Two women build houses on Townsend & E. 79th


    Our crew had finished the house on Harvard & 89th, and we were biting at the bit to move on to our next house sponsored by St. Basil’s Church.  However, it was in Garfield Hts., which has different city codes for building.  The city will only approve houses that use paid licensed professionals to install the electric, plumbing, and HVAC.  Our particular house also needed a sump pump.  And between those two issues, there was an interminable delay in our being able to do anything at the house.

    So Habitat told us to “take a vacation” in February 2007.  In March, they asked if we would help out the Women Build houses near Woodland and 79th, as they were not progressing as quickly as desired or predicted.

    The premise behind Women Build is that since Habitat has recently made all its houses per the same design and has a huge 3-ring binder with simplified instructions, “even women can lead a build”.  So one of the office workers, Jessie, offered to be the house leader, and another construction worker Kris joined her.  They solicited women to work a couple days a week, but progress was slow....that’s where WE entered the picture.

    It wasn’t long before our crew saw the differences in the quality of workmanship between Jessie’s crew and ours.  We automatically wanted to fix things and improve the quality, but decided against it, reasoning that if we corrected their work, then the construction supervisor Thomas would indeed think that Jessie could produce a quality product.  So each week, we kept saying to ourselves, “it’s not our house.”

    These two houses were for cousins.  They were the first houses where Habitat allowed the future owners to purchase and paint the walls the colors they wanted.  Bright colors are the in-thing nowadays.

    Unfortunately, Townsend is not an attractive street.  And even worse, the night before the dedication ceremony, one of the houses was vandalized and broken-into, to steal the copper water lines.  And yes, the houses are equipped with alarm systems, so something went awry.


March - May 2007

master bedroom & walk-in closet

one of 2nd floor front bedrooms

1st floor hallway from kitchen to backdoor

1st floor bathroom

the views across the street

we gotta wake up first.....

   OUR bathroom in the basement

My instructions to the owner’s son were to paint only the OUTSIDE  6” of each stair to the basement, leaving the middle unpainted.  And the worst of it -- he painted himself into the 2nd basement the very next day!!

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