The Norman Transcript

July 28, 2013

Couple who lost home May 31 buy rollaway house

By Caitlin Schudalla
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — A multi-disciplinary class project of Moore Norman Technology Center provided more than just hands-on experience for aspiring builders — it was also a timely solution for a Noble couple needing a new home.

Steve Hastings, 57, and his wife were living in a motor home on their property in Noble with plans to build a house there when high winds and hail from the May 31 storms rendered the temporary home unlivable.

“The motor home has been in the shop for six weeks,” Hastings said. “Some friends of ours loaned us a camping trailer, and that’s what we’ve been using since.”

Though the motor home was insured, expenses not covered by insurance and the ordeal of clearing tree damage from Hastings’ land were a setback.

“A banker at our bank knew about the rollaway house, and through his acquaintance with an instructor at Moore Norman Technology Center, was able to get us in touch to make a bid,” Hastings said. “We had no idea about that project and ever since we’ve been watching it being built piece by piece.”

MNTC’s rollaway house has been an established project spearheaded by the carpentry class for years, incorporating students studying HVAC, engineering and electrical engineering to construct a fully finished house, complete with appliances and flooring.

“Because the students build this house and install cabinetry, flooring and appliances as part of their studies, there’s no labor cost and, therefore, the price of the home is significantly cheaper than comparable homes on the market,” said Anna Trowbridge, media relations coordinator. “The price is essentially to reimburse the school for the materials to build the house.”

Shortly after the home was officially sold to the Hastings couple, Engineering and Technical Assistant Director Terry Williamson told the MNTC board of education at their July meeting that the Hastings were “the perfect candidates.”

“They’re the sweetest couple and all through the bidding process, we were holding our breaths hoping they’d be the ones to get it,” Williamson said. “In the end, they were our only bidders and we’re very excited to give them this new home.”

Hastings said he and his wife are excited to get started on their acquisition of the house, as they’re currently working with the bank to cover the cost of the house’s transportation to their property.

“We’ll be installing our own flooring, cabinetry and appliances once the house arrives, and we’ll do the slab as well. Between our savings purchasing the house and the savings of me installing the finishing, we saved a tremendous amount of money and we’re very glad,” Hastings said.

Hastings hopes the house will be transported within the next two to three weeks and anticipates the house to be ready for move-in by the end of the year.