Have you ever been overwhelmed by the giving spirit and generosity of others? That is the feeling that one experiences when participating in a Habitat for Humanity Builders Blitz.
A Builders Blitz is when a local Home Builders Association sponsors a home to build and pulls it off within a very short period of time – usually five days. This is what happened last week in the Warren Ridge subdivision, a Habitat for Humanity neighborhood located off Legion Road in Warrenville.
The typical day begins at 7 a.m. and continues throughout the day until about 6 p.m. with various companies contributing their expertise to the task at hand. It has become a real collaborative effort between partners. The partnership is between Habitat for Humanity and the Home Builders Association and their associates.
The local Habitat affiliate provides resources such as financial counseling for the homeowner, a shepherd to guide and encourage the homeowner as they complete their qualification assignments, another home under construction that the future homeowner can work on to build sweat equity, donations and financial assistance toward the build.
The Home Builders Association provides the planning, the coordination, the supervision, the manpower and donations “in kind” of materials and supplies, as well as financial assistance.
The Home Builders Association couldn't pull it off without many trade professionals coming alongside of us with their support, as they would give of themselves to provide the materials and labor for some of the most challenging tasks of the project. More than 48 companies in our local area have continuously stood behind us to ensure the home would be built.
The pace is steady and determined and not without its challenges. Many logistical challenges await around each corner of the hour. It seems as if each time a challenge arises, someone steps up to provide the solution.
There is a rarely seen phenomenon in the home building industry that permeates this building project – a willingness to step over each other, (literally) and patiently sidestep as one tradesmen passes through the hallway as another is squeezing by with an armload of supplies and/or tools.
It is a team effort to see to it that attitudes stay in check, there is a willingness and understanding within the minds of the volunteer trades to extend that extra bit of patience and grace in a stressful situation.
There is much done behind the scenes, as well as months in advance. A team of planners organize the event and begin the arduous task of calling trade partners in advance for a commitment. Sometimes it's so far in advance that they forget they committed (see logistical challenges awaiting around each corner of the hour above).
These committee members dedicate much time to planning the schedules and then taking supervisory roles to see the plan through to fruition.
Years ago, the phrase, “it takes a village” caught on, concerning child rearing, and never has it been more profoundly proven that it takes a village of concerned, committed, caring, dependable, steadfast, reliable partners from the food providers, the trash bins, the material suppliers, the Habitat staff, the councilors, the framers, the builders, the volunteer staff, the roofers, the painters, the electricians, the plumbers, the masons, the cabinet makers, the trim carpenters, the flooring installers and the army of other tradesmen and assistants.
And let's not forget about the homeowner who goes through a lengthy qualifying process and carries the mortgage on their new home. It is an overwhelming process that comes together in a way that, to the onlooker, seems to be run as smooth as a sewing machine, and, even though we know better, that's the way we like it to look.
As president of the Aiken Home Builders Association, I would like to thank all those that participated in this year's Builders Blitz, for, without your loyalty and partnership, we could not make homeownership a dream come true.
JD Norris is the owner/operator of DreamMaker Bath&Kitchen and a certified S.C. Master Builder, certified “Aging in Place” Specialist and certified Green Professional. If you have any projects that you would like discussed in an upcoming article, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.