Building hope, changing lives

Construction Update

Construction Update, 8-25-15


As we near the fall season, construction on 53 Wally D is in full swing with trusses being set last week. We are on schedule to be dried-in well ahead of serious cold weather this year….

This summer has seen the completion of several projects.   67 Wally D finished up major construction by its June 1st deadline, and sod was laid on both 67 and 45 Wally D by the months (June) end.   We also completed a roof in West Yellowstone, as well as a critical repair in 4 corners. 

This summer also saw the participation of many new volunteers in our construction program….including the RV CareAVanner groups, the Mish-Pack group, a “Bike and Build” group, and even some new “regulars” to complement our regular volunteer crews.

Already we are making plans for upcoming projects in West Yellowstone, as well as in Belgrade, and continuing with our participation in the Bozeman Fix-up Festival, and SWIMBIA’s Playhouse on Parade fundraiser. So keep your eyes and ears open for more news and opportunities to help out with your community Habitat builds! 


  • Mark Baker, Construction Supervisor

Construction Update, 3-12-15

-Unseasonably warm weather has been a “boon” to outdoor construction tasks for us at 67 Wally D, since back to mid-January, really. We have finished the siding, and have some trim and battens to put up, along with soffits. Lou is nearing completion of the electrical which will unleash a flurry of activity inside the house, beginning with insulation and then sheetrock. Plans are on schedule for a May completion for the Brenna house!

-Construction of the Playhouses on Parade project is done, and drawings for the playhouses will be held at the SWIMBIA Expo next week. This year, the kids in Mr. Islay’s Construction class at Park High School in Livingston did the work with my supervision. It was a real pleasure having such engaged kids jumping in and seeing the project through. This year they built a Saber-toothed tiger skull playhouse. If you haven’t purchased a ticket yet, there is still time to do so, and help raise some money for the Livingston Education Foundation.

-I just got word today that the Critical Repair project for Lori Michaels is finally done, and she has new siding and soffits! (A huge THANK YOU to Tom Schafer and his crew for making this happen!!!)

-It’s only about a month and a half away from Mother’s Day….which means we are closing in on another scheduled Women’s Build! If you want to participate, contact Katie at the main office…

-For other volunteer opportunities, let us know soon, as dates are beginning to fill up for the summer. We currently have regular work days at the jobsite on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but can schedule “special” days for bigger groups. There are also volunteer opportunities with the ReStore….so call the office and ask us.

Construction Update, 12-19-14

Winding down 2014, progress at 67 Wally D continues steadily, with the main roof being sheeted and papered last Wednesday. We now can proceed with rough-in of the plumbing, electrical, and heating, along with having a dry place to work for the remainder of the Winter. There is still plenty to do on the exterior of the house, but having indoor work keeps us plugging along regardless of weather, and marks a big milestone in the construction progress. We are striving for completion by the end of May on this house.

Currently we have a regular Wednesday crew and our Saturday crew is growing bigger…..but there’s room for more, so if anyone is interested, please contact Katie at the office or Mark and we will work you in.

Thanks to some help from some Construction Management students from MSU, as well as a few “weather” days where our Wednesday crew helped, we have nearly completed our “bump-out” of the Re-Store. This small addition adds a great deal of light and display space to the front of the store and makes the Re-Store staff a little “cheerier” so shoppers take note…..more good deals await you!

The Livingston Schools have accepted our offer to help out and to be the recipients of our “Playhouse on Parade” project funds. Details are being ironed out at this time, but construction is tentatively scheduled to happen in the Livingston area…more on this fun project as we dive into it more.

With the Holidays just around the corner, all of our staff wants to thank all of the volunteers that make our Habitat Affiliate so successful and to wish them and their families a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

– Mark Baker, Construction Supervisor

November 5, 2014

It’s been sometime since my last update regarding Construction projects for Habitat, so here is a rundown of several….
– 45 Wally D is in its final stages of finish, while we have a family already moved in. All that’s left to do for our crews on the house itself are some soffits, and the siding on the gables. This coming spring we will complete the sod and the landscaping. The family will finish painting/caulking chores in their quest to complete their sweat equity hours.

– 67 Wally D work has begun in earnest, with us currently working on final framing of the roof and trusses. This is a five bedroom house. We hope to have this house in “dried-in” stage in a few weeks…hopefully before bad weather arrives!

– West Yellowstone, MT in early October saw Habitat volunteers complete a metal roof for Samantha Brown and her family. With the help of some energetic Caravaners, we tackled this in one day!

– The Montana Conservation Corps helped us to put finishing “touches” on the paint job we did for the Belgrade Senior Center. Thanks to all the volunteers who worked on this project through the summer months…..(there were a lot of you).

