The 1,500-square-foot house at 362 Crestdale Road has five bedrooms and two bathrooms. It will soon be home to the Rahlan-Ksor family of eight, including six children – five girls and one boy – ranging in age from 2 to 15. Habitat Matthews will present the family with their house keys during a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 26.
Since 1989, Habitat Matthews has served families in need throughout the community, but this marks the third time the nonprofit has built an entire house using solely brick. Habitat homes are generally built with vinyl siding and some brick or stone accents, Habitat Matthews Executive Director Terrell Blackmon said.
The project was made possible thanks to a donation from Charlotte-based Hanson Brick. The company has worked with Habitat Matthews in the past and was looking for a way to introduce a new type of brick, VersaThin, to the public via a home construction project and agreed to donate all of the brick and coordinated labor for the Habitat project.
“We are producing a thin brick product and saw an opportunity to help out a family and showcase our product, too,” Bill Strauss, director of quality for Hanson Brick, said. “We feel that this kind of product can add a lot of life to a home like that.”
The donation was a huge blessing to Habitat, Blackmon said.
“We have had (many) donations in the past. We have sponsors that help us build houses all the time, but in terms of the donation of the brick, that was pretty significant,” he said.
VersaThin is a slimmer type of brick designed to be more flexible and less costly to install. Because the brick is economic, energy efficient and environmentally friendly, using VersaThin also helps Habitat Matthews earn more credit toward a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification, Blackmon said.
The nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council developed the LEED building rating system, which awards special certifications to companies that demonstrate efficiency in building structures that have positive environmental impacts and human benefits.
The LEED credit system looks at categories like water, energy and environmental quality, and companies earn points in each category. Organizations that are LEED certified are eligible for a number of grants and other benefits.
“Another reason why we look at (LEED certification) is because there are some dollars that are available for builders who build LEED certified homes for lower and moderate income families,” Blackmon said.
Bank of America was the home’s primary sponsor, providing additional money needed to cover construction. The Charlotte Garden Club provided the plants, shrubs, flowers and trees during landscaping, and Alward Masonry provided free labor, which Hanson Brick scheduled and organized.
In addition to company sponsors and volunteers, Habitat Matthews also received help from community members – church groups, civic organizations and Habitat homeowners-in-progress.
Whenever a family receives a Habitat home, they’re required to put in 400 hours of “sweat equity,” with 200 hours being devoted to their own home and 200 hours put toward another Habitat house.
Construction on the Rahlan-Ksor house, which takes an average of four months, Blackmon said, began June 22 and finished Oct. 6. Following the completion and dedication of its newest home, Habitat Matthews plans to break ground on an adjacent lot, 329 Linden St., on Nov. 3, he said.
Blackmon is excited to see the completion of the nonprofit’s first all-brick home and hopes the house will be an example of what Habitat has to offer the community.
“We’re providing the homeowners with a very secure, energy-efficient home,” he said. “(The all-brick house) allows Habitat to show a variety in the types of homes that we’re able to build for our homeowners.”
Want to go?
Habitat for Humanity of Matthews will host a dedication ceremony for its first all-brick home, 362 Crestdale Road, at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 26. The free event is open to the public.
For more information about the nonprofit including ways you can volunteer, visit www.habitatmatthews.org or call 704-847-4266.