Jim Kull knows what goes into building a house.
This construction pro from Gorham was a builder full-time for years. Now, he kicks back occasionally but more often than not you’ll find him on site with one of the home-building projects for Habitat for Humanity of Ontario County.
His specialty is working on what he calls the “ground floor” of the build. This preliminary work runs the gamut from putting in water and sewer lines to setting a foundation and footers.
“I look forward to swinging dirt,” said Kull. “It’s my calling.”
His first project with Habitat was 13 years ago. When he started out he worked on builds with Yates County Habitat for Humanity and Flower City Habitat for Humanity in Rochester.
“I’ve made a few friends,” said Kull, who named a long list of fellow Habitat volunteers.
“We have top notch people,” he added. “With them, you can work miracles.”
This year, Kull will mark his 12th build in Ontario County. After spending time this past winter in Florida, where he remodeled a condominium, he is eager to reunite with volunteers and start work again. It can take awhile to get organized and dig in, he said. “All has to be orchestrated.” Once that happens, “you get in a rhythm,” Kull said.
For him, that rhythm takes the form of pouring concrete, installing floors and setting doors. He has been known to do the first stages of a roof, too. He enjoys all aspects of the work, admitting he also tends to be a perfectionist. When unforeseen things come up during a build, which is liable to happen with a construction project, Kull said it’s teamwork that gets it back on track.
“We put out a good product,” he said.
Working alongside other volunteers and the Habitat families putting in their sweat equity is a bonus for Kull. The families are the main reason he sticks with it. Seeing a family with a home — “that’s just great,” he said.