Home Re-raising Salvages Bel Air House

October 20, 1991|By Jodi Bizar | Jodi Bizar,Contributing writer

Annette Alton, a 33-year-old executive vice president for Landmark Homes, took the day off to take paintbrush in hand and help renovate a100-year-old home.

"We're all amateurs," she said, laughing and pointing to other volunteers working on repairs for the home of Clarence and Wilma Klienfelter, a senior couple who couldn't afford to makethe repairs on their own.

Alton was one of 35 volunteers from 20 area businesses who arrived at 8:30 a.m. Monday to restore the five-bedroom bungalow on South Fountain Green Road near Bel Air.

The $12,000 renovation marked thefourth time in four years that Towson-based Landmark Homes has organized the repair of a home owned by county senior citizens.

"I wouldn't want to do this full time," Alton said. "I'd prefer to work behind a desk. But I volunteered because I thought it was for a good cause."

The county Office on Aging assisted by selecting the Klienfelters from a list of 12 limited-income applicants seeking public assistance for weatherizing their homes.

The community goodwill project,Building Friendships Program, was launched six months after LandmarkHomes opened for business four years ago. Under the program, Landmark selects a home in dire need of repairs and weatherization. It then organizes volunteers among its own staff and contractors it deals with on its construction projects.

The state Home Builders Association is planning a similar project statewide in November.

The renovation work on the Klienfelters' home included repainting, repairs on a gas heater, termite treatment, window replacement, gutter and downspout installation, construction of a walkway, electrical work, laying linoleum flooring, installing aluminum siding, and general cleaning and minor repairs.

"I'm with the cleaning crew, since I have no other skills," said Heidi Morris, a settlement officer with Prestige Title Co. Morris cleaned the outside and inside of the home, some of which, she said "probably hasn't been cleaned in 20 years."

Schaeffer Aluminum installers Jinho Kim and Sanhun Yi were among the volunteers.

Yi said installing the new siding was difficult because the homewas not level, a common problem among old houses.

Rich Yaffe, president of Landmark Homes, predicted the repair work will ensure "the house will outlive most people."

Clarence Klienfelter, 73, watchedas the battery of workers restored the home he has lived in for 50 years.

He said he was skeptical at first when he learned that a group of local businesses was going to renovate his home. But after watching the workers tackle a score of needed repairs, he had changed hismind.

"It's going to be like a brand new house," he said.

Klienfelter said he kept the restoration a secret from his wife, 72, who is hospitalized with Alzheimer's disease.

"I'm going to surprise her when I take her home this weekend," he said.

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