A dozen contractors rolled up their sleeves in Hartford’s South End on Friday to replace 16 windows in a home on West Preston Street.
“Our homeowner, Margarita, she is an older resident, she's been in her home, I think about 20 years. She lives here with her 13-year-old granddaughter. And she called us last summer in the middle of a pandemic. She was looking for us to help her replace her windows,” said Sarah Thrall, the executive director of Rebuilding Together Hartford.
The organization aims to help homeowners make repairs so they can stay in their homes in Hartford. Roughly 23% of people living in Hartford own their homes, according to Thrall, who said the rest are renters.
At the time the homeowner called, Rebuilding Together Hartford was not able to help her. But recently, the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Central Connecticut called and said they were looking for a window project.
“I said, 'I have just the one for you.' So we're installing 16 windows today. We have 12 skilled contractors, this is what they do for a living. And they're coming in here and they're going to replace all these windows and volunteering all of their labor,” Thrall said.
It is a big deal that these contractors are donating their time and labor, at a time when contractors across the state are slammed with work.
“The phone's ringing off the hook where we are we just physically can't get to it all. And it's you know, so we have supply chain issues. We have issues with hiring help,” said Tim Freeland, who owns Freeland Home Remodelers. “We all feel it's important to take some time, even though we're really busy right now, take some time out and get back to give back to the community as it were.”
So the 1920s windows that are heavy and not energy efficient were swapped out with brand new Anderson replacement windows donated by the East Haven Builders Supply, according to Freeland.
On Saturday, Rebuilding Together Hartford will have more than 100 volunteers repairing seven homes in the Parkville neighborhood of Hartford.
“We're doing everything from we're replacing doors to securing handrails to we're doing some work on front steps, that kind of thing, just again, just minor repairs, depending on the skill of our volunteers,” Thrall said.
Volunteers are welcome to meet at the Parkville Community School at 7:15 a.m. on Saturday.