Voluntary Remodeling Contractor

Most of my loyal blog readers know that I do lots of home remodeling through voluntary efforts. I usually join groups who remodel homes for seniors to make their homes move livable and to accommodate their needs as they grow older.

Yesterday, however, I served as a General Contractor (supervisor) of the largest “build” I have ever done — to totally remodel the home of a wounded warrior to whom I was introduced by a senior pal. This guy is the grandson of one of my dearest senior pals. She asked me if I would oversee a remodeling job for her grandson’s house three months ago.

It took a long time for all of the arrangements to come through, but yesterday and today, everything came into place.

I began by working with friends who serve in a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting wounded warriors (U.S. military veterans injured in service). We applied for and received a sizable grant.

I leveraged that grant through the non-profit organization that I own — the one where I get donations and purchase supplies for my twice-yearly “Senior Safety Saturday” (SSS) project. By working together with SSS, I essentially augmented our purchasing power by another 50%, as well as took advantage of the tax-exemption.

I contacted our county and arranged for the necessary permits. No easy task and not free, but required to keep everything in compliance with the law and county/state regulations.

I recruited buddies to help. Skilled carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painters, and lots of volunteers. All totaled, 30 people agreed to help. (Actually, on Saturday, some 44 people showed up, including the wounded warrior’s three brothers and other members of his extended family.)

We sent my new friend (the wounded warrior) and his family to an accessible hotel for the night so we could have complete access to his house to do everything we needed to do.

We tore out the kitchen, opened up walls, removed barriers, and also totally gutted and remodeled the bathroom to provide a “roll-in” shower, complete with bath/shower seat and spray wand for bathing.

We lowered counter heights, built ramps, and made other accommodations to make this house easier for my new friend and his family to live in and enjoy.

I am writing this message on Sunday morning, when we are about half-way through. I will post again later this week with “after” photos.

Now… off to do what my heart and boots lead me to do….

Life is short: volunteer to help others with your time and your skill. Nothing feels better than action.