Student Perspectives: The HACTC's Building Trades Students Complete House Construction
We are nearing the finish line of our two-year Building Trades house project. House number seven in the Brookmeade Circle development is nearly complete, and soon we will put it on the market for sale.
Adam Purington and Ethan Smith, both from Mascoma Valley Regional High School, and Dylan Hutchins from Hartford High School, are three of fourteen Building Trades seniors at the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center (HACTC) who have been working on this project from the very beginning.
On the second day of school of the first year of the project, we were out at the house site learning about surveying and setting the corners of the foundation. Tool safety was an important first part of our program. Across the board everyone has to be on the same level safety wise. We learned tool names and proper usage, and we all had to pass all the safety tests with 100% before we could move on.
Each of us has been involved in every aspect of the house building. This includes site work, setting the foundation forms, framing, installing trusses, siding, roofing, rough and finish plumbing and electrical, fitting doors and windows, insulation, drywall installation, trim work, flooring, installing cabinets, countertops and fixtures. The most challenging finish work we are currently doing is installing and finishing the stairs.
In the beginning of our project, everything was very fast paced and hands-on. Ethan’s favorite piece of the project was shingling; Adam enjoyed the foundation work; and Dylan liked hanging drywall. All three agreed that installing the outside vinyl siding was a difficult piece of the house construction. Communication and teamwork skills, as well as problem solving and math skills (measuring), were key pieces of their project. This Spring we are looking forward to doing landscape work and adding gutters to the house before putting it on the market.
We are currently ahead of schedule on the house project, and plan to put it on the market at the end of March. Then we can celebrate its completion and look to the future.
We are nearing the end of our senior year, and are preparing for work in the various fields of the construction industry. Dylan may pursue a future job as an electrician or carpenter. Adam is leaning towards working with private contractors until he learns more about what he wants to do for a career. Ethan is headed to college to study music and work construction as a side job, and plans to build his own house someday.