Neighborhood Builder, By Heidi Ketler


And who better to help them than home builders?

Answering that call were about 25 members of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County who spent spring break, March 27-31, with an entourage of 46 others in Gulfport, Miss. There, they framed, boxed, sided and dried in two houses for two low-income families living in FEMA trailers. They also installed the windows and doors of the 1,000-square-foot homes, each with three bedrooms and two baths.

Energized by earlier goodwill visits to Gulfport after Katrina, custom builder Steve Dilger of Stephen Dilger Inc. and his friend Greg Mintel led the five-day effort they called the Raleigh Interfaith Builders Task Force.

“Steve knew how talented his builder friends here in the Raleigh area are. He thought they would be interested in using their building skills in Gulfport, and he was right,” said Nancy Dilger, Steve Dilger’s wife who has been charged with the administrative duties of the task force.

The Raleigh group was comprised of people from various walks of life and denominations, and included 15 spouses and children. It brought along to Gulfport $72,000 collected by HBA members, and $10,000 donated by the volunteers and their friends to purchase construction materials.

The Raleigh contingent partnered with The North Carolina Baptist Men, which has its sights set on rebuilding more than 600 homes in Gulfport, one of the area’s hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. The North Carolina group has established a well-organized mission support operation that includes a lumber yard full of supplies at an old National Guard Armory, a bunk house in a church and several hundred volunteers working six days a week.

“The Baptist men have a really good staging area to help volunteers,” said Rex Bost of Bost Homes. “They have an armory full of materials and tools, and they help coordinate these jobs. It’s amazing. If FEMA was half as organized, they could get a lot more done. I heard that statement a lot down there.”

Bost was the first person Dilger called to join the task force. He knew of the annual mission work Bost and his wife, Brenda Bost, perform in Honduras.

“Just a night or two before, my wife and I were talking about wanting to go to the Gulf, but we didn’t know how to do it. Then Steve called,” said Bost. “We said, ‘This is a sign. This is perfect.’

“He gave us an opportunity to give back in a very needy area, and help more locally than we usually do,” said Bost.

The builders’ sons, Evan Bost and Stephen Dilger Jr., joined five other teen-agers for the mission. “The group of teens who came with us (to Gulfport) all worked together. I think they learned some wonderful lessons, and they were able to contribute quite a bit,” said Bost.

Local licensed contractors will install the plumbing and electric in the homes, and volunteers will perform the finish work.

The Dilgers are interested in encouraging another volunteer group to complete the homes. Those interested may call the Dilgers at (919) 554-2822. For more information, go online to: www.bosthomes.local or Thanks to the following for their support of the Raleigh Interfaith Builders Task Force:


Bost Homes — Rex, Brenda and Evan Bost Century Services Home Repair – Larry Dudley J.M. Davis Homes — Mark Davis Stephen Dilger Homes – Steve, Nancy and Stephen Dilger Fonville Morisey Realty — Eddie Brown, and Phil and Theresa Clark



Johns Manville’s Spider Spray-in insulation offers builders an insulation system they can not only install more quickly, but also dries faster (within two to eight hours of installation). Spider dries six times faster than cellulose insulation and allows contractors to insulate a home in two to three hours. Spider can be used in exterior walls and has an R-value of up to 15 in 2-by-4 wall cavities and 23 in 2-by-6 wall cavities. Because Spider requires no netting, installation is quick and easy. Spider also offers higher mold and mildew resistance, and is formaldehyde-free.


Builders who want to increase the speed of insulating new homes have several blowing insulation options. Among them is the Icynene Insulation System, which provides for blown insulation walls, attics, crawlspaces and just about anywhere one would need to insulate. Icynene expands to 100 percent of its spray volume, and seals all cracks and crevices, creating an airtight seal for the home. This means greater energy efficiency. It even often can allow the homeowner to purchase a smaller HVAC system, working to keep the home warm in winter and cool in summer. There are Icynene-licensed installers across North America who can generally fully insulate a new home within one or two days.

Knauf also is increasing the speed of installation with its Jet Stream Blowing insulation. Designed for use in open attics of both new and existing homes, Jet Stream also can be used in exterior sidewalls or floored attics. Knauf claims Jet Stream installs 30 percent to 40 percent faster than the company’s previous blowing insulation and offers performance of up to R-30. Jet Stream also has increased bag packaging from 28 to 30 pounds without increasing bag size, allowing for more coverage per bag and more jobs per blow truck.


While Dow’s THERMAX AG-THERM has long been used to insulate agricultural buildings, it is now moving into residential applications for use in garages, attics, pole barns and interior basement walls under a new name, THERMAX White Finish. THERMAX White Finish consists of a glass-fiber polyisocyanurate foam core faced with nominal 1.24 mil embossed white acrylic-coated aluminum on one side and 0.9 mil smooth aluminum facer on the other. It offers an R-value of 6.5 per inch, and its facers are moisture resistant as well as aesthetically pleasing.