Wild Rivers Habitat Build in Luck, Wisconsin: Weeks 1 and 2

After leaving Teri and Grey’s we headed to our next Habitat build in Luck, Wisconsin. After the affiliate was left without a construction supervisor Care-a-vanners Bill and France were asked to manage the building of the house. We’d worked with them 2 summers prior in Walla Walla, Washington and because we were eager to have the opportunity to do so again we immediately signed up for one of the builds. When we discovered a couple months later that the second build wasn’t attracting as many volunteers as the first Tom and I agreed that we’d just do 4 weeks there rather than move onto another site. As a bonus to staying longer it would give me an opportunity to learn new skills since Bill, a former general contractor, is extremely knowledgeable and a good teacher.

Unfortunately small town contractor-related delays left us unable to start until a day later than expected; though this gave us an extra day to spend hiking with Teri it caused some serious delays on a project that was already being shoehorned into volunteers’ schedules. But though the start was delayed the crew – led by Bill’s incredible management – made a serious dent by the end of the first week. I had hurt my back again literally the night before the build much to my frustration and so I missed the first 2 days, but by my arrival on site on the morning of Day 3 all the exterior house walls were up and sheathed and the interior walls were stood as well which meant we were already prepared to roll trusses. By that afternoon we’d built and stood the garage walls too, started framing the roof, and placed the huge LVL garage beam in place which meant that by the next day we were ready to put up garage trusses. By the end of Week 1 we had the house roof decked and the garage roof nearly framed. After waiting 4 years for construction to begin future homeowners Callie and Adan were ecstatic at the progress – and we were all seriously happy to have signed up to help build their house.

Despite my back giving me trouble I couldn’t resist volunteering for shingling starting the middle of the following week. Because Callie and Adan have 6 children the house had 5 bedrooms, making it a slightly larger footprint than a typical Habitat house; the 2 car garage mandated by the HOA brought the roof square footage to 2,000. It was a pretty big roof. Still, Dave, Don, Tom and I knocked it out fairly quickly. While we were shingling the front porch was completed, the house wrap was finished, windows and door were put in, and the soffit and siding were started. And so by the end of the 9 days we had a fully dried in house.

Finishing up trusses

Standing garage walls

Janet sheathing the garage and Tom preparing to cut out the man door

Placing the LVL garage header

Putting up the soffit ladder on the front gable end

Tom nailing off rat runs in the garage

Roof decking

Janet and Sue making soffit ladders for gable end walls

Sue cutting exterior foam insulation

Wrapping the house

More housewrap

Window installation

Gable end going up on the front porch

The shingling begins! Dave nailing it down.

Janet and Sue wrapping the gable end

Bill and Tom putting down ice and water shield on the front porch

Nailing off ridge cap shingles on the house

Busy busy finishing up our first 2 weeks!