Help of all kinds available to fix up your home


Ahh, these glorious fall days! There’s nothing like crisp air with bright fall leaves against clear blue skies!

Yes, we’re talking about the Twin Harbors; although we realize we have already had a nice shot of wet and wild this fall!

Either way and no matter what type of fall, we can say with assurance that winter is on its way with its associated cold, wet and wind.

And that means we’ll all be spending more time indoors, not to mention gathering with family and friends for the upcoming holiday season. That’s why right now is a great time to tackle some special projects at your house!

Do you need to replace windows, add insulation? Fix up a bathroom? Repair a foundation or roof?

DO YOU NEED HELP?

Help can come in many forms. Sometimes it just helps to have a knowledgeable, neutral third-party look at your home repair, renovation or weatherization project plans. Sometimes you need to find out where to go for special programs and rebates. Sometimes you need someone to manage your project. Sometimes you just need a name of a respected contractor. And sometimes you need money to help pay for needed repairs. We can help on all counts.

At NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor, we’re a nonprofit organization that strives to help with all sorts of housing and financial needs. We want you to be safe, secure and comfortable in your home.

SPECIAL LOANS, PROGRAMS

We try to stay attuned to different community resources, grants and programs available for fixing up your home. Rebates and low-interest loans are available in a variety of places. The Grays Harbor Public Utility District (PUD) and other utilities often have rebates for weatherization, but you may need help putting together the project and need additional financing for the balance.

If you give us a call, we will let you know what services we offer and direct you to other programs that are available. Think of us as a clearing house for housing needs.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Our construction department is well versed in finding and assessing the problem areas of most houses, as well as determining proper solutions for most problems found.

For our homeowner clients, we typically provide a thorough inspection, help prioritize the issues, write scopes of work, and estimate the construction costs. Then we determine where our other partners, such as the PUD and the Coastal Community Action Program, USDA, and others can help.

After that, our assistance can include creating construction drawings, holding bid meetings with contractors, creating solid contracts, managing the onsite work, validating any change orders, creating pay-outs and gathering all the inspection documents and lien waivers before payments are made.

While we do charge a fee for project management, we are also known to give out plenty of free advice over the phone.

For example “How long should you keep the records about your rehab?” Answer: One year after the rehab is completed to your satisfaction unless there are longer warranty periods. However, bid documents can be tossed immediately.

FINDING A CONTRACTOR

Sometimes people call us to get a few names of good contractors they can trust. We don’t actually “recommend” any specific company. However, we will give you names of contractors that we have successfully used for project like yours and are in good standing in our bidding pool. All must be licensed, bonded and insured. Give us a call if you’re looking for a plumber, electrician, carpenter, sheetrock hanger, handyman, etc., and we’ll see if we can give you a few names that might fit your project needs.

MONEY for PROJECTs

We also have a revolving loan fund that covers most housing needs. We make loans for weatherization, heat pumps and for replacing or repairing nearly everything else from the roof down to the dirt.

We also have funds for people that want to buy a house and need down payment assistance funds to use get a primary mortgage. We even have local community lending partners to work with if you don’t have one.

REGARDLESS OF INCOME

Finally, there is a general misconception that our counseling and management services are only for low- to moderate-income households. While many of the programs and lending resources were developed to help this population get their homes purchased or repaired, anyone can access one of our best services regardless of income: housing counseling.

Housing counseling is always free of charge. We don’t do marriage counseling though, but if you can get your financial issues taken care of the chances are pretty good the other issues might resolve themselves!

Our mission is to help you as an individual and that helps the community at large. One big part of our job is bringing affordable resource opportunities into the community from a variety of outside sources.

Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is the executive director. This is a non-profit organization committed to creating safe and affordable housing opportunities for all residents of Grays Harbor County.

Do you have questions about home repair, renting, remodeling or becoming a homeowner? Call us at 533-7828, write us or visit us at 710 E. Market St. in Aberdeen.