Steamboat Springs Neil Marchman and his family have spent more than 350 hours building their new home, and probably will spend that many more to complete it.
They and hundreds of other people in Steamboat Springs and around the state have worked diligently for the past four months building the first-ever Habitat for Humanity house in Steamboat.
"I always knew people were giving and volunteered," Marchman said. "It basically just confirmed the giving nature of people to get up on a Saturday morning and work to build my house."
A dedication celebration to thank the many volunteers and board members is from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday. Marchman won't take the day off from his job as a music teacher at Strawberry Park Elementary, but he will take time from working on the house to welcome and thank the more than 300 volunteers that helped build his new home.
The 1,110-square foot home at 1560 Conestoga Circle in Pioneer Village has shown the Marchmans the true meaning of community support and the feeling of being first-time homeowners.
"Being an Army brat, I'm more excited about owning the home than moving," 49-year-old Marchman said. "We've moved so many times, it will be nice just getting established."
Larry Oman, Habitat for Humanity board president, said the baseboard heating system still needs to be installed, as well as the carpet and many appliances.
But for breaking ground May 15, Oman said he's happy with its near completion.
"It's pretty remarkable we completed it in that amount of time," Oman said. "We set an ambitious schedule to get it complete and we stayed close to schedule."
The predicted move-in date for the Marchmans is Oct. 1. But Habitat will turn over the keys and the Marchmans will turn over their first mortgage payment at Wednesday's dedication celebration.
"That sure was quick. It seems like just the other day it was a big hole," 9-year-old Louis Marchman said.
Louis and Marchman's three other children helped as the cleanup crew, as well as many other duties around the house.
The Marchmans will pay for their house through mortgage payments for the no-interest loan on the property attained by Habitat.
Marchman said the most exciting event in the building process was putting up the first wall.
"It was the first wall for the first room and people were celebrating. I'll touch that wall a whole lot. I don't think I'll ever forget that moment," Marchman said.
Louis said he's excited about moving into his new house but was disappointed he didn't get a ceiling fan.
"For some reason they were having these really killer deals on the head fans in the rooms," Louis said of the ceiling fans. "But I don't know what happened and I'm not getting one."
The Marchmans were given a $1,500 allowance to use on anything they wanted for the house. The French doors at the front of the house and large breakfast nook windows were their choices, Oman said.
The Marchman's also chose the blue color scheme resounding through the house.
Oman said the large gray-blue floor tiles in the kitchen are not standard for a Habitat house, but the materials and labor were donated.
"We will accept upgrades if given," Oman said.
The house consists of three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, living room to share between Marchman, his wife Beverly and their four children.
Oman said Habitat chose the land in Pioneer Village because at the time, it was the least expensive property available in Steamboat.
"We wanted to have the property donated, but that didn't work out too well," Oman said.
Nine applications from Routt County were sent into Habitat's next home, and the family selection committee still is deciding which it will go to.
Oman said the ideal situation would be if Habitat could purchase a duplex providing housing for two families in one structure.