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August 27, 2007


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I've built on 12 different sites across the US. Habitat is awesome- I've seen them in action from Florida to Illinois, Wisconsin to Georgia.

I'm now a 26 year old (who works in Marketing and Sales, not a "hands on" trade) who can almost build a house from scratch- aside from electrical and plumbing. Even if you aren't going to build your own house, Habitat is great for becoming handy around your house...and helping a great cause.

I worked on a number of Habitat projects all through college. While I am nowhere near even understanding how to build my own house, I did gain a lot of insight into the process and the different steps. I also learnt really basic things like how to spackle, plaster, paint or slap concrete on basement walls, which is already more than my parents know! It definitely made me more confident regarding small home improvement projects (like repainting walls) and has made me handier in general and more willing to learn how to do something myself. I mean, I was always willing to learn, but there was definitely a time when I didn't think I could learn certain things.

I am also a 20-something Habitat afficionado. I've worked on houses in four different states and have learned about everything from preparing to lay a slab foundation to doing green historic home restoration (not cheap, was easier when Hope VI was still around, incredibly valuable for the community).

Forgetting the numerous handyman-type skills I have acquired, I have also gained a lot of non-homebuilding things from my time with Habitat. I have met homeowners from all over the world; met volunteers from all over the country, of different ethnicities and economic statuses; hobknobbed with the mayor; made lifelong friends; enjoyed the incredible hospitality of homeowners; and have been challenged over and over again to evaluate my own financial and spiritual priorities.

Typically, experiences like that aren't cheap. With Habitat, they're free. And you'll learn how to hang hardiplank siding or build a porch to boot.

What a great way to obtain the skills to increase the value of your home while also helping other people out!

I've helped on several houses and built one in a week. The local habitat affiliate subs out the plumbing, electrical, insulation, and drywall. we did the framing, outside hardiboard (its like vynil siding but made from concrete) kitchen cabinets, doors, windows, etc.

it was a really good learning experience and I wish i could help again.

I did it a couple of times (not with a group, just an add-on volunteer) and I loved it. It was a lot of fun. We did drywall, because none of us had experience, but it was great!

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