Builders Blitz Brings Two Homes to Life in Lawrence for Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity

builders blitzAs most builders will attest, there is no better feeling than seeing a client happily settle into the home that they have built or renovated. So imagine the awesome feelings generated by the recent Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity project, two homes built in six days in Lawrence, MA as part of the nationwide Builders Blitz.

Feinmann contributed the services of two carpenters, Eric Lennan and Paul Flynn, for a busy Day Four. Lennan and Flynn worked on the bathrooms and kitchens while an army of volunteers – construction and non-construction alike – came together day after day to create homes for the Maldonado and Corona families. More than 15,000 hours of construction services were donated.

Neither Lennan or Flynn had ever worked on a project like the Builders Blitz before and were amazed by the detailed coordination. “It feels good to give back like this, knowing you’re helping a family,” Flynn said. Lennan added “Everyone gets along really well on-site.”

Eric Lennan Paul Flynn Builders Blitz

“We are proud to have been able to participate through NARI in this worthwhile community service project,” said Peter Feinmann, President of Feinmann Design | Build.

Since their founding in 1985, the Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity organization has built 67 homes and rehabbed seven homes in Lawrence and surrounding communities for people in need of safe, decent, affordable housing. “We sell these homes at cost and with no-interest mortgages to low-income families who spend hundreds of hours helping to build their own or another Habitat house,” said Sharon Mason, director of development. “Blitz Build volunteers, including area contractors, architects, carpenters and others, started construction on Monday, June 4th and finished on Saturday, June 9th.”

Designed by architect Andrew Steingiser, the two duplexes fit onto the narrow lot like puzzle pieces. With support from CBT Architects where Steingiser works, he undertook the challenge of making the homes look attractive yet function well given the site constraints. He had such a great experience that he says he would definitely  participate in another Habitat for Humanity.

“Building two homes in a week is aggressive. With the support and generosity of so many people we had a great week of giving hope and a home to two local families and improving a Lawrence neighborhood,” said Steve Howell, Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity board member and project leader.

Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity project photoBoth families participated where they could in the construction of their new homes. The new homeowners are required to volunteer 250 hours to work on Habitat projects and then take out long-term mortgages to pay for their houses. While most of the cost for the two homes came from donations and in-kind donations of materials and services, you can donate to the Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity organization to help offset remaining costs for this and other ongoing projects.

Read more about Builders Blitz in this Eagle Tribune article and this issue of New England Finery.