’s best to wait to pour the concrete for the driveway until after the rain clears and the ground is dry. Pouring during the rain will throw the concrete mixture out of balance, and cause cracking and structure weakness once the concrete cures.
3. Final Grade & Landscaping
Not only would the job site be super muddy from all the rain making it impossible to walk on and clear the debris, but there are three other things to remember when it comes to finishing up the yard:
Rain Construction Prevents Proper Grading
If the yard isn't dry it would be nearly impossible to determine the proper grading of the yard. Grading is necessary to avoid drainage issues in the future.
You Need Dirt — Not Mud
The dirt used to grade the yard has to come from somewhere. When it rains, the yard is essentially a huge mud pit.
You Need Sod
Just like dirt, sod has to come from somewhere. In the case of sod, it is usually sourced along the prime growing conditions of the coast. When it rains more at your home building site, chances are, it may be raining along the coast too.
Wet sod is heavy and difficult to transport. Rainstorms increase the chances of safety issues as well as cause brown patches and uneven sod when construction workers work in the rain — leaving indents (footprints) in your would-be beautiful yard.
Excess Rain and Water Runoff
Another factor to consider is where your home is in the neighborhood. While everything might look flat, if your home is located lower than the homes around it, your property might take longer to dry. Home construction started after your start date may end up further along in the process.
Before home construction even starts, weather can cause one to two-month delays for the developer to finish the streets within the community and development of the lots. While you might not think this would impact home buyers as much, it can start to add up when they've purchased a home before the community is build-ready.
Frequent rain or large amounts of rain can also cause concern for homeowners. The absorption rate of water into the ground doesn't really change — the more rain, the longer it takes to drain.
The Rain Construction Compound Effect
An increase in rain by significant amounts, frequency, and duration has a compound effect on homebuilders, especially when building over 400 homes per year.
While every home buyer is focused on their own home and is treated with the utmost priority, all construction schedules are treated equally. This means delays on current job sites could cause delays on future job sites.
Home Building Experts in Any Weather
Because of the way Omega Builders builds homes and the way we plan our projects, most of the time, any delay caused by seasonal weather can be made up during other stages of construction. Our processes lessen the impact of rain and help our Superintendents stick to the projected schedule. Additionally, our subcontractors don't get paid until the work is done, so it’s in everyone's best interest to keep the construction of your Texas dream home on track.
Regardless of where you are in the home buying or building process, a little patience, compassion, and understanding will go a long way in setting the right expectation and making the experience as stress-free as possible.
Everyone on the Omega Builders team is aware of the impact rain can have. We know how important the decision to purchase (and build) a home is, and we are prepared to face the rain construction challenges together! If you’re still debating if a new home is right for you and your family, explore your free copy of our New Homes Guide today.
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Editor's Note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been updated to reflect the most current information