Thanks to the work of countless sponsors and volunteers, $262,200 from the sale will go to advancing efforts to get more women into the construction industry. And the project has already inspired the publication of a children’s book, also entitled "The House That SHE Built."
We recently chatted with Kristi Allen, owner of WoodCastle Homes, who served as one of the general contractors on the project. Here, she dives into the process of funding and building this project, and where the profits will be used:
How was this idea conceived?
Early in 2020, our Professional Women in Building (PWB) council had a meeting with about 30 members where we sat down to set our goals for an intense upcoming project, The House That She Built. At that time, we didn’t have a name for our project, or even a complete set of goals. We just knew we wanted to bring women together to build a home. As we went around the room and each shared our experiences in construction and our perspectives, the theme of belonging resonated strongly.
We had individually found our own niche where we belonged in the building industry, and then we had found an even stronger sense of belonging together amongst our PWB community. Our goal was to share that spirit of belonging and let other women and girls know, you belong here, in this amazing home building industry. That was the start of something truly magical.
How was the project funded?
As a council, we planned and executed a Diamonds in the Rough Golf Tournament in August of 2020, earning our first seed money: $27,653. Several women from our council were focused exclusively on monetary and product donations for the home, bringing in large sponsors like Builders First Source, Lowe’s, Amsco Windows, Moen, Benjamin Moore Paint, and many others.
Could anyone purchase this home?
Yes, the home was listed on the MLS this summer and has already sold and closed. We are using the proceeds from this project to fund our next big undertaking; a scholarship fund and educational outreach to help spread the message to girls and women who may not have previously considered a career in new home construction.
Could you tell us a little bit more about PWB’s next big undertaking?
Through the sale of The House That SHE Built, our council earned $262,200 for our scholarship and grant fund. This program will support women entering the home building industry in many different ways, from scholarships for women pursuing construction management degrees, or pursuing trade schools and certifications, to grants for women who need tools or childcare to complete internships or on-the-job training. We want to support women joining our industry in as many ways as possible.
Besides the scholarship and grant program, The House That SHE Built proceeds will allow PWB to donate $87,400 to local, women-focused charities, including a center that seeks to help victims of domestic abuse get back on their feet.