Sunday, July 14, 2013

Building in Yellow Springs

July 10, 2013
Build day in Yellow Springs, OH

For this build day we split into two groups, one of which went to go build with the Habitat chapter in Dayton, OH and he other group stayed in Yellow Springs and built with Home, Inc. I was interested in getting to know the town better so I stayed in Yellow Springs for the day. We started out working on a house that had been completed for a while but needed some TLC on the outside. My job was to paint the wood trim around the side of the house. I was super exited about this because back when I was really little, I saw Barney paint houses and I really wanted to be a house painter, too. This was my first opportunity to do just that. As much fun as I was having, I have to say it didn't quite live up to the expectations I had set in my head. 

The whole day it seemed that I was always in the wrong place at the wrong time. First I spilled my cup of paint all over the sidewalk. Then when I was about to start painting again, the head of the site decided that he wanted me painting somewhere else instead. That somewhere else was really high up. I started out fine but as I had to extend the ladder more and more, it started to not be fine. The ladder was super thin and it felt like I was climbing up a toothpick to get to the trim. Once I was up there I was not steady at all. So to avoid major injury, I decided to call it quits. Looking around for something else I could do that was not so high up, I walked around the side of the house and found Daniel up on a ladder and asked him what he was up to. As we were taking, the head of the site came around and asked what I was doing. I explained to him the scary ladder and he told me that he would give me another job. The next job was painting as well, but on the back of the house at a much lower height. The whole time I had been painting, another group had been leveling an area of the backyard so they could move a big shed. As I started painting they started getting ready to move the shed. That meant that everything in the shed had to be taken out, and where did it go but right in my path for painting. Again, I was stuck without anything to do. I even tried to go help them unload the shed but everything had already been removed! It was pretty cool watching them move the shed with a forklift though. 

After the shed was moved, we cleaned up the site and took a break for lunch at the Antioke dining hall. So delicious again. Our job after lunch was one I definitely never thought I would ever do. There were 6 houses that had been built on piers that needed touch up caulking underneath them. Our job was to climb under the houses, brush away any cobwebs, and caulk where there were holes. It was definitely an experience I will never forget. 

At one point it started thundering, which was really exciting. The best part of the day was after we finished caulking and we got to take a tour of a passive house. A passive house is one that is built with efficiency in mind. There is not heater and not air conditioning because the inside temperature of the house is not nearly as affected by the outside temperature like most houses. The main differences are the thickness of the insulation and the regulation of air flow. They also ulitlize natural light in a much more efficient way. The result is a heating bill of much much less than the average, something that is important to think about when building affordable housing. While we were getting a tour of the house, a massive storm hit that took down trees and tons of branches! Luckily we had gracious hosts that drove us back to our dorms. That night, after it stopped raining of course, we walked to the brewery in town and since the guy from the build site was there, we got a tour of the brewery. They just opened in April and only service the local area. It was super cool to see a brewery that small. 

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