Charline Hall let out a scream when Clint Lovette’s name was introduced at the Habitat for Humanity Greater Birmingham Builders Blitz ceremony Thursday.
Lovette is president of Lovette Construction. He spent the past week building his first Habitat house and was just moments away from handing the keys to Hall.
Hence, the scream.
The anticipation was building for Hall as the ceremony went from the blessings of the 13 newly constructed homes in Cascade Parc in the East Lake area to the introduction of the builders who participated. It was a ceremony that lasted longer than normal because this year’s Builders Blitz was Birmingham’s largest to date.
For Hall, the dream of owning a home has been years in the making as she sought to find a nice, safe place for her and her two teenage sons.
“I live in the Kingston Projects,” she said. “I’m just excited to move out of there in my brand new home.”
The anticipation was building for Lovette, too, who was participating in his first-ever Habitat build.
“We are a boutique remodeling firm, so we wanted to come out and show all of these builders that remodelers can build from scratch, too,” he said. “It’s funny, on day one a couple of builders came by and asked if we wanted them to frame walls so we could tear them down and feel at home.”
Lovette and his subcontractors were not alone in building the home. In true Habitat fashion, Hall was on site every day helping build the home. With the keys come a low-interest mortgage designed to fit her budget.
“It’s been exciting. It’s been a blessing,” she said watching her three-bedroom, two-bathroom home take shape. “I have brand new everything. It’s beautiful.”
Her 17-year-old and 15-year-old sons each will have their own room. They came by the house every day after school watching it go from a concrete slab to a house.
“Every day is ‘Wow, Mom!’ ‘Wow, Mom!’ They just keep wowing,” Hall said.
Lovette said his involvement with the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders helped him come into the Habitat program prepared. Or so he thought.
“We kind of knew what to expect, but the organized chaos is a little bit more than I guess we expected,” he said. “But it’s fun. It’s nonstop. It’s 14-hour days, but it’s fun.”
Cascade Parc went from an empty block to the start of a neighborhood. Hall said she can’t wait to start moving in furniture and turning the house into their home.
“I met a couple of my neighbors. They’re very nice,” she said. “I’m just so thankful. It’s a blessing to have the keys. I just want to thank everyone in the program.”
But it didn’t take having the keys for it to feel like her house.
“The first day I started working, I felt it then,” she said.