I finally got around to building with the Atlanta Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. After years of saying I was going to do it, all it took was a friend and blog follower, Sarah Ellis, owner of American Sun Control, to finally motivate me to do it. Home building is more fun when you’re with friends, right?
We were a part of Winter Build 2014, a huge home building project sponsored by consumer advocate Clark Howard. (He’s pretty popular on the radio with his syndicated program, which is why we had to get our pic with the local celebrity.) Hundreds of volunteers descended on a small development in an Atlanta West End neighborhood. We gathered at 8am and signed our waivers, were divided into groups, had a safety meeting, and got to work. Chili’s provided lunch and then we were back at it until 4pm.
I spent the day teamed up with Josie. We worked with another volunteer, John, and installed security screens on the bedrooms and then we installed door hardware throughout the home. I’ve never had to install door hardware and everything that you could possibly do wrong, I managed to do. I put the lock in backwards, the face place upside down or got the whole thing installed and then tested the knob and the lock didn’t catch and retract. Awesome. Let’s just say, I am a pro now and can install your hardware!
Here is a picture of the home we helped build.
Ten years ago Habitat for Humanity Atlanta committed to making their houses greener and more energy efficient to create even better long-term value for their clients. The last thing I want to mention is that not many intown builders can actually say they build to EarthCraft standards for any of their homes, let alone the houses with the least amount of profit. It’s good to see that Atlanta’s largest affordable single-family housing developer is mindful of natural resource consumption and the impact construction has on the environment.
A few months have passed since I worked on this build in February and a few things still stand out. First, I was impressed by all of the volunteers. Everyone had such a positive attitude and rolled up their sleeves and did whatever was asked of them. Second, the homeowner was also very engaged and appreciative. She worked harder than the rest of us building her home day after day, week after week for an affordable home and low interest mortgage. Third, I still feel grateful for the chance to build with friends and for a great organization offering homeowner at an affordable price to good people willing to put in the time. Helping to make homeownership available to good people is something to be proud of. Not very many us can actually say we have built our own house and this woman can.
“Atlanta Habitat is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and to making adequate, affordable housing a matter of conscience and action. In 1983, a group of concerned and motivated individuals in Atlanta founded a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. Atlanta Habitat is now one of the largest affordable single-family housing developers in the city, and is one of the largest of 1,500 affiliates of Habitat for Humanity in the United States.” Learn more about Atlanta Habitat for Humanity.
Have you built with Habitat for Humanity? What was your experience like?
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