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Erwin Habitat build has turned corner toward completion

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated Aug 9, 2018 at 2:46 PM

The slow going Habitat for Humanity home build on Grove Avenue in Erwin has finally turned a corner and appears to be on track for completion by early October.

Over the past six weeks, a gratuitous contractor and crew of well-seasoned volunteer Habitat home builders became aware of the delay in the project through a story published in the Johnson City Press and promptly came to the rescue.

A misplaced sewer line that had held up the constructions of the home’s impressive wrap-around deck was promptly corrected and the deck posts put in order by Jason Epling of Superior Structures Inc., of Mooresburg, and 87-year-old Habitat volunteer Jim Stouffer and his Habitat house building friends.

When I drove by on Monday, the frame of the deck was halfway up and doors had been installed, hinting at the beauty the little house will add to the street.

And when I returned for a photo on Wednesday, a crew from Erwin Utilities and Unicoi County Habitat volunteer and board member Rene Taylor were hard at it on the deck, finishing off the frame, starting on the floor and making plans to return to today to wrap the whole things up.

“It’s good to see things getting done because we want to get this lady in her house,” Taylor said with an appreciative nod to the guys from Erwin Utilities.

Inside the house, board member Jim Buchanan said the next big job is to seal the drywall. All the work requires is anyone who knows how to use a paint brush and its starting right away. A work day is planned for Saturday and all volunteers are welcome.

“Most of the work is being done on Saturdays, but just about any day people want to come out and volunteer we can have someone there to make that happen,” Buchanan said. “If you can paint or if you can hammer a nail, we can use that. If you can’t do that but can drive a car, you can drive and pick up food and and other things that are needed.”

After the drywall sealer, the interior paint and electrical outlet plates will go up. The carpet and linoleum will go down. The wood floor, door and window trim will be put in place. And finally, Buchanan said the cabinets and appliances will go in.

Brian Poston at State Farm Insurance on North Main Avenue is the volunteer coordinator for the home build and encouraged anyone who would like to help to call him at his office at 423-743-3311.

Like Buchanan and Taylor, Poston was brimming with appreciation on Wednesday for the many people who have brought the project to what Poston believes is now about eight weeks out from completion.

Along with the Erwin Utilities crew and their General Manager Lee Brown; Epling and Stouffer and his friends, volunteers and contributors; at the top of Poston’s list was:

• Jody Cox, the lead contractor on the project.

• Ken Daffron and Dalton Direct Flooring for its donation of padding, carpet and linoleum.

• Habitat for Humanity International for donations of paint and appliances.

• Lowes of Johnson City for donating the paint’s tinting and mixing.

• Royal Building Products of Bristol for donating and installing the siding for the home’s exterior and more recently the trim for its interior.

• And others Poston feared he had forgotten to name on Wednesday.

If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at 423-722-0538, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605, or [email protected]

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