It’s 9 a.m. the Monday before Thanksgiving and Frank Peppe, a technician with Flanders Heating & Air Conditioning, is beginning his work week by installing baseboards into a small Habitat for Humanity house being built on Greenway East in Orient.
In the basement below, his colleague Chris Hollborn is sorting out all the parts for the boiler system he’s about to install.
It’s the start of a two-day project for the workers and the latest step in a more than two-year effort to complete the house. And they’re doing the labor free of charge.
“This is a nice way to start to address the affordable housing problem here,” Flanders service manager Bob Ghosio, a Southold Town Councilman, said as he installed a digital thermostat in the hallway.
When the house is finally complete it will become the home of Michael Bredemeyer, a 27-year-old state parks worker who was raised in the community.
Mr. Bredemeyer was selected in June 2014 by Habitat for Humanity from among five applicants who met the criteria for the home. As part of his agreement with Habitat, Mr. Bredemeyer had to contribute 300 hours of hands-on build time, or “sweat equity.” Once it is complete, he will be responsible for paying his own mortgage — which will be calculated based on the final cost of construction and is usually about 30 percent of the homeowner’s annual income.
It will be the first Habitat for Humanity house in Southold Town. A dilapidated foreclosed home previously sat on the property.
Mr. Ghosio said Flanders became involved in the project soon after former town special projects coordinator Phillip Beltz first mentioned it at a Town Board meeting.
“It really sounded like something we should be a part of,” he said.
Mr. Ghosio estimated the cost of installing the donated high efficiency home heating system to be about $12,000. Southold Plumbing will assist in the installation, he said, and S.W. Anderson Sales of Southampton donated almost all of the supplies. The boiler was purchased at a “deep discount” from North Fork Plumbing and Heating Supply, Mr. Ghosio said.
Photo credit: Frank Peppe installs baseboard heating at a Habitat for Humanity house in Orient. (Credit: Grant Parpan)