Giving back isn’t just something we do here at Buildertrend – it’s a part of who we are.
With BT Cares, our social responsibility initiative, we encourage our team to volunteer their time to serve their local communities. We also support organizations like Project Houseworks that are helping to build a better world.
Project Houseworks is a nonprofit that provides low-income senior citizens and families in Omaha, Nebraska, with professional, no-cost repairs or modifications that allow them to remain healthy and safe within their homes.
We’re so proud to support this incredible organization by not only sponsoring events and donating our time, but by making their work easier with our project management software. To learn more about how Buildertrend helps Project Houseworks do more good in the community, we spoke with their executive director, Lynette Farhart.
Getting to know Lynette and Project Houseworks
Lynette has a long history in the nonprofit world. Before her current role, she was the executive director for nine years at the Susan G. Komen affiliate in Nebraska. After taking some time off, she set her sights on working for another nonprofit. Her love for senior citizens soon drew her to the open position at Project Houseworks.
Although she had no background in construction, her extensive experience in the nonprofit realm made her the perfect person for the job. She started as the director of operations and after nine months she was promoted to executive director. Now, after eight and a half years, she’s seen the organization through exponential growth.
Part of this growth included adding a small program known as Brush Up to the organization.
“The Brush Up program has been pairing corporate teams with seniors in need of having their house painted for over 30 years,” Lynette said. “So, when the original founders were ready to retire, I knew the program would fit perfectly under the Project Houseworks umbrella.”
What different services does Project Houseworks provide?
“Once a homeowner is qualified, our construction crew will go out and do a full assessment,” Lynette said. “And while they may be applying because they have a broken faucet, our crew will go in and do a whole-house assessment from top to bottom.”
From top to bottom includes everything from the roof, windows and flooring to the plumbing and electrical. Anything that could cause a health or safety concern is taken into consideration. In addition to these renovations, the Project Houseworks team does jobs such as tub-to-shower conversions and laundry relocations, so seniors can continue to live safely in their homes.
Once the initial assessment is complete, Lynette’s team creates a scope of work and sets a budget for the project.
“When I first started, we did very minor projects costing around $600 per homeowner,” Lynette said. “Throughout the years we’ve diversified our funding, which has allowed us to really expand our scope of work. So, now we can spend up to $30,000 per home on repairs and modifications.”
And the best part? These life-changing projects are 100% free of charge for the homeowner. One construction job at a time, Project Houseworks is improving the lives of low-income senior homeowners while simultaneously lifting up neighborhoods and promoting generational wealth within families.
How is Buildertrend’s tech helping their team do more good?
After years of subcontracting out all their community jobs, the Project Houseworks team brought on their own construction crew. It was then that they looked into implementing Buildertrend’s construction tech, but initially decided it wasn’t the right time. Fast forward a year, their growing team and project sizes prompted the need for project management software.
“Buildertrend has been a huge game changer,” Lynette said. “I can’t stress that enough. It’s just been an amazing tool for us.”
Before implementing our software, they were using only Excel spreadsheets to track things, which caused messy processes and mistakes. They also had a hard time tracking finances and each project’s history.
“Using Buildertrend just streamlines everything for us,” Lynette said. “Not only do we do our scope of work, but we also do our Estimates and the way they integrate with QuickBooks is great. Our director of finance just loves that. It makes her job so much easier.”
In addition to the financial tools, the Project Houseworks team uses features such as the Schedule to plan out projects for their crew and Time Clock, so they can clock in and out of jobs throughout the day. These two features have also proven helpful for their grant process, which requires them to show exactly how many hours were worked.
“We also use Daily Logs for everything,” Lynette said. “Our crew adds what they’ve worked on every day, and when the homeowners call us, we make sure to also document that. Before Buildertrend, we had no way to do this, so it’s just been really amazing for us.”
Although it wasn’t built specifically for nonprofits, the Project Houseworks team loves the way they’ve been able to adapt Buildertrend to their specific needs. Adopting Buildertrend into their processes has been easy and has aided the continued success of the organization.
“By using Buildertrend, we’re able to do more projects because we’re managing them differently,” Lynette said. “We’re so grateful to have a platform that works so perfectly for our needs. The work we’re doing is really important, and Buildertrend definitely helps us as an organization serve more in the community.”
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