Habitat for Humanity - Crosspoint 2007

These are journal entries from our volunteers as they help build a home with the Smyrna/Cobb Coalition Summer and Fall 2007. We are doing another build August - November 2008.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Day One

31 July 2007
Hey All,
Our first project with the Smyrna/Cobb Coalition of Habitat for Humanity is now underway! Tom and Cindy Rhodes and I had the opportunity to serve this past Saturday while it was Tim Harman and I on Sunday afternoon. Apart from a few blisters I’m sure everyone would agree it was a rewarding experience working shoulder to shoulder with others who wish to serve God by serving others. We also got a chance to meet our homeowner Nichole Bass who was on site and got in some of her sweat-equity hours towards ownership. She seems a very nice woman and I’d encourage everyone to come out and meet her.

When we arrived on Saturday we found that the door and window headers had been built, the walls’ sole and top plates had been cut and marked, and that the slab was laid out with wall locations marked on it last weekend. We then proceeded to frame up all interior and exterior walls along with door and window openings in place. Each one was then raised in its proper location and affixed to the slab with cut nails.

It’s an exciting thing be on site during the framing process. To have everyone working in unison like parts of a well running machine, the hammers singing as they drive the nails home, and the exhilaration of seeing the first wall raised. I know that moment was significant for Nicole and me and I’m sorry for all of you that couldn’t share in it.

Once the walls were in place they were all plumbed, squared, and trued, the next step was applying the sheathing, in this case OSB wafferboard. This went up with relative ease with many hands at work and once done, the structure had been fleshed out and we were done for the day.

It wasn’t clear to me that the few Sunday builds we would have would begin at 1pm as the community did not allow construction on Sunday during the morning hours. This only became clear when Tim and I were the only ones on site that morning and I called the coordinator for some direction. To his credit, Tim agreed to come back that afternoon to help without any grumbling about my over site (my apologies too to Bethany). I won’t make that mistake twice!

That afternoon Tim and I met up on site and worked with volunteers from congregation Etz Chaim, an orthodox Jewish congregation in Marietta. The work included inspection of the sheathing for adequate nailing, cutting and installing the cap plates on the walls, installing a few remaining door jacks below the exterior headers, cutting the door and window openings in the sheathing, and wrapping the exterior walls in Tyvek moisture barrier.

With the other tasks completed or well underway, Tim and I got on to wrapping the house in Tyvek. This involved one person holding an eight foot roll of material and slowly unrolling while others tack the material to the structure. The material is then rolled out just a few feet at a time while another person hammers in two to three fasteners at the top of the run, climbs down the ladder, moves the ladder, climbs up the ladder, and repeats. Once started, the process should be maintained as to have as few seams as possible. It’s not particularly laborious but it is tedious as the roll must be supported and the proper tension and level maintained.

While one team was doing this in one direction around the house, Tim and I were moving in the opposite direction stopping several times to wait for a door or window opening to be cut. All this time the sky was growing darker and rumblings of thunder could be heard. Then, what started as a sprinkle, quickly developed into a full fledged downpour. All the other help seemed to disappear as Tim and I struggled to keep at the tasks at hand. It was getting difficult to see with the rain running down my glasses and exceedingly uncomfortable as every article of clothing became waterlogged. There was a steady stream of water running inside my collar, down my back, and further southward. The pockets of my nail pouch were filling with water where I had earlier stowed my Bluetooth headset. We stopped a logical place on the wall and secured the material just to have the rain stop.

My techno-theological lesson for the weekend: Bluetooth devices are ill-suited for Baptists as they will not stand up to full immersion.

Julian Swann
Volunteer Coordinator


August 2007   September 2007   January 2008  

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