Construction begins on Habitat for Humanity house

RODNEY – Residents of Rodney may have noticed the sounds of saws and hammers echoing throughout the area on Wednesday. Though construction was delayed due to weather conditions, workers have officially begun building this year’s Habitat for Humanity-sponsored house.

“It’s been going well,” said on-site supervisor Phil Stich. “We’re not contractors, so we work a little slower than a professional might. We’re all volunteers.”

Wednesday marked the first day Habitat volunteers were able to visit the lot, located on a street off M-20, and begin work putting down rim joists, installing top lighting and sill plates. The basement on the lot had previously been dug and filled with concrete, and the basement floor will be added today. The finished house will be more than 1,000 square feet and feature four bedrooms, a full bathroom and a half bathroom.

The construction team is made up of 10 volunteers. They are being assisted by the family of four that will move into the house once it is complete. The family asked to remain anonymous.

“Some days we’ll only have four to five workers,” Stich said. “We’ve got a pretty good-sized crew today.”

It typically takes about six months to build a Habitat house.

“Things have been going a little slowly with the bad weather we’ve been having,” Stich said. “We’re about a month behind schedule.”

The property the house will be built on was donated. The owners of the houses typically have a say in where the house is built.

“They tell Habitat about the property they would like to live in,” Stich said. “If they want to live in a part of the area where we don’t have a lot, we look for it.”

Habitat for Humanity currently has two available lots in Big Rapids and one in Morley.

The workers typically work Wednesday and Fridays until the house is completed, starting at 8 a.m. and sometimes working until 4 p.m.

Now that the project is finally rolling, workers are eager to make progress on the home.

“It feels good to finally be working on the house,” Stich said. “It took a while to get the wheels spinning. But we’re happy to get started.”

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