Habitat group races to build home in 25 hours

If you've ever wondered what the results look like when people try to build a house in a day, drive over to 3101 Amay James Ave. this morning and take a look.

The blue, 1,055-square-foot house wasn't there Monday.

Two hundred volunteers, most of them from Bank of America, began construction at 6 a.m. Wednesday and planned to finish in time for a 7 a.m. dedication today. The ceremony will mark not only the completion of the house in 25 hours, but the 25th anniversary of Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte.

“We scheduled volunteers on a rotating basis, but a lot didn't want to leave, because they were having too much fun,” says Bert Green, executive director of Habitat Charlotte. “People just love to be part of something that is bigger than they are.”

Habitat for Humanity partners with low-income families to provide affordable housing, using volunteer labor. It has built more than 800 homes in the Charlotte area since 1983, with the typical construction job taking three months. But there are rare occasions when the timeline is cranked up, creating a building blitz.

To date, the record in Charlotte is a home built in 18 hours by Standard Pacific Homes in 2007.

Second place goes to Piedmont Natural Gas, which built Habitat's 100th house in 24 hours, back in 1990.

That puts Bank of America's three-bedroom home on Amay James Avenue at a close third place.

However, all three fall far short of national records, including an Alabama home built in just three hours and 26 minutes in 2002.

“We haven't tried to go after the record,” says Green, “but maybe some day we will.”