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By Harriet Daniels, Ocala Star-Banner, Fla. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Feb. 27--OCALA, Fla. -- Home construction around Marion County is starting to bottleneck or in some cases come to a standstill as builders send out desperate calls for shingles.
It's a situation being played out around the state as the industry struggles to keep up with a statewide residential building boom, coupled with rebuilding after the 2004 hurricane season which is further hampered by a shortage of labor and materials.
Priya Ghumman, president of DECCA/Oak Run, said the company has had to push back closing dates on homes without shingles by up to three weeks hoping to receive shipments to finish construction.
Delaying a home closing was virtually uncommon for DECCA, according to Ghumman who said the inability of contractors to find shingles has forced their hand on the issue.
"We have stayed in communication with our customers letting them know and they seem to understand it's a countrywide building boom," she said.
"Most of the builders we work with are trying to build as close to schedule as the can."
Ghumman said with 60 homes in various stages of construction in Oak Run, most are delivered on time. But she admits the problems are systematic with suppliers imposing allocations for material shortages …