Monday, August 14, 2017

Habitat For Humanity Build #7: Reedsburg, Wisconsin

We are back on the construction crew after an eight month hiatus. This time RVentures took us back to familiar stomping grounds ... the Baraboo, Wisconsin area where we did our second Habitat build last year at this time. 

The amazing beauty of ...

and Pewit's Nest Natural Area brought us back for another build.

This time, however, the local affiliate had finished one Habitat home and not yet started on the next. But happily, we were to work once again with "Super Joe", the Habitat construction supervisor on similar homes financed through a USDA rural housing program. Five of these homes are being built down the road in Reedsburg, Wisconsin.

The hope was to give the five future home owners a "boost" and help them enclose their houses before ol' man winter decides to make his cold and snowy appearance once again.

Despite some challenges of working on five houses all in the early stages of construction, six Care-a-Vanner couples came together to raise trusses, sheet and foam two of the houses and raise exterior walls on a third.

When working on a construction build site, there are three important priorities to consider: 

Safety: The #1 priority! Habitat for Humanity volunteers need a knowledge of proper use of ladders, scaffolding, harnesses, power tools and hard hats. I was able to graduate from hammer to the power nailer after passing "Power Tools 101" ... skillfully taught by Doug and the other knowledgeable team members!

AccuracyHabitat for Humanity volunteers need to build homes with straight walls, secure roofs and well insulated rooms to keep the future homeowners safe, dry and warm.

Speed: Habitat for Humanity volunteers come from all aspects of life, therefore, speed in construction is usually the 3rd priority. Construction sites and tools, to amateurs like me, can be new and mysterious. And I have to confess that sometimes there is just too much fun taking place on the sidelines. 

How long does it take these women to sheet and foam a small section of a house? All day ... especially when laughter and side discussions get in the way of finishing the job any faster!

But during a discussion between my husband and another experienced volunteer, Doug presented another priority that is somewhat unique and very important to Habitat for Humanity builds ...


Habitat for Humanity volunteers need to work together to not only build houses, but to also build community.

Community is shown through
dedicated team leaders like
Joe and Cherilyn!

Community is shown through collaboration
of great engineering minds!

Community is shown through the willingness
of volunteers to try something new.
We were happy to work with our good friends,
Joanne and Gary on their first Habitat build.

Community is shown by neighborhood
children sharing their harvest of
beans, broccoli and tomatoes with us!

Community is shown through the teaching
of new skills ... like how to operate
the gas-powered truss lift.

Community is shown through
amazing local volunteers
like Amber ... giving up
her free time to help a friend!

Community is shown through all the
future homeowners who work
not only on their own home, but also
on the homes of their four neighbors!

Community is shown by the future
homeowners both building with us
and preparing us lunch that included

delicious Wisconsin brats!

Community is shown through the
love and hugs of our Care-a-Vanner friends
whom we look forward to working with
again somewhere down the road!

Until next time ... build up the community around you ... and enjoy the adventures in your life!

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  1. Wow! A nail gun? I'm impressed. Those are heavy and tend to jump. Be careful! Loved this post with your commentary and photos.

    1. As always, safety is #1 priority. I was facing some tricky nailing when placing the "deadwood" in one of the houses. Short women on tall ladders don't help the situation. So when Mike, one of the supervisors, suggested the airguns, I took in his safety lesson, demonstrated competency, and proceeded to finish the job in a lot less time and with much more accuracy than I could have done with the traditional hammer. And yes, you are right ... I am always still very cautious with handling the heavy tool.

      Thanks for following along, and we look forward to building with you in Florida!