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Salkehatchie Summer Service
Huntersville Camp 2003

The Ladda Home Story

The Ladda House team was led by Richard Hagins. The other adult leaders were Mandy Frank and Keith Eudy. The youth were Colleen Speer, Julie Pollard, Robert Dobbins, Rachel Landers, Andrew Hawkey and Alexander Patterson.

Ladda Living Room Ceiling on Monday

A persistent leaky roof had left its mark on all the ceilings in the Ladda home.

Every Salkehatchie home has its own unique needs. At the 2003 Huntersville Camp the Ladda home represented our biggest challenge. Years of persistent leaks in the roof had damaged all the ceilings in the house. (The roof had been replaced about two years ago so it didn't need any work. However, years of leaks had left their mark on every ceiling in the house.) In the living room, dining room and kitchen the floors were in terrible shape. Every window needed replacement. However, the biggest challenge was in the kitchen. The sink area was constructed of particle board and their were just a couple of small cabinets on the whole. Finally there wasn't a bit of insulation in the house. Richard and his team had a huge job in front of them.

Rachel Landers Tackles the Walls

It's difficult to remove many layers of paint and wall coverings. Here Rachel Landers from Oil City, Pa tackles the walls in the Ladda living room.

On Monday the team started with the usual task of demolition. In addition the team also made the decision that they would replace all the windows in the house as well as insulate the whole attic. If nothing else, those two projects alone would help keep the heating costs down in the winter. Robert Dobbins and Julie Pollard took on the task of putting insultation in the attic. The low slope on the roof meant the working area was small and cramped and since this was the end of July temperatures were in the 90's.

The rest of the team helped put in the windows. Because the house was a cinder block structure with non-standard-sized windows it was necessary to frame the window openings so that the windows would fit. That took time but it was necessary to make the windows air-tight.

Ladda Kitchen Before

This is a picture of the Ladda kitchen taken on Monday afternoon. Believe it or not the kitchen would get a lot worse before it got better. The whole flooring system needed to be replaced.

Rachel Landers, Julie Pollard, Andrew Hawkey and Alex Patterson were able to replace ceilings in the living room, kitchen, dining room and hallway. In the rooms where there wasn't time to replace the ceilings they were shored up with 1x6 furring strips. The team managed to also paint the ceilings and walls in the living room and dining room. Both rooms also got a new carpet.

Those projects alone represented a huge challenge but the team wanted to give the Ladda home a new kitchen. For the reasons mentioned above the kitchen was virtually unusable. The was no cupboard space and the sink was completely rusted. Ms. Ladda had stopped using it. In addition, the the floor sloped badly due to some poorly done repair work some years ago. The bathroom was also in poor shape. The ceiling was falling in and the walls had suffered significant water damage over the years. The leaking sink had ruined the floor which was now covered with many layers of carpeting.

Ladda Bathroom on Monday Morning

Years of water damage had taken its toll on the Ladda bathroom.

The team began the process of gutting the kitchen. Appliances were moved into the backyard and what was left of the ceiling was torn down. The flooring was removed to reveal joists that had to be replaced. By Wednesday, there was nothing left of the kitchen. About this time it became apparent that the team was going to need some extra help. The team was fully engaged in many different projects but there was only two days left to get a lot of work done. About this time, Ms. Ladda was probably beginning to wonder what she had gotten herself into.

Reinforcements came from a number of areas. A number of youth from the Huntersville United Methodist Youth Group came out to lend a helping hand. Dan Ranson, a member of the HUMC congregation, took two days off work and took on the task of rebuilding the bathroom. Another member of the HUMC congregation, Lynne Brittain dropped by to offer Ms. Ladda some curtains. When she arrived she realized she was really needed to help out with the construction in the kitchen so she went down beneath the floor to assist with the rebuilding of the joist structure. It was yet again, another example of the Salkehatchie spirit taking hold.

Ladda Kitchen Complete

By the end of the week the Ladda team had truly pulled off a miracle.

Longtime Salkehatchie participants have come to expect that Thursday is the day that the miracles begin to take shape. The projects that seem impossible to complete on Wednesday evening somehow start to come together on Thursday. With the reinforcements from the community and many prayers the Ladda house began to come together. The team worked till 6pm on Thursday night and worked two hours past the planned end time on Friday. They were committed to getting their projects done. The end results were spectacular. The team had transformed a dark and damaged house into a comfortable, functional home. The team had truly performed a miracle.

Some minor work remained on the Ladda house after the camp was completed. The work included installing a few light fixtures, placing linoleum tile in the kitchen and installing interior trim in the windows in the bathroom and kitchen. As the weather has turned cooler Ms. Ladda has already noticed that her home is less drafty and much warmer.

During one of my last visits to see Ms. Ladda she handed me a letter. She wrote, "... I especially like the work you've done to my house, because my kitchen and living room look great. If anyone was to ask me who has done such a good job, I would proudly say that Salkehatchie Summer Service has .... God bless all of you."