Habitat Success!

On Wednesday I worked at my first Habitat house with the Fort Worth chapter. The house is in southeast Fort Worth off 820. I expected to be painting, but they had lost a day on Saturday due to rain, so I installed fiber cement siding instead. Honestly, I can’t say that I’m a terribly good siding installer, but I tried hard and learned a lot. The siding was maybe halfway complete or more when we arrived. By the end of the day, the siding was complete and ready for caulk and paint. the large team of volunteers worked hard all day. Fiber cement siding is heavy, stiff and somewhat fragile if you mishandle it, so we tried to be careful. I got to use some cool power shears (affectionately known as The Nibbler) to cut a few of the pieces. The weather was GORGEOUS, which was nice since we worked pretty hard. James Hardie, a local siding installer for whom my friend Trey works or used to work, generously donated ALL of the siding for the house. Thanks, Trey!

The homeowner is a young woman named Cristal. Unfortunately she wasn’t there while we worked, but I’m sure she’s really excited. Not much remains for the house – exterior paint and caulk, landscaping, and a bit of interior work. She should get to move in soon. Habitat really is a great organization. On each job site they have a site manager, some paid staff, several volunteer leaders, and (if available) day-to-day volunteers like me. Some days only a handful of people are working. Other days a company sends dozens of people, turning the site into a beehive of activity. They are very safety conscious. As a construction site, hazards abound, and the leaders really watch out for the noobs to make sure they don’t get hurt. My only injury was a smashed thumb caused by a poorly aimed hammer strike. Here’s a picture of the house once today’s work was done: