#199: Build a Habitat for Humanity Home

Putting up siding

Putting up siding

LOCATION: Newport News, VA

            I’ve always had a strong desire to build a Habitat for Humanity home. Sadly, I was never able to find any projects in the area to be able to do this. I’m not sure if Hampton Roads built up their chapter or what, but the opportunities to build and help out soon poured in. I decided to sign up for a shift. I was really unsure of what exactly I would be doing on the job site. A house took about 4 weeks to complete with Habitat. After the 4 weeks, volunteer professional contractors would come in and do the stuff that regular people are not allowed to do (like wiring).

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I showed up to the job site and noticed that the frames of the two houses were complete. Our job today would be siding. That sounded pretty doable. While collected my gear, I was introduced to the woman who the house would be going to. She was also going to help build with us today. Knowing that she was helping to build her house made me feel great. She deserves it!

Siding is really easy to put in. So easy, that it makes me wonder why people pay $4000+ to get it installed. Basically, siding is layered upward. Lay one down, nail it in, then piece another on top and keep nailing them in like that. The tricky parts were measurements and cutting edges. We spend the entire day doing siding. The sun was blazing and it was super hot. By the end of the 8-hour day, I was exhausted beyond belief. I have a huge respect for contractors who do this day end and day out. This is not an easy job with the weather. I am happy that my hard work and sweat can provide a great shelter for a young woman and her son. What a great feeling!

WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?: Yes! This was great!

HOW TO DO THIS: Find opportunities to build a home at http://www.habitat.org/


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