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The House That She Built breaks barriers, preps for Home Show debut

By Ryne Williams daily Herald - | May 27, 2021
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Pictured is the House That She Built in Saratoga Springs, which will be unveiled in the upcoming Utah Valley Parade of Homes.

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Pictured is the dining room and kitchen in the House That She Built in Saratoga Springs, which will be unveiled in the upcoming Utah Valley Parade of Homes.

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Pictured is the children's basement in the House That She Built in Saratoga Springs, which will be unveiled in the upcoming Utah Valley Parade of Homes.

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Pictured is the master bedroom in the House That She Built in Saratoga Springs, which will be unveiled in the upcoming Utah Valley Parade of Homes.

Almost eight months ago The House That She Built broke ground in Saratoga Springs, which was set to be the first home in the nation to be built by a 90% all-woman, skilled-labor team. Now the project is ready to be unveiled during the Utah Valley Parade of Homes next week.

The home has been two years in the making, including the discussions, design time, landscaping and finishing. The two-story home is 3,200 square feet with a finished basement and features that include a basement children’s play area, chef’s kitchen, gathering places and more.

Female trade workers were flown in to work on the project from around the country, helping add to the home with each of their expertise.

General Contractor Stephanie Sharp said that she has been hearing about the anticipation behind the home’s unveiling at the Parade of Homes, adding that people are wanting to see the home.

“For us, with it being a considerably reasonably sized home, it’s a smaller home in the parade and here we are just over 3,200 square feet and everyone is dying to see this house because of what it is, because of the message, and because of what we have done,” Sharp told the Daily Herald. “I think it is really cool, we are really blessed to be able to show other people that women can do the same things as everyone else.”

Walking through the home, people will be able to see the differences from most other homes, according to Sharp. She said that women had their hands on every aspect of it, bringing a layout and functionality that would be great for a modern family.

Along with the various women that lent a helping hand to the project, Sharp spoke to the attention to detail that those women brought with them. She added that a high level of attention to detail is something that is needed on every construction site.

The home, with natural lighting throughout and other interior design features, brings in some elements that would not be found in other homes. The children’s play area in the basement comes complete with a day bed, a small rock climbing wall, and some monkey bars.

Where other homes would have false cabinets to conceal the plumbing, the cabinets in the home were cut to fit around the plumbing while still offering space to store toiletries and other bathroom items.

“Having so many different minds on the project helped, and it’s minds from all over the industry,” Sharp said. “You see everyone’s different pieces come together to build this house, and it’s built around what each and every one of us would want in our own home. It’s like having the ultimate house that is built by a really inspiring group of women.”

Sharp said that during the Parade of Homes, pictures of all the women that were involved will be hung in the garage and all of those women also signed their names in the mechanical room. Those signatures are meant to be a reminder of all of the women that helped make the home possible.

She hopes that as people walk through the home, they will be able to see the skills these women possess and realize that the trades are not just a place for men, but also for women.

One of the driving forces behind the project was to break barriers in the home-building industry, inspiring other women to get involved in the trades. Sharp believes that the children of today are not the problem, but rather the parents and high school counselors that are reinforcing the stigma that the trades are only for men. As people walk through the homes, Sharp hopes they’ll see that women can fill the roles needed when building a home, and trade school — and not just college — can be an option for women.

“The homeowner of this house is really lucky,” Sharp said. “In addition to getting this great story and feeling, they are getting upgrades and things that are in this home that aren’t in a lot of other homes in this price range because they were donated. Whoever gets this home ends up with something that is life-changing, it’s a gorgeous home, it’s a functional home, and it’s a healthy home.”

Proceeds from the sale of the home will go to scholarships for women pursuing careers in the construction field, a local nonprofit, and toward funding other future homebuilding projects like this one.

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