Volunteers, family members, friends and local officials all gathered on Gude Street in Seekonk on Saturday to celebrate a key milestone in the construction of Kathy Coyle’s new home. In a traditional Habitat for Humanity ceremony, over 70 well-wishers wrote messages of love, congratulations and best wishes for the future on the studs of the house that is being built by Old Colony Habitat for Humanity.
Rep. Steven Howitt of Seekonk was in attendance, along with town officials who had worked with the Old Colony affiliate to make the project possible. The town of Seekonk donated the land and a total of $50,000 towards the construction of the house. Harold Messenger, the project supervisor, had volunteers standing by to install insulation and mount wallboard as soon as a section of framing had been signed.
The prospective homeowner, Kathy Coyle, has been giving her Saturdays to work alongside the volunteers during every phase of construction. She is required to contribute 250 hours of “sweat equity” as part of her commitment to the project, and in the process has learned a great deal about how to maintain the home. The excellent showing for the stud signing moved her greatly – “What a wonderful time I had.,” she said. “My friends and family enjoyed it so much! …. I was grateful and humbled. Thank you – you all made me feel special!”
Habitat partners are selected based on need, willingness to partner, and ability to pay the costs of a no-interest loan, insurance and taxes. The home is sold at a significant discount thanks to savings that can be realized on labor costs, thus placing it within reach of a family on a limited income.
Work at the Gude Street site will continue on Saturdays over the next two months, and volunteers are welcome. No special skills are necessary. To sign up and pick your specific build day to help out Click here to volunteer - we’d love to have you join us! Any questions please contact email@example.com
Despite many weather delays the siding is up and the exterior is finished for now. We are now ready for interior work and have finished the rough plumbing and its inspections. The next steps are electrical wiring followed by insulation and sheetrock. We are very excited about the progress and all the help we receive. Thank you to the Foxboro Lutheran Church of the Redeemer for your recent volunteer group’s work and sense of humor on the job! Our homeowner Kathy continues to be an incredible worker. She started with very little building skills and now handles power tools like a pro!
Volunteers continue to help Kathy Coyle realize her dream of home ownership by devoting their time to the construction of the Habitat home on Gude Street in Seekonk. As the month of December heralded the holiday season, the septic tank was installed, interior framing was largely completed, and rough plumbing connections were completed. “Christmas is all about family,” says Kathy, “and this home is the greatest gift my family could hope to receive.”
On December 7th, Ron Tremper and Harold Messenger directed a crew of five “regulars” – volunteers who’ve come to many of the build days on this project and its predecessor in Norton. Carl Adler, a Staples display designer during the week, is on his second project and frequently acts a a site supervisor. He and Kevin Kreiser, a sales representative for Unilever Corp., were installing siding on the south side of the house. “This is my first project with Habitat,” said Kevin, “and I’ll be back!”
Roy Wolfe of Franklin, MA helped Kathy and Al Alfonso of Wrentham to spread extra gravel around the foundation and front steps. This is their first Habitat project as well, but they have been working steadily since August. They are both fans of “This Old House” and are enjoying the experience of building one from the ground up. Both saw e-mails and press coverage of the need for volunteers and signed up via the Old Colony website (www.oldcolonyhabitat.org).
“It’s a lot of fun, and I get to work with some great people on the site,” says Al. The volunteers bring a wide range of experience to the job, from those with contractors’ licenses to those who are using power tools for the first time.
In the coming weeks, Adrian Ferrara will complete the siding and soffit while Young’s Paving Co. will fill holes in the street and put in a driveway. Rough electrical installations are scheduled for the week before Christmas, after which it’s hoped that the rough inspection can be completed. The crew plans to take two weeks off for the holidays and return to work the first weekend in January.
Neighbors and passers-by were treated to an unusual sight on Gude Street in Seekonk on Thursday. It’s not every day that a 25-ton crane lifts an entire gabled roof to the top of a newly-constructed home in the quiet neighborhood. Dunlap Crane Service of Seekonk donated its time and effort to accelerate the progress of Old Colony Habitat for Humanity in building a home in partnership with Kathy Coyle, her daughter Emily Luther, and her grandson Jeremiah.
Harold Messenger, the project supervisor, suggested building the roof on the ground due to the height of the second story and the resulting danger it might pose to volunteers with little roofing or construction experience. Over two build days, volunteers built a frame to elevate the roof three feet off the ground as it was being built. This allowed access to the interior as it was closed in. Trusses were aligned and stabilized with bracing according to the plans, and then decking was installed to lock them into place. When all was ready, the crane operator installed strapping through holes cut in the roof and the bracing allowing the entire assembly to be lifted forty feet into the air and set down on the framing of the second story.
“We built the roof in two days and installed it in about 30 minutes,” says Harold. “Next week Ferrara Construction out of Brockton will finish it off with shingles provided by GAF. These donations have made it possible to close in the house in record time.”
With the roof in place, volunteers on Saturday were able to begin constructing the porch roof, complete the second story sheathing, install doors and windows, and begin the strapping on the second floor. Carl Adler acted as Team Leader for the day. “We made a lot of progress on the list that Harold gave us. It was a great group of volunteers.”
Construction on these items will continue next Saturday from 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM. Volunteers can sign up to participate by clicking here Volunteer.