– A wheelchair ramp, both wooden and landscaped, was completed as part of the Rotary’s Fix-up-Festival, for a very worthy family. Habitat volunteers showed their dedication by working “extra” on this project during a Saturday. The final outcome was a beautiful, useable and appreciated ramp for the family to use.

– We have begun a “bump-out” of the Habitat Re-Store, to give them more room to display their wares, and add some much needed light to the front desk area. The addition also gives the exterior a new “look”, and with the new paint planned to the building, we can all look towards 2015 with new enthusiasm. Some MSU students in Construction Management have tackled the beginning stages of this one…..thanks guys!

– We are still in need for a crew to help us to finish Lori Michaels house siding project. With winter fast approaching, I’d like to see a couple groups commit to finishing this important basic part of her house “needs”. For more info, call us please.

– Also with Winter approaching we are once again doing the “Playhouses on Parade” project….this time with proceeds going to the Livingston Schools. While details are not finalized as of yet, we are looking forward to building on last year’s success with the T-Rex Skull playhouse that was so popular.

A lot has happened, and is happening with Habitat for Humanity of Gallatin Valley over the past few months. Come and be a part of our program and volunteer your time to help us build and maintain affordable homes in our area. And once again, thanks to all of you who already do!

Mark Baker, Construction Supervisor

February 1 2014

The past couple weeks have been busy on the Construction scene here at Habitat for Humanity of Gallatin Valley, despite weather swings.    Actually, overall, January has treated us quite well in that department.

The house at Wally D is rapidly progressing, and I am amazed each and every work session at how much is accomplished by our volunteers.   In addition to our Wednesday work crew, we now are scheduling a regular Saturday session for those who want to participate.

The house is in “dried-in” stage, and the windows and doors will soon be installed to the exterior walls, giving us an out-of-the-weather place to work should conditions degrade.   With the blue-board applied to the exterior of the house, we can now frame up the garage as well.

We also have some more critical repair projects in our near future for which there will be a need for volunteer help.    Please keep posted as to the scheduling for these.

Lastly, our Playhouse project is rapidly nearing it’s deadline of mid-February.   The T-Rex playhouse is really taking shape, and we are excited to see it’s final form!

So much for this report….stay in touch for future updates.   Construction in Montana in January…you got to love it!

– Mark Baker, Construction Supervisor

January 2014…Happy New Year, Construction update


The Christmas Holiday season saw us closing up shop on the jobsite, but not before we set all the trusses on the Wally D house.   We couldn’t have asked for a better day, weather-wise, and a good turn out for the crew.   With the next couple weeks off, things have been rather quiet for the volunteers that make up the local Wednesday crew, and I hope all have enjoyed a wonderful holiday season.

Now, the first week into the new year, will find us back at the job, taking care of blocking, sub-facia, and finally sheeting the roof….working hard at getting “dried-in”.

In addition to the house at Wally D, I have begun construction of the T-Rex skull playhouse at the shop at the Habitat office, one of the two playhouses that we have decided to do for the SWIMBIA Playhouses on Parade.    The other playhouse is being in conjunction with the Belgrade Schools, which will be the benefactor of 70 percent of our total ticket sales for both houses.   This is one of the ways we, at Habitat, are giving back to the community.

Weather permitting we still plan to finish the critical repair project we began in November in West Yellowstone very soon, as well as a couple other projects in the works.

I am in the process still of organizing a Saturday work crew for the Wally D jobsite….as well as anyone interested in doing any of the critical repair projects we have committed to.   If you are interested, please email me at and pass on your contact info and interest so that I can get you on my list.   Also, you can call the office and speak with Theresa.

Stay warm and safe….

Mark Baker, Construction Supervisor




Construction update….November’s end. (11/30/20013)

We closed out the month of November with steady progress on the house on Wally D Lane.   Currently, we are awaiting truss delivery so that we can schedule in a crew to help us set them. 

In the meantime, we will bide our time with little things…completing the rest of the interior framing details, and sheeting the outside of the structure, of course, weather permitting. 

The week before last found myself, Lou, and David Magistrelli….along with three volunteers – Fred, Bruce, and Mike – on a three-day assignment to West Yellowstone to work on one of our Critical Repair projects.  The plan was to complete building trusses, setting them, sheeting and roofing a trailer house in dire need of added protection.   We got all of it done, except for the roofing, as the tin order did not come through in time.   We will have to make a one day return trip to complete that portion in the very near future.   Still, I was very happy with the work we got completed.  

