FAQ: Construction 2

  • Who can volunteer on the construction site?

    We welcome everybody regardless of experience, ability, gender, religion, or political views. First time volunteers must complete a liability waiver, criminal background check, and a brief orientation and safety training. Volunteers 16 to 18 years old are allowed on the job site but cannot use power tools or be above 10 feet (e.g. on ladders or the roof). Volunteers 14 to 15 years old are also allowed on the job site but are strictly limited to landscaping and painting work. For safety reasons, children under 14 are not eligible to be on the job site.

  • Do I need construction experience?

    Absolutely not! We welcome all volunteers whether they have lots of experience or none at all. All construction work is supervised by a professional construction manager. Staff and crew leaders are on hand to explain and oversee each step, ensure work is being done correctly and safely, answer questions, and help volunteers have a productive and meaningful experience!

  • What sort of work do construction volunteers do?

    All kinds of tasks, including but not limited to: framing, insulating, siding, roofing, painting, and landscaping.

  • What if the work involves things I am unable or unwilling to do?

    We don’t want anyone to do work that might be dangerous or uncomfortable for them. Please let a staff person know if there are tasks you can’t do and we will try to provide an appropriate alternative.

  • What tools/amenities does Habitat provide? What should I bring with me?

    We provide all tools and necessary safety gear such as hard hats, safety glasses, ear plugs, and gloves. Drinking water, first aid kit, and portable restroom facilities are available onsite. All you need to bring is your enthusiasm and a sack lunch (nothing that needs refrigeration). If a sponsor is providing lunch on your work day, we will let you know ahead of time. We recommend bringing your own work gloves if you have them. However, we have plenty available for you to use onsite. You are welcome to bring your own safety gear or tools (please no nail guns). Please write your name on anything you bring with you. Due to the nature of the work, items do occasionally get lost or damaged and Habitat cannot accept responsibility for your items. For any outdoor activity in the northwest, it is a good idea to come prepared for a variety of weather. Sunscreen, sun glasses, a rain jacket, and extra warm clothing are all items that might come in handy.

  • What should I wear?

    Dress appropriately for the weather and the work being done. Wear long pants and other clothing that fits well and that you don’t mind damaging or getting dirty. We advise dressing in layers. Wear work boots, hiking boots, or sturdy tennis shoes. Please do not wear sandals, flip-flops, or any kind of open toed shoes.

  • When should I arrive?

    We typically build on Saturdays. The work day begins with a brief devotional and a training session at 8:30 a.m. and finishes around 3:30 or 4 p.m. Please arrive by or before 8:30, as we need to check volunteers in, explain the work to be done, and discuss safety issues.

  • Where do I go to volunteer?

    The address for the work party should be given to you when you sign up to volunteer. If you need directions or have any questions, please call our office at 360.715.9170 or email us at volunteer@nullhfhwhatcom.org.

  • I’ve never volunteered with Habitat before. How do I get started?

    You will need to complete a brief safety training and orientation at our office in Bellingham. Call our office at 360.715.9170 or email us at volunteer@nullhfhwhatcom.org to sign up. You will also need to complete a volunteer interest form, criminal background check, and liability waiver. You can fill these forms out when you arrive for your orientation or call the office to have them emailed to you for completion ahead of time.

  • I’ve done my orientation and paperwork. How do I sign up for a work day?

    Once you have completed your orientation and paperwork, call our office at 360.715.9170 or email us at volunteer@nullhfhwhatcom.org to sign up for a work day.