Before you arrive
Please go to our Work Schedule (available when building) page for any last minute changes in the construction schedule before you arrive at the construction site. We will also list any new information concerning volunteer work for the scheduled work day.
What time should I arrive at the construction site?
During the fall, winter and early spring months our workday begins at 8:00 AM. During the late spring and summer months our workday begins at 7:30 AM. Please arrive at the construction site on time.
We need to know how many volunteers are present each work day so that jobs can be assigned by the building supervisor. Sign in with the volunteer coordinator during the first 15 minutes of our work day. We also need to get some required paperwork out of the way before you can begin working. The coordinator will ask you to sign a Volunteer Waiver Form, Waiver Form for Minors if you have not already signed one. You are required to sign one waiver for each home you work on.
Your participation in the daily orientation and safety session is essential. This session is presented by the building supervisor 15 minutes after the construction site opens. The building supervisor will assign a job to you and ensure that you have the necessary materials to complete the job.
We will reserve 30 minutes at the end of the day to clean up the construction site. Please plan to spend the entire day at the construction site. Notify the building supervisor during the orientation session if you will have to leave before the work day is over. This will help the building supervisor plan volunteer jobs and prevent construction delays caused by insufficient numbers of volunteers to complete certain jobs.
What should I wear?
Work goes on rain or shine. You should dress in comfortable work clothes that can get dirty: do not wear baggy clothing as it represents a safety hazard. Layered clothing, a hat, and sunscreen are recommended. Hard hats may be required for certain jobs. Please wear sturdy shoes such as tennis shoes or boots (sandals or open-toed shoes are not allowed on site).
Safety glasses are required for certain tasks (sawing, hammering, grinding, etc.). Please ask for a pair of safety glasses if you are assigned to a job that requires these tasks. You will be issued one pair of safety glasses. Keep track of them and bring them with you each day you work on a construction site. Replacement safety glasses can be purchased for $5.00.
What tools should I bring?
Habitat does not have all necessary tools. It is helpful, but not necessary, to bring your own basic set of tools such as a hammer, nail apron, tape measure and pencil. Other useful tools include a tool belt, utility knife, and gloves. If you bring power tools you should leave them locked in your vehicle and discuss their possible use with the building supervisor. Please label all of your tools with your name or initials. Habitat is not responsible if your tools become damaged, lost or missing.
What about lunch?
We take about an hour break for lunch around noon. Sometimes a church group will provide lunch, otherwise Volunteers are asked to bring their own lunch and drinks to the site. You will be notified via the Work Schedule page ahead of time if lunch will be provided.
What kind of work will I be doing?
The type of work scheduled for any particular day depends on what needs to be done. Jobs will vary depending on the progress made on the house and on the weather. Please come prepared for any type of work!
Safety rules concerning age of volunteers:
Our minimum age limitations are as follows:
Age 18: Use of power tools
Ages 16 – 17: General carpentry
Ages 14 – 15: Painting, landscaping, site clean-up, serve lunches
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The hours spent on construction (as with other Volunteer jobs) apply toward the 300 hour sweat equity requirement for applicants.