Drywalling finished at Habitat ‘blitz’ house | VailDaily.com

Drywalling finished at Habitat ‘blitz’ house

Kathy Heicher
Special to the Daily Jim Gonzales and his High Country Enterprises crews installed the drywall on a home being built by Habitat for Humanity in Gypsum.

GYPSUM – Add Jim Gonzales and his High Country Enterprises to the growing list of contractors who volunteered time, skill, and materials for the Habitat for Humanity “Blitz Build” house in Gypsum.Hermes Custom Homes is heading the effort to build a modest home for the Steve and Evie Bopp and their family. The Bopps, together with their two young grandsons, have been living in a single-bedroom trailer in Edwards for 15 years. Evie suffers from a progressive case of multiple sclerosis and the trailer can no longer accommodate her needs or the growing family.

Construction started during an Arctic cold spell in December, and should be completed this month.From the start, various contractors in the valley have volunteered on the project. Gonzales and High Country Enterprises put drywall in the 1,193-square-foot home.Gonzales has been working with Hermes Custom Homes for five years. Typically, the company builds spacious homes in the valley’s resort communities. There was no hesitation when Hermes Custom Homes head Rick Hermes and his partner, George Sanders, asked for some help with the Habitat project, Gonzales said. “We all work as a team together,” notes Gonzales. Besides, he has a tie to the Bopp family. Gonzales heads the local chapter of the Elk Foundation, and the Bopps are avid hunters. Gonzales makes sure the family can attend the annual fund-raising banquet, he said.

The drywall for the home was donated by Paul Taylor of Pioneer Materials. The drywall is 5/8 inch, compared to the half-inch product that is typically used in lower-cost construction projects, Gonzales said. High Country Enterprises provided the mud and labor. “We have really good crews,” says Gonzales. He estimates that in total, his crews will put in five or six days of work in the house.Like every contractor that’s been on the job, the drywallers are offering a little bit extra. Instead of the sprayed-on, “orange peel” texture that is the most economical drywall finish, they’re planning a skip-trowel texture, Gonzales said. Steve Bopp visits the home several times during the week, delivering donuts and lunch for the workers, and helping with the occasional clean-up. As with all Habitat projects, the Bopps, as the future owners of the house, are required to put in some sweat equity with the organization.

Because the “blitz build” nature of the project requires fast work by professionals, the Bopps will put in most of their sweat hours on other habitat projects. Work will begin soon on some new units at the Bluffs subdivision in Eagle.For more information on Habitat for Humanities activities in Eagle County, call 748-6718 or e-mail volunteer@habitateaglelake.org.Vail, Colorado

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