Thursday, July 30, 2015

Habitat for Humanity

Last weekend we spent a tiring, but satisfying, day plaster-boarding (aka "dry-walling" over here).  No we hadn't suddenly been overcome with the urge to remodel the rental... we were taking part in a York "Habitat for Humanity" day with Hubby's work.
Habitat for Humanity is a voluntary charitable organisation that builds affordable homes in partnership with lower-income residents in the area.  It's funded mainly by private donations, and offers interest-free, 30 year mortgages to qualified families.  Much of the materials are donated from local contractors and suppliers, and the rest of the build depends on local community fund raisers and donations.
The ground-breaking for this house took place back in March this year (when there was still snow on the ground), and is due to be completed in November, with a deserving family already lined up to move in.
It was an early start - 7:45am, and already warm, with the promise of hot, muggy temperatures later in the day.  After a quick briefing (sustained by the obligatory coffee and doughnuts), we were split into smaller groups and designated an experienced construction volunteer and a room to work in.
Being a complete novice at dry-walling didn't seem to be a problem, and our little team of 4 was soon measuring, cutting, gluing and screw-gunning huge boards into place on the ceiling and walls like we knew what we were doing.  And then making adjustments to take into account the fact that timber-built houses are never square...
We did well, and although we weren't able to quite finish the room in the time allocated, we got close.  Sadly no in-progress photos - we were too busy working!  However, I have developed a new-found respect for those DIY programmes where they build complete houses from scratch in a few days!
By mid afternoon we were done.  We may have been filthy, exhausted and sweaty, but we left with a happy satisfaction that we'd made a small contribution to a future home for another family.

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