Women in all aspects of the home building industry have come together for what is believed to be the nation's first home built by an all-female skilled labor team in Saratoga Springs, Utah. “The House that SHE Built” broke ground in September with framing started in mid-November.
The 3,200-square foot home is slated to be unveiled at the 2021 Utah Valley Parade of Homes next June, according to the Utah chapter of NAHB's Professional Women in Building.
Proceeds from the sale of the home will be divided between scholarships for women pursuing construction management or trade programs, women-run charities including a local domestic abuse shelter, educational events to help teach young girls about opportunities in home building, and similar projects in the future.
Stephanie Sharp, of Steven Dailey Construction in Draper, Utah, is one of the general contractors on the project. Sharp got involved in construction because her father was a builder, and she noticed early on the small number of women in the industry.
Sharp is hoping that the project will increase visibility about not only the varied career opportunities available for women in construction, but the number of good-paying jobs available, which in turn can help more women become interested in the industry and aid in filling the existing labor shortage.
Skilled tradeswomen from the building industry, including women-owned construction companies, engineers, designers, architects and skilled labor teams are providing and installing all the materials and labor needed for the home, most of which has been donated or provided at cost.
But the team is also looking for additional skilled women in the trades, particularly plumbing, HVAC and electricians who are interested in joining the project in December. Sponsors are willing to pay for airfare and accommodations for interested skilled tradeswomen.
“Our goal is to help women and girls realize that there is a place for them in home building, and that there are so many different opportunities here,” said primary general contractor Kristi Allen, the 2020 Utah PWB Chair and a builder for WoodCastle Homes LLC in Alpine, Utah. Allen, a third-generation Utah home builder, said has been blown away by the excitement and support from the local community. The home's lot was donated by Oakwood Homes of Wander, Utah, and is part of a new planned community in Saratoga Springs. Material donations are also still welcome. More information on how to donate is available on the Utah Professional Women in Building website.
The Utah PWB is an official council of the Utah Home Builders Association.