The story starts like this - we do a deal, and then the winter hit hard, and instead of fighting the elements and ending up with quality or warranty issues, we just made the mature and correct decision to hold off till spring - a hard choice, but the right one. And a house is a long term investment, so losing 4 months might hurt, it's not a super big deal big picture. The fact that they had made like all their decisions way early (unlike another project I'm working on not mentioning any names) made the surprise possible.
So, when the brutality of the winter settled in and we got used to it and it became just another predictable hurdle to hurdle, we could regroup and make a plan. So we snuck in the woods and test the ground and underneath the leaves and snow, the ground wasn't frozen. the next week was predicted to be 40 degrees, for about 6 days, before dropping back into artic land (can't pour foundation in too cold of weather - so worst case scenario was we opened the hole, dug the foundation, and then the weather dropped preventing us from proceeding or going back).