Monday, November 21, 2011

Construction Update- November

La Fortuna, Renton:


The entire building is officially "dried in" (all windows, doors and housewrap on) and we passed the final moisture envelope inspection. Dave Buck commented the work was very good quality and the system we use is better than most normal construction he sees. All garages are pre- rocked for garage door installation which is scheduled for the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Siding is complete to the top floor across the entire back and belly bands, window trim, and corners are complete on both ends and the back.  Hardi panel started on the third floor and siding and trim started on all sides of the building.

Fire sprinkler contractor should finish up this week and be ready for inspection before the Thanksgiving break.

John helped set exhaust fans in three units for the HVAC sub to connect the ducts.  HVAC contractor is in the last unit and should finish up on Monday. Inspections will start on Tuesday. We have begun soffiting and boxing heat ducts in 2 units.

Electrical volunteers are scheduled for Tuesday to start rough in.


With the help of Bank of America, we got the party walls up and sheeted,  and we set the back corner for the entry way walls. 

The experienced crews from GLY and PCL helped finish the floor framing in 7e, start and finish the floor joist and beams in 7d, and start the floor joist in 7c. They also helped finish wall framing in all but 7a and sheeting to 95% and fire rock 90%

Floor joists have been completed in 3 units and layout is finished and ready for beams and joists in a 4th.

Guardrails were started in LF7e and will be completed before sub- floor is started.

Stair landings are in 3 units and the lower set of stairs in LF7d has been cut and is ready to install.

Interior sheerwalls are complete in 3 units and started in a 4th.

Work for this week:
Siding and trim, caulking, painting (weather dependent), floor joists, stairs and landings, guardrails, and maybe sub- floor.

Issaquah Highlands:
Progress continues to be steady with the siding installation. We are now complete in the back, south gable end and the north gable only has a few pieces left. Completed areas under the porch and several gables in the front are now started and one is finished. We were able to start the final coat of exterior paint on the south gable and the back of the building.
On the inside, the plumbing is complete and was tested. There is one minor correction that will be made on Tuesday. Insulation and sheet rock was installed in the garages in preparation for the HVAC installation, which is about 95% complete and should be finished early next week.
 Work for this week:
We will continue siding and start building soffits around the plumbing and duct work on the inside of the building.

Another AmeriCorps group, City Year, came out to both of our sites last Friday!  They were a fun, enthusiastic group and worked hard in the cold.  Here they are pictured in front of the Issaquah Highlands site! 

Construction Update- October

October Updates:

La Fortuna, Renton

The Build-a-thon went off without a hitch—thanks to the volunteers, we got a lot done!  Work for Build-a-thon included: framing, painting, housewrap, and windows.
The new homeowners had a construction orientation, there were 11 family members at the orientation and it was good to meet them. Some began their hours that same afternoon, the rest the following week.  The AmeriCorps were in Yakima for SERVES, but work continued steadily with our faithful volunteers. 

Housewrap is completed, windows are in.  

Siding and trim are continuing on the back and south end.  Pre- painting continued.

NorTech has laid out and drilled the entire building and had pipe and fittings delivered. The will start fitting pipe on Monday and might be done next week. The fire room roof was completed and pre- rock installed.

Passed plumbing inspection in all 6 units on Tuesday. Fire room is complete and ready for roofing.
 Fire sprinkler installation at about 75%.

We had All Weather deck and Rail come out this week and train me and Kristina in the proper installation of their waterproof deck membrane.   All of the waterproof decks have been glued and trimmed with All Weather Deck and Rail scheduled to come weld the corners on Monday.

The mechanical permit was pulled and we are ready for Bob's to come back and continue the HVAC rough in.  HVAC is scheduled to start on Tuesday and we expect them to take several days per unit to complete their work.  The holes they cut in the roof 2 weeks ago causes continual flooding on rainy days.

Electrical should be ready to start the 2nd week of November in a couple of units.

Multiple corners are set for string height and ready to measure then build.

More walls were framed and sheeting was started. We will begin getting party wall inspections next week. 2nd floor materials were delivered and floor framing will start next week.

Framing continued with wall sheeting, fire rock and floor beams.

We passed the inspection and closed up the partywall between units D and E. The other 2 partywalls were inspected and passed for sheer nailing and fire rock begun. The back wall of C and D were framed and are ready for sheeting.

Unit e had the walls straightened and braced and is ready for floor joists.

Unit d had all of its wall sheeting installed.

Unit c had its back wall framed, plumbed and braced for wall sheeting to begin.

Site work and Wetlands-

The site has been straightened out and a load of wood recycle was hauled, a dump load was sent, weeds pulled, grass mowed, and straw spread.

We had an inspection of our wetlands and there was multiple plantings that didn't take root and they will recommend different plants to replace the dead ones. They said we were doing well and are way better than the common failure rate. We have a few new weeds to work on, including reed canary grass and morning glory vine, plus the usual blackberry bushes.

