MOUNT VERNON — The Building Trades and Carpentry classes at the Knox County Career Center and the Habitat for Humanity of Knox County have formed a partnership, wherein habitat buys the lumber for homes to be built and the classes construct the framework.
The first project has just been completed in a big work shop at the KCCC. Instructors Keith Chester of the carpentry department and Colby Clippinger of building trades coordinated their classes for the project.
The cooperative project will decrease the build time for homes for Habitat for Humanity. John Darmstadt, construction coordinator for habitat, explained that habitat traditionally has a “blitz build,” a two-day weekend where volunteers frame up a home and hope to get it under roof in that time span. It is a huge effort that requires a large number of volunteers to “stick build” a house in just two days.
On this first project under the new partnership, the KCCC classes framed the 1,200-square-foot home in their workshop. Two objectives are met doing the construction this way. The students learn how to read blueprints, cut lumber to the required sizes, and construct the exterior walls and interior framing for the rooms; and habitat has a home that only has to be taken to the site and put together.
A feature of this house is the use of 2-by-6-inch studs in the exterior walls. The extra 2 inches width of space in the walls, where regular 2-by-4-inch studs would normally be used, allows for extra insulation in the exterior walls.
The home will be in Apple Valley. The foundation and basement will be ready for construction of the house during the blitz build scheduled for April 23 and 24. With the home closed to the weather, the interior can be completed along with electrical, plumbing and heating.
The home is for Cathy Bostwick and her teenage daughter, who now live in an apartment. Bostwick said she can hardly wait for the home to be completed. They have already packed all they can, anticipating the move to their new home.
Three needs are required for a family to have a home built for them by habitat: The need for a home; a median income of 30 percent to 50 percent of the community; and 250 hours of “sweat equity,” or actual labor by the family receiving the home. The family pays off the $65,000 to $70,000 interest-free loan from habitat over 30 years. The money repaid then goes toward building other homes. Darmstadt said the cost of doing it this way is much less than a commercial loan.
Much of the money to construct these homes came from an opportunity that presented itself about three years ago. A man from Knox County was doing part-time work tearing down the construction of a Home and Garden show held annually at the Ohio Exposition Center. The show typically discarded the lumber, but said anyone could have it.
Knox County Habitat for Humanity jumped on the opportunity, and salvaged the lumber and carpet. The first year the lumber was used to build a new home. Now it is sold at habitat’s store, ReStore at 120 S. Norton St. The money is then used for the new homes. This year habitat officials also salvaged 2,800 square feet of carpet.