There have been a few bumps along the way, but Barrheadâ€™s first-ever Habitat For Humanity project is coming along very nicely, says project supervisor Bernie Nikkel.
â€śWeâ€™ve really come a long way the past couple of weeks,â€ť said Nikkel in the middle of last week. â€śWeâ€™re finishing the windows today and that will close off the entire building and weâ€™ll be able to start doing the interior work and get out of the cold.â€ť
When construction started in August, the organizing committee set a target date of having the two lucky families moved into the shining new duplex a week or two before Christmas.
Thatâ€™s simply not an attainable goal, but doesnâ€™t detract from the amazing job being done by a small army of volunteer citizens and business owners in this community, said Nikkel.
â€śBecause of all the rain we had this summer, there were quite a few delays and this caused delays by some of the contracting crews that were scheduled,â€ť he said. â€śWe wonâ€™t be able to get this finished in time for Christmas, but weâ€™re hoping we can finish things off the first few weeks in the new year.â€ť
In the last three weeks, there has been amazing progress as the roof trusses were added to the structure, all windows have been installed and the roof would be shingled by the end of last week, said Nikkel.
â€śOnce weâ€™re all closed in, we can now bring in the electrical guys, the plumbers and once we get that finished and inspections approved, we can start with the insulation, vapour barriers and drywall.
â€śWe have a crew of 10 to 12 guys coming in from Swan Hills Nov. 21-22 to attack the drywall and get it all done. Weâ€™ve got a lot done the past few weeks and I expect weâ€™re really going to get moving now that weâ€™re moving inside.â€ť
The amount of community involvement in this project has been truly inspiring, said Nikkel.
Some days there are more than a dozen volunteers who show up to lend a helping hand and some other days the job site is crowded with crews from various local businesses doing specialty work needed, he said.
â€śThere are some jobs that need heavy lifting and others where we need experts in certain trades, but thereâ€™s always been someone around to lend a helping hand for general jobs,â€ť he said. â€śWe couldnâ€™t have come as far as we have without the amazing support of the volunteers. Itâ€™s been great to see.â€ť
Once the plumbing, electrical and drywall work is complete, other major projects will include installing the kitchen cabinets and flooring in both units and painting, said Nikkel.
Nikkel said heâ€™s lived in Barrhead for 35 years and seen many good community projects, but he has seldom seen the kind of spirit and pride involved in building this Habitat For Humanity house.
â€śIt has been fantastic,â€ť he said.
Project leader Steve Lyster said the original forecast to have the duplex built before Christmas â€śwas a best case scenario if everything went perfect.â€ť
The reality is the duplex will soon be home to two very fortunate Barrhead families within weeks and thatâ€™s all that matters, he said.
â€śWeâ€™re into the homestretch now and weâ€™ll all just be very happy whenever itâ€™s finished early in the new year,â€ť he said.
Nikkel has been an excellent choice to head up the project as he has â€śtaken complete ownership of the projectâ€ť and his dedication, leadership and ability to inspire volunteers to work hard and as a team have been tremendous, said Lyster.
The organizing committee is in the late stages of selecting the two lucky families who will move into the Habitat For Humanity home in Barrhead.
Their names will be released within the next two or three weeks, said Lyster.