FAQ – Aiken County Habitat for Humanity



What tools will I need on the work site?

The tools you’ll need will be provided at the work site. This includes the basic tools listed below, as well as power tools, large levels, T-squares, saws, etc. Basic canvas nail aprons will also be provided. If you choose to bring your own tools we recommend:

Hammer, no less than 16 ounce

Retractable tape measure, – 25 ft.

Utility knife with retractable blade

Small metal or plastic carpenter’s speed square. It looks like a triangle.

Carpenter’s pencil

Work gloves that will protect your hands and allow you to grasp tools

Safety glasses

If you bring your own tools, gloves, glasses, etc to the work site, we suggest marking them with your name to avoid confusion.

If you prefer a sturdier tool belt, the local stores (Lowe’s, Home Depot, Tractor Supply and others) carry a variety of styles. Try the tool belts on in the store and see which is comfortable for you when bending or kneeling.

What will I learn in the Skills Clinics?

The Clinics will teach Site and Tool Safety, as well as how to frame the house. Tool safety will include both hand tools and power tools.

We will build a small structure to learn framing skills in the first two clinics. In the third clinic, we will teach participants how to install the wall sheathing. These basic concepts will underpin most of the work performed on site. Other skills such as installation of siding and painting will be taught on the job.

We will never ask a volunteer to do something they are uncomfortable doing.

Skills Clinics begin promptly at 10am and will continue to noon on Saturdays. The location is the back of the Habitat ReStore, 1026 Park Avenue SE, Aiken SC 29802. Park in the back, along Orangeburg Street on the same side as the ReStore.

What Should I Wear?

It is mandatory that all volunteers DRESS FOR SAFETY. This includes personal protective equipment of heavy duty closed toe and closed heel shoes, safety glasses, and appropriate work gloves.

Your hair should be pulled back. Do not wear earrings, rings, necklaces or bracelets – no jewelry. Inappropriately dressed volunteers will not be allowed to work on the construction site for safety reasons.

Dressing in layers is appropriate for the clinics and work on the site; please mark your clothing. Wearing a hat is suggested as there is no shade on the construction site.

Please do not bring valuables to the clinics or the work site. 

What Should I Expect at the Work Site?

Work hours begin promptly at 8:00 am and will continue to about 3:00 pm Friday and Saturday. These hours can be flexible but PLEASE sign up.

Be willing to perform tasks you may not have expected as schedules and the needs for the day may change.

We will never ask a volunteer to do something they are uncomfortable doing.

When parking your vehicle at the job site, please do not block the neighbor’s driveways, mailboxes, or pull into their yard.

Lunch, water, bug spray, sunscreen and portable toilets are available on the work site.

What is the Path to Homeownership?

Habitat for Humanity works with individuals and families in our community who meet three established
criteria. To become a Habitat homeowner, you must demonstrate:

The need for housing,

The ability to pay affordable housing costs including mortgage, taxes, insurance, utilities, etc., and

The willingness to partner with Habitat

The process of becoming a homeowner can take a year or more to complete. After the application is submitted, reviewed and approved, the partner receives financial counseling and debt/budget management assistance. A Habitat “Shepherd” is assigned to provide guidance and support to the homeowner throughout the process.

‘Sweat Equity’ is volunteer labor a potential homeowner puts in on their own home, other’s homes, in the ReStore or Administrative Offices. The hours are tracked by the Shepherd. This demonstrates the willingness to partner and help build their own home.

When the house is complete, Homeowners go through a legal mortgage closing, with appropriate documentation. Then a celebratory dedication is held and keys are turned over! Habitat provides a “Hand Up, not a Hand Out”!