Habitat won’t be ready for Christmas

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 15, 2011

Florala’s Habitat for Humanity home will not be completed by Christmas, said local chapter director Dale Pancake Wednesday.

“The sheetrock is going in this week and should be completed and ready to paint Saturday,” Pancake said. “So we need people ready to go to work, because the entire inside of the house – the walls, ceiling, basically anything that doesn’t move – needs to be painted.”

In November, Pancake said he was reluctant to put a holiday move-in date on the three-bedroom, two bath, Cypress Street home of Sherrie Stewart and her family. Since then, crews have completed the home’s electrical, plumbing and heating and cooling work.

“We’re requesting that people spare a few hours or even the whole day Saturday to come and help,” Pancake said of this week’s volunteer session. “We want to do a primer coat and then a coat of real paint. It should be a lot of fun. You can visit, chat. Some people love to paint, while others hate it.

“If you’ve got a favorite brush, bring it,” he said. “We need people to cut in edges or paint with a broad stroke. We do have a number of shirts donated by Greathouse Floors to wear as an over-shirt. We won’t serve lunch, but there will be soft drinks, water and snacks.”

Volunteers are needed from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., he said.

Unfortunately, there are several steps remaining before the Stewart family can move in, Pancake said.

“The painting is not the last step,” he said. “There’s no trim or doors up. That’s next, and then the cabinets have to be installed. We’d hoped it would all be done by Christmas, but that’s not going to happen. It looks like (the house) will be done in January sometime. That inside stuff takes longer than you imagine.

“As John Roberts (construction manager and volunteer) says, ‘We’re almost there. All we lack is finishing,’” Pancake said. “If people can help us paint this weekend, that will be a big step toward finishing.”

Pancake said landscaping will begin in the next couple of weeks, with the Master Gardeners coordinating the design and foliage selection.

He said donations continue to be accepted.

“We’re still accepting donations to finish this house and we’re looking ahead to the next one,” he said. “It looks like our next build will be in Andalusia, and as soon as we raise the money, we’ll start.”

Pancake anticipated the next build to begin the middle of 2012.