What We Build
What Are Habitat Houses Like?
Simple, decent and affordable.
Habitat houses around the world are built according to the same 3 guiding principles:
Habitat houses are modestly-sized. They are large enough for the homeowner family’s needs, but small enough to keep construction and maintenance costs to a minimum.
Habitat for Humanity uses quality, locally-available building materials. Habitat house designs reflect the local climate and culture.
The labor of volunteers and partner families, efficient building methods, modest house sizes and no-profit loans make it affordable for low-income families to purchase Habitat houses.
Habitat Houses in North America
Habitat houses in the United States and Canada are typically built using wood frame construction, Gypsum board interior walls, vinyl siding and asphalt shingle roofs. Some affiliates also use proven alternative building materials such as adobe or straw bale construction.
U.S. and Canadian Habitat houses are modestly-sized by North American standards. Habitat’s guidelines dictate that a 3-bedroom Habitat house may have no more than 1,050 square feet of living space.
Habitat for Humanity’s commitment to build with people in need readily extends to those with disabilities. When possible, Habitat houses incorporate basic accessible design features, such as a zero-step entrance and wide passage doors and hallways. Houses built in partnership with families with disabilities include additional accessibility features.
Habitat Houses in Northwoods Wisconsin
Home sizes vary based on the size of the partner family and have typically ranged anywhere from 900 sq. ft. to 1300 sq. ft. Designs are optimized for cost containment and energy efficiency. A key factor in high energy efficient designs we offer is an insulated concrete form foundation wall which we believe has twice the R value of a normal basement. Also sub-slab insulation, R-50 attic insulation and extruded polystyrene foam on the frame walls coupled with windows that have high Energy Star rating provide an energy efficiency second to none. Construction techniques involving attention to great detail to sealing up any potential holes or leaks in the building shell and subsequent interior construction are key to efficiency.
“This home is more than a house. It is a home with love, built with love and hope and dreams, because of Habitat for Humanity. You’ve given our family hope – no matter how bad things get or have been in the past. God has blessed our family with the caring, supportive, concerned, kind people at Habitat.”
– a Habitat for Humanity partner family