I remember very clearly when I first began learning carpentry, and started the journey it would take me on in the years to come. I had just graduated from university, was recently married and new to the area, and I felt I was at a crossroads as to what the next step in my career would be. Despite my best efforts, local jobs for Political Science graduates in the Red Deer area seemed to be in short supply, and frankly, I didn’t fancy a job as a government analyst or political party staffer. Thus, I found myself retooling my resumé, and seeking out connections in the local construction and renovation industry.
Back then, the economy was still pretty hot on the last housing boom, and it wasn’t long before I found a Journeyman willing to take me on as an carpentry apprentice, working as part of a fast-paced production framing crew. Our company had recently won a large contract to build about a dozen multiplex townhouse units in southeast Red Deer, and the project was expected to take around 3 years to complete.
When our Homestead Custom Carpentry team heard about the opportunity to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity’s Red Deer team, we were thrilled and immediately wanted to get involved. We have always had a desire to contribute to the City of Red Deer’s development by fighting poverty in our local communities and building hope for those who need a safe home.
The volunteer onboarding process was straightforward and simple.
Alyson, Habitat’s Volunteer Coordinator, sent us the volunteer agreement forms to fill out along with the information:
Once we were assigned a task, we set to work. As one of our tasks for the day, we were given the job of installing vinyl siding on the north side of the house. Vinyl is an appealing choice for many homeowners, as it is easy to install, requires virtually zero maintenance, and is quite affordable.
At noon, it was a surprise to be greeted with a delicious catered lunch, served on-site in one of the garages we were constructing.
Homestead Custom Carpentry was not the only local building contractor to volunteer time and skill towards Habitat’s admirable cause. For work beyond the scope of what day-to-day volunteers can handle, other professionals from trades such as plumbing (e.g. Bruin’s Plumbing), electrical, HVAC, metal-working, and drywall finishing also ensured that the finished home was of high quality and met or exceeded building code requirements. Without these individuals and their experience, it would be difficult to complete the project.
Throughout the day, it was exciting to get to know and work alongside the eventual owners of the houses themselves. We were also delighted for Todd to inform us that, because of Canada’s 150th birthday year, Habitat for Humanity has set out to build 150 homes in their goal to end the cycle of poverty, and help provide families with affordable housing in our local communities.
Overall, the experience as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity Red Deer team was inspirational, fun, and one that you can’t miss! We hope to volunteer again soon!
Homestead Custom Carpentry
Breathing New Life Into a Yoga Studio
One of my favourite things about my work as a renovator is the variety of projects and people that I get to work with on a daily basis. Given the wide scope of work that we take on and the uniqueness of each project, it seems there is always a new challenge or opportunity just waiting around the corner. Recently, the Homestead Custom Carpentry team was pleased to take on a new renovation project for some esteemed long-term clients of ours in Stettler, Alberta.
A few years back, we had renovated the offices of Central Vision & Hearing, one of the Stettler County’s foremost health service providers in Central Alberta. Having kept up a positive relationship over the years, they called us back to develop some unused office space on the second floor of their adjacent building, with hopes of repurposing it into a functioning yoga studio. Excuse me for getting too metaphorical here, but given that the essence of yoga is about finding inner transformation and balance, it seems only fitting that this project would breathe new life into a building that had sat vacant for many years.