Another very important Critical Repair project in the works and coming up soon will be the installation of new wood siding on a trailer in 4-corners.   We will keep you posted on those plans….again, weather permitting.

We hope all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving, and can stay happy and healthy going into the Christmas season! 

– Mark Baker, Construction Supervisor





Construction Update….11-14-13


Construction at Wally D Lane has progressed to the point of framing the house, with the completion of the concrete work.    We have had a good turnout the last two Wednesdays with our “local” crew, and thus far both decks are completed, and some of the pre-framed walls done this past summer are already standing.   Framing is always a satisfying part of the job, as work completed seems to always make an impression of progress.  

One note-to-self….if we keep having such good turnouts, I will have to get more donuts, and the “sprinkle” variety seem to be favorites!

My initial goal was to have trusses in place and the house in “dry-in” state by the end of the month of November, but we may miss that date by a couple weeks, given the Thanksgiving holiday, schedules with sub-contractors, weather-forcing attention to other projects, and the truss plant schedule itself.    Still, we are making great progress towards being able to have work inside during the coldest months of winter.

For those wanting to volunteer on this project, please call Theresa at the office, or my cell during work hours, and make plans so that I can have work and proper materials available for your time commitment.   Regular work hours are Tuesday’s thru Saturdays, but these next couple weeks (until the end of November) will see some unusual scheduling due to an out-of-town project that will require the staff’s attention next week, as well as the Thanksgiving weekend.  

Thanks so much for your interest in helping us provide quality housing to those who need a “hand up” towards their dreams.

– Mark Baker, Construction Supervisor  224-1954


Construction Report…October 30th

Once again, we wait on the final concrete work to be done, as mother nature deals us a dose of what is to come in upcoming months. We should, however, have work completed….cross your fingers….by weeks’ end. By Wednesday of next week, we will be pounding nails on the project at Wally D Lane!
While we waited, some of us completed the “hands-on” portion of our Skid-steer certification at the jobsite. Fred Operman, Fred Haas, and myself took turns running our own (Habitat’s) machine. We also prepped the last of what we needed to do for the concrete flatwork.
A quick note….and I know many of you are patiently awaiting the chance to get to the jobsite and help out….I will be gone from November 7th thru the 11th, so there will be no work being done on that Saturday for those of you wondering. We also will be having a home dedication for the Buhl’s on that Saturday (the 9th), and I will show up briefly for that ceremony, but staff will not be able to fill in on the jobsite. So your patience is appreciated once again.
We are tenatively scheduling a critical repair project in West Yellowstone for the 18th, 19th, and 20th of November and welcome help on that if any are willing. We will be constructing a roof over an existing trailer house and timing is crucial to get it done, given the looming seasonal constraints of such work. There are additionally two other projects in the valley that we will be following up with in the very near future and also would love to put together a team(s) to complete these as well. This is a new aspect of what Habitat will be doing to stretch our funds to help as many folks as we can.
Once again, thanks all, for taking an interest in Habitat’s important work in our community!
– Mark Baker, Construction Supervisor





Construction Report – Sept 14, 2013;

by Mark Baker, Construction Supervisor


This will be the first of many weekly construction updates to send out, so that folks who are wondering, can track and plan for progress or work schedules to participate in. At this time, we are currently working mainly on a Wednesday schedule to maximize our efficiency with the local volunteer crews and to progress towards a point where we can take more volunteers on a daily basis.

We started the house on Wally D Lane, around mid-August, breaking ground and running water and sewer lines. Layout and forming up of the footings then progressed to where we finally poured concrete for them on September 4th.

Last week, we formed up the foundation walls, and this week, on Wednesday, Sept. 18th, we are scheduled to pour concrete once again.

Also, preliminary forming of the basement pad was done this past week.

While we are progressing at a great pace, given the volunteers we have available, there are many that wish to jump in and lend a hand. At this point in the construction, we simply cannot speed up the process just yet, until the concrete work is done and we have finally begun to start the framing stages. We welcome all volunteers, and we can accommodate all of you on the Wednesday work days, but if you are hoping for another day, please be patient for a few more weeks.

Looking ahead, our tentative plans are to finish up with concrete by mid-October, and at that point, framing will start in earnest with the goal of being “dried-in” by the end of November, so that we won’t have to work out in the weather on the worst days!

As Construction Supervisor, my ideal plan would be to organize and have a Thursday work crew on a regular basis to complement our Wednesday crew….but once the “wood is flying” so too will be the opportunities for all to join in and be a part of this fun project!

At Habitat…our homes are built largely by volunteers, and we need your help. If you would like to volunteer on this, or any other Habitat work detail or project, please contact Theresa at the office at 388-8225.