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Home in a flash

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It’s not exactly a marathon. It’s more like seven marathons in a row.

With delivery trucks coming and going, volunteers working on wiring and windows and inspectors making the rounds, the scene is best described as controlled chaos ... but that’s what it takes to build a house in seven days.

This week, Willamette West Habitat for Humanity joined with Beaverton’s Mountainwood Homes to build a home within a week as part of a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the need for affordable housing.

During the nationwide Habitat for Humanity Home Builders Blitz 2014, nearly 260 homes across the nation were built or renovated with skilled labor provided by professional home builders and construction firms. That translates to affordable home ownership for 260 low income families.

In Hillsboro, a ninth Habitat for Humanity home was built at BraunerBrook along Southeast Maple Street, the site of eight other already complete Habitat homes.by: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: KATHY FULLER - Volunteers work on a Habitat for Humanity home in Hillsboro being built in seven days as part of a nationwide Builders Blitz 2014, designed to raise awareness of Habitat for Humanitys mission.

“Willamette West Habitat for Humanity is especially excited to participate in this national effort again this year,” said Habitat’s executive director, Mark Forker.

This is the second time Mountainwood Homes has led a construction “blitz.” Mountainwood and Habitat participated in the 2012 blitz as well, building a home in Beaverton.

Mountainwood Homes owner Robert Wood agreed to head the project, offering the services of his company and staff, and also finding subcontractors and suppliers willing to donate time, materials and professional labor. The biggest challenge, Wood said Tuesday, is the number of people it takes to get the job done in a week.

“With 20 people working in a small location, they do have to have a good attitude,” Wood said. “And they do.”

This year’s home presented a few challenges for designer Bill Huntting, who volunteers his time for Habitat. The home is being built for Julie Tolliver. She is a little person, and sometimes uses a wheelchair.

Huntting said he designed the home to balance the accessibility needs of Tolliver, while taking into account that a caregiver or family member of average height may also live in the home someday.

Half of the kitchen countertops will be built 29 inches high, while the other half will be at the traditional 36-inch height. A refrigerator and freezer will sit under the standard height counters. A special stove — with knobs at the front and a row of front burners — will eliminate the need to reach across burners to turn it on or to cook.

Forker said city officials have been especially supportive of the week-long effort.

“The support from the city building officials has been wonderful,” he said, adding that officials have essentially been on call to perform inspections on short notice.

Local sponsors of the week include Allied Building Products, Anderson Construction & Drywall, Basco Appliances, Brothers Builders, C & S Construction, Cascade Concrete Accessories, Clackamas Electric, Craftwork Plumbing, DaBella Exteriors, Don Rhyne Painting, Ferguson Enterprises, Great NW Gutters, Knez, Lowe’s, Macadam Floor and Design, Mountainwood Homes, Oregon-Aire, Parr Lumber, Quadras, Siga, Suburban Door, Truss Components of Oregon.

The home, at 1255 S.E. Maple St., will be dedicated Saturday, June 14 at noon.