We started at 8:00 and I was given the job of installing hurricane tie-downs onto the rafters. Now, I'm guessing Otin knows what a hurricane tie-down is, but I had no idea. It's a piece of metal that is attached to the rafter and then to the outside wall. That way, if a big wind comes along and tries to take off the roof, the whole house will be taken instead!
Sounds easy enough, right? But actually, those things were a booger to install. Attaching them to the wall, was no problem. It was attaching them to the rafter, through that metal plate thing you see, using a special nail that was thicker than the "8 penny" nails I used to attach it to the wall. So it was kind of slow going and I got a blood blister where I hit my finger with the hammer (see Bambi's for a visual, mine popped and all the cool red stuff oozed out before I could get a picture of it). (But isn't that cute we both got blood blisters).
My next job was sealing windows. It was a 2-person job so I got Bambi to do it with me. It was a straight forward job.
What'd I learn during my Habitat Day?
- Hold the nail with a pair of pliers. That way you can hit it hard without worrying about your finger.
- What hurricane tie-downs are and how to install them.
- That building a house is fun.
- That it's a small world - one of the guys in charge is a really good friend of our former neighbors. It was our former neighbors who recommended a real-estate agent when we sold our house and that agent is the wife of the guy who was in charge.
- That Habitat for Humanity used to get a lot of stuff donated but the big stores that used to donate won't even give them contractor's prices anymore.
- That people of all skill levels can make a difference helping someone into a decent home.
- That it feels good to work on a Habitat house.