Sweat Equity Brings Confidence to Homeowners
As part of our build it and buy it model, Habitat homeowners like Angela, help build their own homes during sweat equity hours. Sweat equity is an opportunity for families to have hands-on experience helping build their safe, affordable home alongside Habitat staff and volunteers. Sweat equity is also an opportunity for homeowners to gain confidence in taking care of their home.
Habitat homeowners learn construction skills while onsite and carry that knowledge into their time as a homeowner.
“When they have us do sweat equity, I think it really helps us down the line because if something goes wrong in the house, we can easily replace it,” said Angela. “Say if I move in and crack a wall, I can take that wall down and put a wall up since I learned that during the building process.”
Homeowners learn many different skills during their sweat equity hours. One of the skills Angela learned is how to put up drywall. It is now her favorite part of the building process.
“The first time I didn’t know how. Now, I’m a pro at it,” she said.
Now that Angela has spent time learning and building, she helps Habitat staff members teach volunteers how to install drywall. She is often seen taking the lead on installing a new wall and encouraging volunteers to learn new skills. Because of her sweat equity hours, Angela says she now has the confidence to build an entire room herself. She also appreciates that she is able to spend time building her own home, and homes of her future neighbors.
“For me it means that while helping build a home you get to know your neighbors. You’re not just meeting them when you move in. You get to build with them,” she said. “You’re building their home; they’re building your home.”
Sweat equity is a crucial part of the partnership that Milwaukee Habitat creates with future homeowners. It is a chance for families to be part of making their dream of becoming a homeowner a reality.
Sweat equity “means a lot to me. It brings a smile to my face – knowing my hand had a part in putting up this house,” she said.