Habitat ‘build’ will include many different jobs

Published 11:52 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Although it is still more than a week until the start of construction for Habitat for Humanity of Covington County’s first build, HFHCC president Dale “Flip” Pancake said the construction schedule and timeline is already basically set.

Workers, primarily volunteer labor, will help construct a three-bedroom house on the corner of Burdick and West Park streets in Opp. The Hanlin family is the “host family,” who will own the house and is providing “sweat equity” labor to help in this and other Habitat projects. They are Tony and Jane Hanlin and their sons, 15-year-old D.J. and 8-year-old Taylor.

Volunteers will begin work on the house during the weekend of Fri., April 24, through Sun., April 26. But the pre-construction work will actually begin much earlier.

“We’re hoping to get the foundation laid as soon as we can,” Pancake said. “Hopefully the weather will cooperate. After we’ve got the foundation in, we’re having the pre-fabricated walls transported to the side on Thursday (April 23).”

Pancake said HFHCC has a commitment from Crossover Ministry in Opp to provide the labor to help unload the pre-fabricated walls, which will then be numbered.

“It will be like putting a puzzle together,” Pancake said. “They’ll chalk numbers on the walls and then we’ll use that to be sure that everything is put together in the right order.”

The volunteer-labor “building blitz” officially kicks off Fri., April 24, and Pancake said workers will begin bright and early. Each day of work will last from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

“First thing Friday morning, we’ll get the crew together and begin to nail together the outside walls,” he said. “Volunteers will have the chance to nail those together. Then they’ll attach interior walls and the floor. There will be a top seal added that will tie that all together, and then we’ll begin setting the trusses in the rafters.

“Those will be shuffled up there manually; we’re not using a crane or anything like that.”

Pancake said the hope is that the roof’s structure will be in place by mid-Friday, allowing workers to shingle it by the afternoon. As long as enough volunteer labor shows up to the build, there will be several projects ongoing at the same time.

“As soon as the walls go up, the vinyl siding crew will be able to get started,” he said. “They’ll probably be working on two sides of the house, and at the same time other people will be fitting the windows. Most likely, during that same day, there will be electricians who will start pulling in some of the wiring.”

Pancake said the hope is that the family will be able to “turn the key” for its new home Sunday evening, although the house will not be truly habitable for another several weeks.

“By Sunday night, we want to have the roof on, all the vinyl siding on, the insulation in and most of the wiring and switchboxes in,” he said. “By Sunday evening, when we tack on that last piece of vinyl siding — with the help of the homeowners — we should have a lockable house. Also Sunday, we should have a crew laying sod and helping to add a little landscaping with flowers and a stone pathway and hopefully some nice things like that.”

Pancake said work on the house will continue for anywhere from six weeks to two months following that Sunday. Workers will still need to help finish installing the air conditioning, adding kitchen cabinets, finishing work on the bathroom plumbing and add vinyl flooring and carpet — among other tasks.

“We’ll organize those days as best we can,” he said. “Some of it will be done in the daytime and some in the evening. Right now, we’re just concentrating on the building blitz days, since this is our first time to organize a build like this. But we’re going to still have a great deal that needs to be done and will be looking for help for at least the next four to five weeks after (Sun., April 26).

“We’ll have to schedule that in the future, what our ‘post-blitz’ work schedule is going to be.”

Pancake added that when the house is finally completed, there would be a house dedication and ceremony.

He thanked several local businesses and individuals for their special donations and support to the project so far. Shaw Industries is donating the carpet and Harold’s Discount Furniture is providing the vinyl flooring.

“Those are very nice donations and we really appreciate them,” he said.

In addition, he thanked Jimmy Cox of Carolina Mill Works for serving as the “quartermaster” for the project, who will help make sure that the build site always has the necessary materials. Jimmy Fowler will serve as the construction supervisor.

“(Cox) will be a big help for us because we won’t have room to store all of our materials at the site all the time,” he said. “As we need it and use it, he has committed that he will get the stuff to us.”

Pre-registration is not necessary for volunteers, but it is requested to help in the planning for meals, handing out T-shirts and other events. Those who wish to pre-register may request a form by contacting the HFHCC office at 222-0827, or by e-mailing Katie King at kingkatief@gmail.com.