Lauran Sattler stands in the kitchen she recently remodeled in a house she has been rehabilitating the last two years. A year before her purchasing this home she became a volunteer at the ReStore at Habitat for Humanity. The cabinets, tile, stove and sink shown in the photo were all purchased at the ReStore. Photo by Lauren Zeugner.
By Lauren Zeugner
WARSAW — When Lauran Sattler retired after a 25-year career at Ivy Tech, she realized she needed to find something to do. So she decided to volunteer at Habitat for Humanity where she helps sort and clean items donated to the ReStore.
Since she’s one for doing her research, she is occasionally asked to identify odd items donated to the store and help price others. “I know a lot of stuff, which is helpful. People have some specialties when it comes to cleaning,” she explained.
A year after she started volunteering at Habitat, she purchased an old home in her neighborhood that was in rough shape and started to restore it. She’s been working on it for the last two years.
“My family has always been DIY’ers,” she said. Noting the house was in such rough shape it probably should have been knocked down, “I’ve done a lot of the work myself,” she said.
To help her in gaining the necessary skills to do the rehabilitation work herself she started attending different workshops at the Restore.
When she first started working on the house, she had professionals come in and remove and replace the furnace, ductwork and water heater. She also had a professional electrician come in and re-wire the house, which dates back to 1910 and still had remnants of the original electrical wiring in the walls.
To date, Sattler has finished a powder room complete with a stackable washer and dryer, the kitchen is almost done as is the main bathroom. “It’s very rewarding to me,” she said about the rehabilitation project.
Items such as light fixtures, windows, tile, toilets, sinks and cabinets have all been purchased from Habitat’s ReStore. Noting there is so much stuff. Sattler said it just made sense to her to purchase items from the Restore and reuse them.
Some she’s repurposed in unique ways. She took three hollow core doors, filled them with foam so they would be sturdy, put them together and then covered them with tile to make the top of her kitchen island.
She works on the house every day with two assistants. “During the pandemic this really saved me,” she said.
Sattler said she would encourage anyone looking to volunteer to consider volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. “We’re in desperate need of volunteers,” she said. She would encourage everyone, especially women, to participate in the workshops Habitat for Humanities offers, saying it’s important to learn the basics of home repair and renovation.
Sattler is also working with Habitat for Humanity to offer children’s workshops. While the details are still being worked out, Sattler said she could see offering workshops on basic construction, measuring and something involving solar power. “They are not going to be based in science. They’re going to be on building,” she said.
About Lauren Zeugner
Lauren Zeugner has been with The Papers Inc. for 18 years. She is Associate Editor The Paper, Elkhart County; Editor of Senior Life Indianapolis and staff reporter for The Mail-Journal
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