Warm UP: So this project started with the 3rd F group Sanctuary. We were reading and discussing a book called Chasing Daylight. Chasing Daylight is a call to live a life of blazing urgency. We have but one life. We are given one opportunity to pursue our dreams and fulfill our divine purpose. Every moment counts, and we must engage them with fierceness and zeal. Put an end to passive observation, paralyzed by the need for perfect opportunity, and start seizing the raw, untapped potential of your life with God.
So that is exactly what we did when we started this project in helping an elderly woman taking care of her youngest daughter and two of her grandkids. We took a step of faith, not knowing all that was entailed. The plan started out with replacing the flooring which we assumed meant a couple of floor joists and all while getting the plumbing and the electrical up to snuff. We knew there were some issues with the foundation as their drainage for their kitchen and tub was not connected under the house so it literally was flowing like a river under the house, but we didn’t know the extent. But again, take that step of Faith, we were not to be paralyzed by what we did or didn’t know.
So we started to put a plan together, Shop Dawg took care of the logistics, laid out plan of materials, meanwhile Troylete got to work doing his Gestapo fundraising and setting up a go fund me to cover what we thought was going to be a $5,000 project. Meanwhile we worked on spreading the word to the other F3 sites for help with Manpower, Materials, and Money. Within only a few days, Boom, $5K was there. We were all excited, we thought we could take it to the next level (as we typically do with F3) and see if we could raise an additional $5K to put in HVAC. Ice and Troylette back to work and Bam! $10K in about 10 days, it was incredible, with some amazing generous donors (thank you all!).
The Thang: Thursday night rolls around Troylet and I stop by Debbie’s to make sure they were ready. Storage pod was there, portable bathroom was there and a dumpster was ready to go. Great! Just then, Debbie says, can you check out Shawna’s room, her floor is bouncy. I had never been in Shawna’s room, frankly Shawna’s room was never part of the plan. Sure! Walk into Shawna’s room and it was like climbing into the blue circle of the trampoline, the edges were ok but the center had about a 4-5” BOUNCE to them. Great, there was a sheet of plywood that covered the floor off to the side, I thought, we will rip that up and just take a look, worst case we may have to put a floor joist in here as well. We’ll find out later that was another poor assessment on my part.
So the work begins, crews of people show up, F3 goes into full effect and the floors are out in no time at all, Notch, Wake up call, Triple 7 and 007 tear it a new one. Just one little problem, or maybe 5000 problems, at least that is what it was to going to take in materials to fix what we found, let alone the physical labor.
Shawna’s room- There were no floor joists attached to the sill plates in half the room. They (the two of three that were left) were sitting on cider blocks, hence the plywood hole in the floor. The rest of the rooms in the house were about the same. The foundation was crumbling and the sill plates that we were planning on attaching new floor joists were all rotted out from water and termite damage. You literally could pull them apart with your fingers.
The Real Thang: Not ONE complaint, not one whine, just work. Everyone knew the storm we just got ourselves into and there was no turning back. Shop went immediately into his architecture days with Network and devised a plan to pour new footers and use 4×6 beams to headers to support the house while we rip all the rotten sill plates out so we have something to attach floor joists too. Troylette gets the list and he does his thang, gets the deal, gets the order and gets keeps the job moving.
Day 2- Lumber arrives so we can start replacing Sill plates and floor Joists. Bunny Shows up, I didn’t know him, Shop asks him, “You skilled or unskilled?” Bunny, “Skilled I guess”, Shop, “you got any tools?” Bunny, “I got that trailer over there full of tools.” Shop “Ohhhh, you’re a contractor” Bunny, “yes” Shop, “this room is yours, I’ll get YOU help.” Off he was with a crew.
Network took the Kitchen and I took the dining room. F3 Bodies were flying everywhere, Hollywood, Recalculating, wake up call, Thin Mint, Brother’s I didn’t even know came out with a hammer in hand and put it to work. Saturday afternoon and the project was gaining steam again, sill plates were going in and floor Joist started going down. Meanwhile we had electricians replacing most of the wiring in the house, we were like ants crawling everywhere getting work done.
