Habitat houses are built according to 3 guiding principles:
Habitat houses are modestly-sized. They are large enough for the homeowner family's needs, but small enough to keep construction and maintenance costs to a minimum.
Habitat for Humanity uses quality, locally-available building materials. Habitat house designs reflect the local climate and culture.
The labor of volunteers and partner homeowners, efficient building methods, modest house sizes and no-profit loans make it affordable for low-income families to purchase Habitat houses.
Habitat Houses in North America
Habitat houses in the United States and Canada are typically built using wood frame construction, Gypsum board interior walls, vinyl siding and asphalt shingle roofs. Some affiliates also use proven alternative building materials such as adobe or straw bale construction.
U.S. and Canadian Habitat houses are modestly-sized by North American standards. Habitat’s guidelines dictate that a 3-bedroom Habitat house may have no more than 1,050 square feet of living space. Habitat for Humanity’s commitment to build with people in need readily extends to those with disabilities. When possible, Habitat houses incorporate basic accessible design features, such as a zero-step entrance and wide passage doors and hallways. Houses built in partnership with families with disabilities include additional accessibility features.