Saturday, April 23, 2005

Habitat for Humanity

I posted a month or so ago about signing up for a Habitat for Humanity stint.  In the past I've volunteered one day at a time, but this time I figured I'd get a wider variety of assignments if I signed up for a few days in a row.  As I mentioned in my last post, it's a great way to learn house-type skills.  In past years I have shingled, put on siding, and applied stucco.

Well, I just finished my three days this afternoon.  I am weary to the bone, but as usual had a ton of fun!

Thurday I worked on a 4 unit townhouse building that was part of a multi-building complex.  Very impressive buildings (some in craftsman type design).  Excellent views of the downtown skyline from the top floor.  The other volunteers were a hoot, and we spent much of the day laughing while we did our work.  The guys I worked with were very patient in letting me try all of the cool power tools :-) (this included a sawzall - sigh).   We worked on trimming and filling in some of the framing....putting shingles on the roof.....general site clean-up.  And digging and hauling dirt to fill in the foundation (OMG) and to shore up the scaffolding.  One of the unit's future owners was there working with us, but we didn't get a chance to really meet him.  The buyers spend in the ballpark of 400 to 450 hrs working on Habitat houses (theirs and others) in order to qualify.  I got home and went to bed at 8:30 that night.

Friday morning I woke up and wondered what on earth I was thinking for signing up for three days in a row.  I'm not a morning person to say the least.  But, once I got up and going....things were fine.  Second day was at a new location.  A duplex.  Some of the same guys that I worked with on Thurs were there, so once again they let me do some of the fun power tool type stuff :-)  We worked most of the day on installing Anderson windows, which was very fun.  Then I spent a bit of the afternoon sweeping up the two units.

I'll admit that I pretty much thought I was going to die when my alarm went off this morning at 6:30....but hauled myself out of bed.....stopped for a latte enroute.  Today, some of the crew was finishing the roofing.  I ended up on the site organization team.  Dirty, grunt work...but we were busy all day.  One other guy had also volunteered for the full three days and we comiserated. 

I ended up chatting with a co-volunteer and it turned out her father is the future owner that we had seen on Thurs.  It was fun to tell her that I worked on his house...and what had been done to it recently. Later in the afternoon, I ended up talking to another guy who ended up being the future owner of one of the duplex units.  I showed him the windows that I had installed and took credit for sweeping out his unit :-) He and his wife (and 4.75 kids) were very excited to move in. It was fun to see who you were working for....and I think he had a good time seeing who actually worked on his house.

So, now I am sitting here pooped and trying to figure out which pizza place delivers.  I'm tired, have a bunch of black and blue marks.....but the start of a nice tan :-) If you haven't volunteered before....I highly recommend the experience.  Fun, fun, fun.  I'm calling again next week to set up a few more days with Habitat next month.....


fitzzer said...

Good for you. I've always wanted to do this and somehow haven't gotten around to it yet. You're posting is a great inspiration to do so. ~ Lori
PS. Love your journal and pics!

stuccohouse said...

It honestly is so much fun. No skills needed.  As an old house owner, its also nice to check out the new tools.  My big discovery for the week was that there are caulking guns that have a tip opener on them.  Who knew?!

The folks at reminded me of the possibility of going international with Habitat (  Now that would be fun........

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