For 10 years, Harris Doyle Homes has partnered with Habitat for Humanity Greater Birmingham for its annual Habitat Home Builders Blitz to build a home in seven days for a future homeowner. This year, there were nine builders who participated in the event, and there are 10 families who now have a place of their own to call home.
After seven days of construction beginning on Thursday, October 12, Harris Doyle welcomed the Baker family to their new home in Cascade Parc on Thursday, October 19! The Bakers’ new home is approximately 1,200 square feet and features three bedrooms and two baths.
“It was one of my favorite plans to build thus far because it has a large front porch that spans all the way across the home,” said Peyton Rogers, vice president of construction for Harris Doyle Homes. “That meant that we could add rocking chairs and plants, making it homier, and it’s one less expense that the new homeowners had to incur. That is just one little thing we can do as a token of our appreciation while making the home more inviting for them.”
Built in the East Lake community of Cascade Parc, formerly known as Cascade Plunge, this once vibrant area is beginning to regain its sense of community. The city of Birmingham partnered with Habitat for Humanity to bring new life to this previously popular area. To date Habitat has built a total of 24 homes in just two years, and will eventually include up to 40 new, affordable homes.
“It has really transformed in just a year’s time,” said Rogers. “With Habitat creating this unique development in a previously neglected area, we’re really starting to see a community take shape. These homeowners have such tremendous pride in their home, and their families really all thrive here together.”
Homes built by Habitat for Humanity are not simply given away. Potential Habitat homeowners go through a selection process to see if they qualify and applicants must demonstrate that they can pay an affordable mortgage, be willing to take financial training classes and be ready to contribute hundreds of hours of sweat equity, including on the construction of their own house. The Bakers committed to nearly 350 hours of community service on their new home!
This week-long event is very labor intensive and time consuming, but it is also one of the most rewarding experiences to participate in. The process is fast, and the bulk of the work is done months in advance through scheduling and meeting with subcontractors and vendors, getting the best deals possible on materials and seeing what can be donated to the cause.
The first day of the Home Builders Blitz is the biggest and most productive day. The slab is already poured and the subcontractors have already set aside time to make sure everything is up to code. By lunch, the roof is already on and the framing is up! The second day begins the drywall process and from there, the entire house transforms rather quickly so that it is entirely built in just one week’s time.
This was Harris Doyle’s 10th year participating in the Habitat for Humanity Home Builders Blitz, and team members came out to lend a helping hand throughout the week, whether it was by sweeping, hammering, or just bringing food to the subcontractors and trade partners.
“This year, it was really about team effort, serving and getting out of our everyday office atmosphere,” said Rogers. “We not only had the chance to give back to others, but to each other as well. We had the opportunity to build a relationship with others, like the homeowner, tradespeople, subcontractors, and other coworkers that we may not get the chance to interact with on a daily basis.”
This is Peyton’s eighth year overseeing the Builders Blitz project for Harris Doyle Homes. “Each year we find a better way to improve the process. You think you have it perfected and something changes,” he said. “This year I learned to be prepared to cut out the countertops for sink bowls so they are ready for the plumber to install!”