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A House, an Achievement, a Legacy

Jake stands nearly 30 feet above the ground sweeping off the rooftop to make way for tar paper to be laid. In that moment his eyes go wide. His feet are gone beneath him; he begins to slide down the roof clawing at anything he can reach. People dive to grab him. But he is gone from view for what seems like an eternity. A thud is heard below. All ten people on the roof scramble towards scaffolding and ladders to go see how their friend has fared after his massive fall. All ten made it down from the roof to the backyard in no time to see Jake lying on the ground winded but unhurt.

Accidents and successes, delays and huge leaps forward, rainy days and gorgeous sunny days, all play major roles into how a construction project goes and all have been abundantly present in the 2015-2016 student built home project. The student built home for the 2015-2016 school year is being built at the corner of 7th Street and Pinehurst, in Eldridge, Iowa. The project is on track with an estimated completion date sometime in May and possibly sooner as long as no more delays happen.

The home this year is approximately 4000 gross sq. ft. with about 3100 of that being livable. The project began in mid-September after a foundation was poured and all 24 students had earned OSHA certifications. The framing of the outside of the house went up rather quickly being done by early October, and the inside framing came along rather quickly after that. By mid-October all of the framing was done and the house was ready for a roof. Unfortunately this proved more difficult than originally thought. At first the crane was busy at other sites; when a break in the schedule finally came up, all four cranes that were available to us were having mechanical difficulties. I took about three weeks longer than expected to get the roof on due to delays. After the roof was on, sheathing began. It took about one and a half weeks for the classes of students to get the roof sheathed. Once they were finished, it was time to put on shingles. Then disaster struck. Jake who was sweeping off the roof to make way for shingle preparations slipped on his own sunflower seeds and fell down almost 30 feet to the ground. After that incident, the student was hesitant to go back up on ladders and scaffolding but will when it is necessary or fun. The students working on the home were unable to shingle the house themselves due to time constraints with the delays of the roof.

Next on the docket was siding and sealing the house. The house with its protective Zip Systems sheathing could’ve lasted the winter without siding, but the decision was made to get the house sided so doors and windows could be put in to keep the house warm over the cold winter. The siding was finished soon after the students came back from Thanksgiving break. After siding was finished, it was time to roll out the insulation and begin drywalling the garage of the house. Students then left for Christmas break. While they were gone, the house was supposed to have its garage doors installed; that didn’t happen when it was supposed to like many things on a project of this scale. Back from break for over a month, the entire inside of the house is drywalled and finishing work on the drywall is beginning.

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