by Mary Shepherd, HFHSC Family & Volunteer Coordinator

Hammer a nail . . . cut wood with a power saw . . . frame a wall . . . trim a window.  These basic construction skills that Habitat for Humanity  partner families learn in class and on the build site not only enable them to build their house now, but will continue to benefit them for years to come.

With the goal of owning a “dream home” comes the reality of home repairs, maintenance, and upkeep.  Your construction skills enable you to tackle the realities as well as achieve the dream.  Your carpentry skills give you the confidence to do simple things around the house yourself, such as change dresser knobs, hang pictures, install an extra shelf in a closet, or patch holes in the wall.  Add some creativity and you will be able to paint walls with flair, design and build valances to transform a window, or plant a garden paradise right in your own backyard!

The construction know-how and skill you develop now can enhance other aspects of your life.  Your background in construction may help you appreciate the architecture, design and detail around you, as you have an understanding of the planning and expertise that went into producing the objects of your admiration. Knowing that you can handle home maintenance and repair issues builds confidence, and completing a task yourself is a satisfying and rewarding accomplishment.  Knowing your capabilities provides you with a better understanding of whether you should handle a repair on your own, call a professional, or even assist a professional with the job.  Assisting a professional may save money and provide you with a valuable learning experience at the same time!   

Your construction skills enable you to place your personalized stamp on your home. Your efforts will transform your home into an expression of your family’s lifestyle, personality, and hopes and dreams.