The house is first marked out, and then the foundation is dug around the perimeter. Once it is dug, rebar is placed inside with vertical rebar at the corners (those will later be cement columns). Cement is poured in the foundation, and two to three rows of block are laid on top of the cement. This step is completed before a group’s arrival.
When a group arrives, their first task is to prep the floor by filling it first with caliche, or dirt. Once the caliche is filled to be even with the top row of blocks, wood is put around the perimeter to form a 1-2 inch lip around the foundation. Cement is mixed in a mixer, and the 1-2 inch cement slab floor is poured.
Next step is laying ten rows of block to form the walls of the house. Mezcla, or mortar, is mixed, and the blocks are laid in a staggered pattern, one row at a time. Group members team up in pairs to work on each section of the wall and helped and supervised by our foremen staff and local volunteers.
After the walls are built, wood is formed around the rebar at the columns, and rebar is laid around the top perimeter and formed up with wood. Groups then mix cement to fill these forms, which become concrete columns and ring. These make the house firm and steady.
Once the cement has dried on the columns and ring, the last step the group is tasked with is laying two more rows of block on top of the ring.
To prep the roof, the first step is putting up wood forms, which is done by a local company. Then, rebar is laid in a grid pattern, and styrofoam is secured in between. Styrofoam takes up space and also provides some insulation. Groups sometimes help us prep the roof they’ll be pouring (of a previously built house), but this task is often done by our staff and local volunteers.
Because of timing, the roof is not done in the same week the house is built. Groups will pour the roof on a house previously built by an earlier group. Cement is mixed in a mixer and is passed up in buckets by people on scaffolding. After being dumped in wheelbarrows, the cement is poured at the top and forms the roof.
The last step to complete a house is installing the door and windows; each Faith Ministry house comes up a door and two windows with glass. From there, families can decide how they want to make their house a home by installing electricity, stuccoing and painting, and more.