We pulled a lot of reed canary grass and cut down a lot of blackberry vines. We also weeded the mulch rings and cleaned the catch basin filters.

Issaquah Highlands
We continued to run smaller crews in Issaquah while Build-a-thon was happening in Renton. We were able to complete the majority of the truss bracing and sheet rock backing on the top floors.

The HVAC contractor marked out a plan, but installation will be a few weeks away.

The roofing installation was started and is about 85% complete.

We continued installing windows and getting the house wrap to the roof line. Siding installation is coming along nicely. Hardie plank siding is mostly complete on the garage and main floor level on the north, south and west sides of the building. White wood continued to be added around windows and the upper belly band has started on the back of the building. We also did quite a bit of nail setting and spackle and started caulking the hardie plank. One front door is now installed. The other door is on back order.  The eaves on the back and south side were primed.
On the inside of the building plumbing rough-in has started. The waste and vent is complete on 5B and water lines are about 75%.
Most of the ABS is complete in the B unit and drilling has started on the A unit. The areas behind the bath tubs were insulated and pre-rocked.
Our volunteers from Pacific Medical Centers posed with our tractor at lunchtime in Issaquah Highlands!

 A Brush With Kindness:
In October, Mike, Kristen, Jordan and Liz worked at one of our A Brush With Kindness houses in Sammamish. They trenched and installed two downspout drain lines. We will be returning to the project over the next couple of weeks to complete some facia repair and gutter installation.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cut-a-Thon Fundraiser with Sola Salon Studio's

In need of a new hairdo? and want to give back to your community?

If so, be sure to join us on November 20th at Sola Salon Studio's for their Cut-a-Thon fundraiser to benefit Habitat EKC!
When: Sunday, November 20th, from 1 - 4 pm
Where: Sola Salon, 909 112th Ave NE, Ste. 105, Bellevue, WA 98004
What: Eight stylists will donate their time to provide haircuts to children, men and women with a suggested donation of $15 for children, $20 for men and $25 for women. Additional donations will be accepted.
Why: All proceeds will go toward Habitat's affordable home building program, serving hard working, low-income families in our community.
How: Call the Hair Cut hotline at (425) 641-5713 or email to book an appointment.

More information:
The stylists donating their time are Elena Basmova, Joanie Lindquist, Ryanne Gokey, Lisa Clarno, Tricia Yaap, Tatiana Diamond, Bonnie Marcoe and Angela Schoonover. Unite hair care is providing all their backbar.

Not only will participants get a fabulous new hair cut, but they will also receive gifts generously donated from pure barre and Unite hair care.

Special thanks to Angela Schoonover for organizaing this fun event

Christmas Tree Silent Auction and Raffle at our Habitat Store

Need a Christmas Tree?

Habitat for Humanity’s new store in Bellevue WA, will be raffling off custom Christmas trees designed and donated by the community and Store volunteers.  We will have a few trees for silent auction and a few others for the raffle. 

The fundraiser will culminate with a “winner announcement” event on Sunday, December 4th at 1:00pm. The Silent auction will close at 2:30pm and raffle winners will also be drawn and announced at 2:30pm.  You do not have to be present to win.  The event will feature delectable sweets, hot cider and cocoa. 

Raffle tickets are $1 and can be purchased at the Habitat Store on 13500 Bel Red Rd in Bellevue. Come and view the trees anytime between November 16th and December 4th!

Please call our Store at (425) 641-2643 with any questions.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Let's Build a House Party Huge Success

The fourth annual Let's Build a House party was a truly inspiring night where nearly 50 guests gathered to converse, eat, drink and collectively raise money to fund an entire Habitat home!

Hosted by David and Jenny Kays' on September 14th, the party proved to be a huge success and exceeded the fundraising goal of 120,000, helping to complete a second house as well. This included contributions from Microsoft Real Estate and Facilities, the matching gift pool provided by the host couples and the House Party guests.

Habitat for Humanity is extremely grateful to our four generous host couples: David and Jenny Kays, John and Arleen Balciunas, Dave Thompson and Judy Jesiolowski, Rob Short and Emer Dooley and Tom and Terri Miller for their significant gifts that made up the matching gift pool.

Thanks to their efforts along with guest contributions, Mirna Aguilar, a single mother to three beautiful children will have an affordable home. Her family currently lives in a residence with inadequate insulation, flood problems and safety issues.

Mirna's ultimate dream is to have all of her kids attend college. She believes providing her family with a stable and safe home is an important step toward reaching that goal.

 It's amazing what a group of passionate individuals can accomplish when
they come together.

Let's Build a House party guests also signed up to build at our Issaquah site on October 29th and November 16th.

The picture on the left is from their October 29th build in Issaquah.

Thank you to all who contributed to
 Let's Build a House! 
You've made the dream of home ownership come true for one deserving family.

Upcoming Family Information Meeting

Learn how Habitat for Humanity makes homeownership possible for deserving
 low income families.

