Habitat FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Construction volunteers work side-by-side with Habitat Wake staff, home buyers, donors and volunteers to build homes and the foundations of lives more fulfilled in Wake County. No experience is required.

What’s the workday schedule?  

8 a.m. – Volunteer registration opens
8 – 8:15 a.m. – Volunteer check-in and registration
         Please arrive promptly so we can begin on time!
         For safety reasons late-comers will be turned away.
8:15 a.m. – Volunteer orientation and safety overview, tasks assigned, work day begins
11:30 a.m. – Noon – Lunch break (Lunch is not provided unless otherwise indicated.)
3:30 – 4 p.m. – Site Cleanup

We’re counting on you! Please plan to work for your entire shift. Please plan to carpool, if possible. Being courteous to our new neighbors is vital to ensuring our new homeowners are welcomed to the community.

What should I do when I arrive?

Please locate the Volunteer sign‐In station. Checking in is your first priority when you arrive on the site.

What if there is inclement weather?

If the weather forecast for your scheduled work day is questionable, we will notify you by text and email of any delays or cancellations before 7 a.m. Our greatest concern is your safety. For less than optimal weather conditions, we will do our best to find work indoors. If you feel uncomfortable driving to the build site, please stay home and reschedule your volunteer day to a later date

What should I bring?

Habitat Wake provides all necessary tools for your work day. If you choose to bring your own gear (such as work gloves, hammer, tape measure, tool belt or nail apron, pencil) label any tools you bring with your name. We will have big jugs of water and cups on site, so please bring your own water bottle. You will also want to bring sunscreen and bug spray. We have these items on site, but if you have sensitive skin it is advisable that you bring your own products. You’ll also need to bring any food or other beverages that you would like throughout the day.

When is lunch?

Please bring lunch (or plan for your group to provide it) and a cooler, if needed. We’ll break for lunch around 11:30 a.m. and will need everyone to be ready to start working again at noon. If you plan on having someone deliver lunch to you on site, please ask for delivery by 11:15 a.m.

What is the bathroom situation?

There are portable toilets (porta-potties) on every site.

What is the minimum age for volunteers?

Construction volunteers must be at least 16 years old. Volunteers who are 16 or 17 must print this parent guardian permission slip and bring it — completed and signed — with them to the build site. 

How many volunteers can work on a house at a time?

In general, the ideal number of volunteers working together on one house is 15-20. Homeowners and construction staff will also be onsite, increasing the total number of people on site. Our experience has shown that the volunteer experience is diminished when there are too many people on site. Similarly, if there are too few volunteers, we may fall behind on our schedule.

What should I wear?

Wear good work shoes – boots are best, sturdy sneakers are fine. No sandals, open‐toed shoes or light canvas shoes such as Keds. Wear clothes that can get dirty.  Avoid loose fitting or baggy clothes. Bring a good hat and an extra shirt on hot days.  Sunscreen it is essential for most days in March through October.

How should I prepare?

First, it is very important to arrive on time.  Familiarize yourself with your route from your home or office to the site and email [email protected] if you have questions about how to find the site.  To familiarize yourself with basic safety and job site expectations, please watch this Habitat safety video.

Do I need to have construction experience to volunteer?

No, we will train you to safely complete all the tasks for the day.  Safety is our highest concern. When you arrive, staff will provide safety instructions and training on how to perform tasks.  If you feel uncomfortable with a task or tool, be sure to ask for help or ask to be re-assigned to a different task.  We value quality over speed. Relax and have fun! We are happy to teach you! We can have as many as 100 volunteers at our work sites, so it may take some time for staff to assign you a task.  Please be patient with our process.