"RESIDENTS of a model housing estate bankrolled by Hollywood celebrities and
hand-built by Jimmy Carter, the former US president, are complaining that it
is falling apart.
"Fairway Oaks was built on northern Florida wasteland by 10,000 volunteers,
including Carter, in a record 17-day "blitz" organized by the charity
Habitat for Humanity.
"Eight years later it is better known for cockroaches, mildew and mysterious
I don't see how volunteers could be responsible for the cockroaches...
It would be funny if it was not so sad. I often wonder how well built the
houses are on Extreme Makeover. It may be possible to build a house in 7
days, but that does not mean it is smart to do so. It takes time to install
plumbing systems, etc, no matter how many people.
10,000 volunteers is just to many to manage over 17 days.
I have often wondered how well some of those quick rebuilds hold up. I
have seen some of the house flipping programs and in a week or two the whole
house has been rebuilt. Doesn't it take time for the plaster to dry before
painting ? Maybe more time for other things to setup such as the floor
I have participated in more than one "Parade of Homes" or "Builder/Remodeler
Showcase" type of projects over the years.
Way to many people working too closely together to try and meet some
unrealistic deadline. I have installed drapery hardware over wall paper that
had only been on the wall for a literal minute. Witnessed so many shortcuts
being taken by others because of the need for speed.
My advice is to Never Ever buy one of those homes.
Your drapery hardware may have been holding the paper in place.
I can see where having a good plan and experienced people you can get
certain things done very fast. If you sweat a joint, it is only seconds and
it is as set as it well ever be. Drywall mud, concrete, paint, tile
adhesives all take a little time to cure or set. A 3500 sq. ft. house in a
week is too fast for me.
Yeah, and I'm sure the inspector doesn't ever get pressure to
approve shoddy construction just to meet the show's shooting schedule.
That sounds about as ill-thought-out as the decision by some local
governments in Florida to allow developers to hire their own
inspectors, in order to save themselves time and the gov't money. I
wouldn't touch a house that passed inspection by the same company
that built it. Talk about a conflict of interest.
You make it sound like municipal inspectors were actually looking at
anything. During the boom they were leaving the office with 30-40
inspections a day, spread out over a 40 mile long territory. Believe
me, they didn't do much real inspecting. They looked at the "thing of
the day" and moved on.
I was once invited to invest in a sand pit. The promoter said there would
not be a proft, but there would be a huge tax benefits. Here's how the
1. As sand was sold from the sand pit, investors had a tangible asset that
could be depreciated (the sand).
2. When the sand was exhausted, investors now had a big, honkin' hole in the
ground. The company could charge folks to dump stuff in the hole (concrete,
tree stumps, etc.). This asset (the hole) could now be depreciated as the
asset was used up by people dumping stuff.
3. When the hole was almost filled, the site would be covered with topsoil
and sold to a developer as a low-cost housing site.
I passed and invested my money in swamp reclamation - displaced alligators
The Habitat houses in our area are very well built - with perhaps
fewer deficiencies than many "pro-built" homes. There are always well
qualified supervisors making sure it is done right.
The fact that the majority of these homes go to low-income families
who have in most cases never owned a home or lived in one for more
than a few years at a time means there is often a lower level of
maintenance on some of them. That said, the pride of ownership shown
by many Habitat home recipients in our area is incredible.
Also, building on Florida swampland almost guarantees cockroaches and
I've been in "high class " hotels in Florida where the coackroaches
would almost carry your luggage out for you.
I think that might be because part of the n'hood was built over a
trash dump, which seems in one case to be immediately below a kitchen.
OTOH, I don't see how one bad set of 86 homes, now matter how bad it
was (and the article says some people say they're ok) could "challenge
the bedrock philosophy behind Habitat for Humanity, claiming that
using volunteers, rather than professional builders, is causing as
many problems as it solves." You would need a lot more valid
complaints spread out over a lot more projects to even start to do
Especially since most of the 'professional builders' have been using
unskilled laborers to save themselves money while building shoddy
homes. Heck, a lot of the folks who've been building homes never
lived in houses with electricity or running water before coming to
the US, much less ever built them before. Hence all the
product-defect class action suits being filed against major
homebuilders in the past few years.
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