Habitat for Humanity's 1st modular home arrives in Bath

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BATH — Habitat for Humanity/7 Rivers Maine’s first modular home arrived in the city Oct. 11, the start of a new trend for the group that builds affordable houses.

The Topsham-based organization as of Tuesday had raised nearly $11,000 – 37 percent of a $30,000 goal – in its first crowd-sourced funding initiative. Donations can be made at crowdrise.com/build-hope, and the build and fundraiser will continue at least through year’s end.

The homeowner can afford a certain amount to purchase the home, and Habitat is subsidizing the rest through the $30,000 campaign, according to Kathy Smith, Habitat’s director of development.

Habitat is working with Bath-based Dirigo Custom Structures to build the modular home at 167 Middle St.

The daylight basement and a surface wall were already in place by the time a crane lowered two sections of the modular home into place Oct. 11.

“They popped it on and secured it, and it’s buttoned up,” Smith said in an interview Oct. 17. “And now this Saturday we start with volunteers going in to complete the home.”

Along with finishing the basement, they will place siding on the house, build a front porch, and perform other tasks over the next eight weeks.

“We’re hoping to have the homeowner and family in before Christmas, even maybe mid-December, if possible,” Smith said.

Habitat requires homeowners to invest “sweat equity hours” into the construction process. Although the Bath home is prefabricated, the three-member family has been helping out at Habitat’s ReStore at 126 Main St. in Topsham and will work alongside volunteers at the home site.

The home, including the basement, will have about 1,500 square feet of space.

Habitat expects to see some degree of savings from going the modular route, although how much won’t be certain until the project is complete, Smith said. Construction time should also be reduced by “a number of months,” she added.

Modular homes are also likely to be built next year on two pieces of land on Federal Street in Wiscasset, Smith said. The Bath home is the 45th house built by Habitat/7 Rivers in its 25-year history.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Habitat for Humanity/7 Rivers Maine’s first modular home arrived in Bath Oct. 11. Two sections have been placed on a completed foundation and surface wall.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.