Monday was day one of Builders Blitz ‘15, a collaboration between the Cape Cod Habitat for Humanity and the Homebuilders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod. One house in one week for one family. And once again I volunteered to be the designated photographer for the project. I have a time-lapse camera running and hope that it is as successful as it was for the first blitz.

Progress on the 3-bedroom Cape is happening almost faster than I can report it. Monday JLC author, Matt Anderson, and his framing crew had the shell done in about 10 hours. While the framers were cranking, the systems guys were doing their thing inside roughing out the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC.

I arrived on site yesterday at dawn, and the house looked like a home with the temporary working lights on inside. The roofers arrived shortly after and had the lid on by lunch time. The contractors were lined up like dominoes. The insulation crew waited anxiously for the rough inspection, with the board hangers and plasterers right on their heels. Meanwhile crews installed the clapboards on the front of the house and worked on the sidewall shingles. As a trademark of every H4H house on Cape Cod, the owners cut decorative shingles in the Habitat logo for the gable.

Today I got to the site late and there was a whole “Village” on site—more than 50 contractors, each with their own mission. One of the first guys I bumped into was Dave Loud, an accomplished carpenter that I’d met on a JLC project on Martha’s Vineyard. Dave was trimming out all the windows inside the house. Steve Klug, another JLC author, was trimming out the closets. The flooring (prefinished bamboo) was going down in the kitchen/living room area, and I set up my time-lapse camera to capture that sequence. There were a dozen different cutting stations set up all around the house. And the kitchen cabinets arrived while I was there. 

As Murphy’s Law goes, as soon as I’d set up the camera to shoot through a window for the flooring, the paint crew arrived and began filling holes and sanding. I tied a shopping bag around the camera to keep the dust off, and the painters were incredibly careful working around my “tools.”

As I finish this up, it’s not even noon on Wednesday—not even halfway through the project time-wise. To a person, everyone on the site has the same sense of purpose and cheerful dedication. Crews from different trades all seem to be working together in this fever-pitch ballet without a discouraging word. As before my only regret is that I haven’t been able to pick up a hammer and help out that way. But there is still time!