Attend a Family Information Meeting

December 1, 6:00 - 7:00pm at Snoqualmie Library, 7824 Center Blvd SE., Snoqualmie
December 3, 12:00 - 1:00pm at Renton Highlands Library, 2902 NE 12th St., Renton
December 5, 7:00 - 8:00 pm at Renton Library, 100 Mill Avenue South, Renton
December 6, 6:00 - 7:00 pm at Habitat Office, 16315 NE 87th St., Suite B-5, Redmond

In your current living situation...
  • Do you and your family live in overcrowded, expensive or substandard housing?
  • Can yo uafford $800-950 per month for housing (mortgage, HOA dues and taxes)?
  • Have you lived or worked in King County for at least one year?
  • Are you willing to put in 500 hours of "sweat equity" on your home or the home of a neighbor?
  • Are you looking for a "hand-up," not a hand-out?

Questions? Call Stephanie at 425-869-6007 or visit

*One unit will be ADA accessible. People with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Guatemala Global Village Trip: Journal Entries

Sunday, October 9

Bienvenidos! or in the Kaqchiquel dialect, "UTz XIX PICHIK" (We're happy that you came and that you are well).
The Global Village trip to San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala has begun. Thirteen intrepid          Habi-trekkers have set out on an adventure to explore, build and impact the lives of deserving Guatemalan families for the better.- Tom Granger

Monday, October 10

First day of building! Made rebar, holes in U-blocks, mixed cement for footings, chipped a rock that was too high and hauled dirt in bags for the floor. Made good progress for the day under the guidance of Martin, the mason-the "Maestro" or the "Jeffe" - Boss.- Dave Thompson

                                     Tuesday, October 11

Today was considerably easier than yesterday. Hauled a lot of blocks around, but with block lines it was not as difficult. Ellie had to talk Martin into letting us lay blocks, but so far seems pleased with the work.- Sean ("newbie" - one of four)

Wednesday, October 12

Rain, Rain, Go Away!
Tropical storm E12 has invaded Guatemala. Not sure what the build site looks like as the heavy rain and wind makes the drive too treacherous. The wind smashed a couple of doors and woke a few people up, but the major effect is people standing around looking for something to do.

I anticipate our build site will be fine if and when we get back to it, but radar says the rain will be around at least another day. The poverty is everywhere and our effect is a small step in a long journey. Habitat is having a huge effect in Guatemala, but the need is even greater. We can only take the next step and hope others will too.- John B.

                                                                            Thursday, October 13

Rain is the theme, but we somehow seem to keep making progress on our site. The Guatemalans' hard work, calm presence and desire to improve their lives and that of their children has been inspiring.
All and all it has been a wonderful (even if wet) experience. - Jim W.

Friday, October 14

The morning was our usual 7am gathering on the large patio for our breakfast. The house is really taking shape- looks like a house. There are seven courses of blocks, eight in some places and the windows are beginning to take shape.

Judy and I took a walk with the children and meandered around a "neighborhood" of very basic swellings. I estimate that we saw about 50 young kids in the area. The homes all had outdoor showers sponsored by U.S. A.I.D (US Aid for International Development).

The dedication was lovely. Tom and Peter represented the teams beautifully in what they said to the families. The masons also spoke and I guess it was a culmination of the week's experience, but when Senor Martin spoke I was in tears.

The passion for service in this group of people is inspiring. I think it is safe to say that we really made a difference this week.
Thanks, Dave, Judy, Tom M., Tom E., Peter, Jim, Sean, Keith, Ray, John, Jack and of course my Tom for making this week such a memorable experience.- Nancy G.

Sunday, October 16

Already feeling like I've stepped back through the looking glass. Did it really happen? What stood out for me?

#1- Clive. Clive Rainey is an amazing guy to meet. Not only is his history with Habitat unmatched, but he is a wealth of informationand stories and he lives out his Christan faith better than anyone else I know.
#2- Esvin. "Pedrooo!" "Esvinnn!" At first I thought homewoner Esvin was gently poking fun at me and maybe he was, but as the week went on I think a real mutual affection developed and when he said to me "siempre mi amigo, Pedro" at the closing ceremony I was deeply touched.
#3- The Team. I was a newcomer to a team that already knew each other and worked well together. Yet they made me feel welcome from the start.
#4- Ellie and Jamil. What a great duo! When Clive left us, Jamil stepped in. He's got personality, charm, a smile that makes all the chicas want to flirt with him and he's also a smart, caring individual who has chosen this life of service when his talents would bring him sucess in more individually rewarding pursuits. Ellie  has a good heart and I hope she decides to stay in this kind of work.
#5- Rain, rain and more rain.
#6- The work.
#7- Guatemala and its people. A land of contrasts.  In Guatemala City one can see wealth and new development on the same block with decay and squalor. Why do we in the U.S. have an embarassment of riches while Guatemala struggles? It's not because we are superior people for I have met Guatemalans and they are as kind, hard-working, as loving of their families, as talented as we are. Habitat is in the right place. A secure, stable roof over one's head makes a big difference.
I am thankful for such a great experience.- Pete S.