Cold weather putting a damper on construction

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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The long, cold winter has put a damper on home construction, including the remodeling industry.

Experts say projects are delayed when temperatures drop because mechanical tools don't function properly. David Pekel is president of the Milwaukee chapter of NARI, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

Pekel tells WUWM-FM that with a six-week delay, customers' patience wears thin. Pekel says the delays are also stressful for construction workers who have to file for unemployment if they're off the job.

Pekel says the priority projects, despite frigid conditions, are emergency repairs, including plumbing and heating problems for which customers may pay a premium price.

He says price increases in the first quarter can range from 5 to 15 percent.

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