Home builder Chip Smith and his company Blue Ridge Log Cabins of Campobello, S.C., were recognized from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) last week, for building a home for women veterans. The home was donated to the Steps-N-Stages Jubilee House, a non-profit agency that provides housing for homeless and disabled women veterans and their families in Fayetteville, N.C.
"It is truly humbling to be recognized at the highest level in the country," said Smith. "We felt very strongly about the plight of homeless women veterans and couldn't let this opportunity to make a difference pass us by."
The construction of the home was featured on the season premiere of the ABC television series "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," on Sept. 25 with a very special guest volunteer worker--First Lady Michelle Obama.
Navy veteran Barbara Marshall founded the non-profit Steps-N-Stages, Inc. In addition to transitional and permanent housing, the agency provides mentoring, life coaching, job search assistance, peer counseling and other support services for veterans. More than 30 homeless women veterans and their families will be served by the housing and resources in Jubilee House.
The log home was assembled from 13 modular units over seven days with the help of more than 4,000 volunteers. Smith, a member of NAHB's Building Systems Councils and Log Home Council, donated the home, and local companies and individuals donated supplies, materials and funds to help complete the house.
"Blue Ridge Log Homes is the only company in the world to combine log and modular construction building systems," said Smith. "Our creativity and innovative practices have allowed us to be successful and give back to the community through this tough time for home builders."
Blue Ridge constructs around 90 percent of each home in their factory, which both reduces cost and allows the home to be completed faster than a conventionally-constructed log home.
"The First Lady told me 'I hope other people look at what you're doing and are inspired to build homes like this around the country,'" said Smith. "It would be the best outcome imaginable for these deserving veterans for that to happen."