Work continued all day Saturday till 10 pm when we finally finished putting the last floor board down in Shawna’s room. Blowout had stepped in and had most of the foundation brickwork done, and it appeared that we would be back on track. Did I mention that somewhere in the process I broke the back window so that had to be replaced and we also managed to “accidently” rip out the entire window casing in Shawna’s room so we had to figure that out as well. Minor details but let’s add that to the list of projects we didn’t plan on to get done for this project.
Day 3: We had church that day but it was held at a different location, Debbie’s house. The work started early as they had for the first 2 days, 630 am. Time to finish the dining room and the kitchen, get the rest of the floor boards in and get a floor down. Dasher, Bottlecap and The Professor went to work. Dirty Bird, Jingles, and I think recalculating took on the mission of reinstalling the window. Things were coming together also decided to add two more widows to replace, heck, we came this far.
Day 4: Plumbing crew comes in, Boda Plumbing, if you ever need any plumbing work check to see if these guys can do it first! They donated all the labor and materials for this job for FREE!! Plumbing is going in, electrical is done, drywall is going up on the walls and work is happening. So, somewhere around 6 or 7 at night the main crew started waning, Shop, Network, Troylette, myself, you could just tell, we were all gassed, it was like that section in the Freed to Lead book, the 50-75% completed, the 3rd lap of a 1-mile race, we were cooked. Again, no one complained, although you could see it on our faces we all kept moving praying we could finish this project. 10 PM we had the subfloor done, final flooring and trim was all that was left, third lap completed.
Day 5: This is when I was really grateful Dasher company shut down their sales force. I am praying he gets an even more awesome job now, but as my race partner and friend I was glad he was by my side. He showed up every day and we killed it! Tolkien, Dasher and Shop cranked out the drywall and final floors day begun, rack um and stack up. Flooring was a bit of contention so we changed directions and went with a Pergo floor, it was the best solution for the situation as laminate would not have worked during construction. Grinding out floors till 10 that night I decided I didn’t like Ice 9’s hand so in best fashion I slammed a piece of flooring that ends up cutting his hand open. Made him really happy to work with me;) Floors are in, Shop finishes up the bathroom and Boda comes back to hook of the sinks and toilet. Much accomplished!
Day 6: Network and his crew work on trim while the rest of us were finishing up details. The inspector comes and hits us with the last couple details, after reaching out to Marpool Electric we got them to come back and hook up the electrical for the hot water heater. Doc Mcstuffins and EE come back later that night to bring in the beds and rugs and Debbie and the kids have a place to sleep other than the hotel they have been stuck in for the last five days.
Day 7 and 8: Wrap up days, finishing trim, siding, etc. Saturday ended up being a great day to bring in the 2.0’s to help clean up the site, and number of ladies helped Debbie organize and we wrapped up the project at noon on Saturday.
Moleskin: This by far was the toughest project that I have ever been part of. For many of us it was more difficult than the toughest races we have ever done. It was also the most faith building. God provided the necessary people, the necessary funds and the necessary Attitude to get the Job done. At the end of the day its just a house, but it’s a house that we helped restore and make livable for 2 young grandkids. They were living in a house that literally was going to collapse in a very short amount of time. Now they can live in a house that is safe. Men stepped up, men lived out their words. The words we pray about every morning after we work out, we pray that God will allow us to be better husbands, Fathers and community members. This past week we did exactly that!
Final Moleskin: Below is a note from one of our brothers that I felt encapsulated the attitude and leadership that F3 is about. I asked him to share his company info so I could put it in this back blast and this is his response:
Hey guys. Thanks for reaching out. Hope all is going well with the house. Thoroughly enjoyed working along side of you guys last weekend and getting to know some new guys and being able to give back. The opportunities are all around, just do not always present themselves. Grateful this one came about and that we were able to show up for them. As for company name, glad you guys forgot it. Not about individuals or companies. I was just another guy that day, along side of all of you guys. Everyone deserves the credit, as many guys gave up time with their families in their busy lives. The company I was along side of is the company that matters. Thank you guys for organizing it, and please be sure to let me know of the next opportunity.
Special Thanks to these Non- F3 companies that showed their support:
Boda Plumbing http://bodaplumbing.com/
Cedar Hill Network http://www.cedarhillnetwork.com/
www.facebook.com/cedarhillnetwork (980) 239-7879
Marpool Electric http://marpolelectric.com/contact/
Hickory Tavern http://thehickorytavern.com/home/hickory_tavern-home.php
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