Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sabbatical Day 19–Critical Repair

Today was my first time volunteering on a Critical House Repair for Habitat. I thought I might be taking Tia and Kendall to the airport, and was thinking I’d need to leave early. However Kyle said he’d drive them and I left at 8, which turned out to be a touch late.

Lots of traffic and I stressed a bit driving. There was construction out in the country, and a 8 minute delay for me there, which had my arrival time at 9:03. Then construction on I-70 as well, but I managed to pull up at 9:02. Fortunately they hadn’t done the safety briefing.

I got the standard spiel I’ve heard a few times, with a foreman and 3 Americorps volunteers there. They said mostly painting and caulking, which I don’t enjoy. However the foreman said one person could help cut wood for the railings and ramp in front and I volunteered. I think I was lucky that everyone else was from one company and they stuck together.

This house needed help, and the program with Habitat upgrades problem areas at cost. In this case, the man was starting to have walking issues and we were putting a wheelchair ramp on front of the porch. We also had to put new railings up, as there was a new roof over the porch. Previously the house had gotten a new roof, new windows and doors, and was almost done.

As I watched others caulk and paint the upper eaves and upper half of the house, I helped frame out the upper platform off the porch, then moved off to put new railings with pickets in front and on one side. I cut lots of wood to size, and held lots of pieces that people screwed in.

Near the end of the day we were decking the top with TREX and I helped screw pieces in. We managed to get the upper and lower platforms framed and mostly decked. The lower ramp needs to wait for some other work, so we were almost done with the project at the end of the day. I’d like to go back and help, but other volunteer tasks this week.

It’s neat to help improve things. Unlike some of the other builds where it barely feels like I did anything, it felt like I helped today as I was working with 3 of the regulars and we moved quickly.

However I’m beat. Ready for bed.

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