Steamboat Springs On Sunday, while Neil Marchman worked with a Habitat for Humanity construction crew to inch his new house closer and closer to completion, he stumbled to find words to describe his feelings for the new home and what has happened at the construction site in Pioneer Village this summer.
"It's been a great summer," he began, taking a break from working. "All the people out here. The relationships ."
Marchman, a musician, writer and local teacher, cut short his explanation in mid-sentence and for a couple of seconds, a deep, thoughtful expression took over his face.
"It's a joy," he finally said, rising out of his thoughts. "It's a joy."
An estimated 300 volunteers have worked on the house since ground was broken May 15. Locals in the construction trade volunteer time on their days off and churches and clubs are lending a hand, too working with Marchman, who has to put in 350 hours worth of work on the property as a condition of buying the property.
A recent wave of local companies have donated about $15,000 worth of work, which included Behr Paint, Ken Finch for the plumbing, Midwest Electric, TIC, Colotex for the rough-in wires, Colorado Hydronic Heat Specialist for the baseboard heaters and A&O Roofing.
"It's quite a project. A lot of people have put in their heart and soul," volunteer Scott McDonald said.
Larry Oman, pastor and president of the Habitat board, said at times the atmosphere at the construction site is like harvest time on a farm.
"It reminds me of the kinds of things we did on my uncle's farm," he said.
Often when church groups worked on the Habitat house, most of the men would work on the house while their wives were at home preparing a big lunch for the crew.
"All different kinds of skills are being used here," he said.
Those skills can are now collectively present in the 1,110-square-foot, three-bedroom house that will be home for Marchman, his wife and their four children. The roof is finished, almost all of the siding is on and all the drywall is in.
Oman said if all goes as planned, the closing date on the home will be Sept. 26 and the Marchmans will move to the first Steamboat home they've owned on Oct. 1 paying back a no-interest loan for the property attained through Habitat.
That also will mark the first Habitat-built home in Steamboat Springs, three years after the formation of the group, which is supported by numerous volunteers.
"It's good because habitat is a wonderful organization. It's helping neighbors," volunteer Mike Brennan said.
Plus, there is an obvious need for affordable housing in Steamboat Springs, Brennan later added.
It looks as if Habitat will have a future in addressing that need. Applications from families applying for the next Habitat home are already in and Oman said Habitat is already raising the money to buy the next property. A duplex would be built on that site.
Once Habitat holds four mortgages, the general plan is to sell those mortgages to finance buying more property around Steamboat Springs, Oman said.