Habitat for Humanity’s Crane Day a success


Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County is hitting the ground running for our third build season of our mission to build 15 homes in five years.

Habitat Archuleta’s third-annual Crane Day was on June 6 and 7, with three modular homes lifted into the air and placed on their foundations on Domicile Circle in the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association (PLPOA). 

Habitat’s construction staff were joined by plenty of both longtime and completely new volunteers. Even the office staff donned hard hats and roofing harnesses to help finish off the prep work.

“I want to stress that we needed absolutely everyone to pull this off, and we couldn’t have done it without them,” Construction Supervisor Jeff Bouwer said. “I want to thank every last one of them.” 

Crane Day was a race to the finish this year, as staff and volunteers finished preparations within hours of the crane’s arriving. Despite the hectic nature of that final push, Habitat Archuleta is already six weeks ahead of schedule as compared to last year.

Local crane operator Rich Carlson noted that setting one modular home typically costs about $7,000 if the prep work hasn’t been completed beforehand. Habitat Archuleta was able to set all three homes for about $10,000 thanks to staff and volunteers unhinging all the roofs before Crane Day. We were not able to accomplish this in 2023.

The volunteer collaboration didn’t stop there. Habitat homeowner Vince and board member Cayce Brown worked closely with crane operator staff to streamline the process.

Crane Day was a massive production of coordination, starting with a semi-truck arriving in the early morning to transport the modulars from their staging area by the PLPOA brush collection site to their destinations in Chris Mountain Village II. 

The truck transported the modular halves slowly down the road, where the crane waited. With massive straps, winches and a little human ingenuity, the crane lifted the halves from the truck onto their foundations. Volunteers shifted the modular halves onto the foundations to perfect accuracy, down to the square inch. 

With Crane Day accomplished, the work really begins. 

The next steps will be to “stitch” together the halves of each home, install electricity and plumbing, and stick-build garages. To do so requires the expertise of volunteers, staff and local subcontractors. 

While construction continues, Habitat Archuleta is accepting applications to build with us for 2025. Applicants earning 80 percent of the area median income or less can work with Habitat staff to obtain a USDA Rural Development (USDA RD) mortgage loan. USDA RD financing can be used to purchase a home in the conventional real estate market, to purchase a Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation home in 2025 or to partner to build a with Habitat Archuleta in 2025.

The deadline is coming up quickly, so please spread the word: Applications are due by June 30. They can be found online at www.habitatarchuleta.org, or feel free to swing by our office at 703 San Juan St., Suite 201 in Pagosa Springs. 

To learn more about how you can get involved in supporting workforce homeownership in Archuleta County, contact us at (970) 264-6960 or email office@habitatarchuleta.org.