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Community steps up to help build John’s house

"Nothing made John as happy as when he was working with his hands and putting together this dream." (Norman family)

Last week, we told you about the Norman family.

John Norman, 31, a married father with another baby on the way, was working hard to build a new home for his family out in Woodinville.

He had designed and started construction on the house, a 1,000 sf A-frame that he hoped to have finished before his wife Breanna gave birth to their second baby in September.

“Even though it’s a dream house, it’s not a Barbie mansion dream house. It’s a very quaint, made with love, John’s house,” said Breanna’s friend Kristina Spencer.

She was fortunate to get a grand tour with John and Brea.

“Brea had said her biggest pet peeve in the kitchen that she has are there were no outlets. So when you walk into the structure that will be the kitchen, you see there’s an outlet about every 6-10 inches.”

John was a concrete worker and spent all his extra time working on the house.

“If you look at the craftsmanship, the love, and everything that he put into that house, from the top of the A-frame to the bottom of the concrete, John built that with his hands,” said Spencer. “I’ll be completely honest with you, when I first saw it, I was so jealous. ‘I thought to myself, if I could just find a man that would build me a house.'”

But John didn’t get to finish the dream house for Breanna. He died tragically in a tractor accident two weeks ago.

Now John’s friends and family are uniting to finish what he started.

Yesterday, we learned that family friend Mike Barter put together a list of supplies needed to finish the house.

Their first priority?

“What needs to get done is the drywall, and that’s going to be the main part of the house,” explained Barter.

Listener Paul emailed us yesterday to tell us to get in touch with a representative with the Carpenters Union named Jimmy Matta.

“We’re reaching out to several union companies and our members to go out and help out and hang some Sheetrock. The family will never be able to replace their loved one, but at least they’ll be comfortable enough in a finished house,” said Matta. “The Carpenters Union wants to make sure that that happens.”

The Pacific Northwest Regional Counsel of Carpenters is teaming up with the Northwest Wall and Ceiling Bureau and their vendors to donate and hang the drywall for the entire house.

Matta said his guys will probably get the job done in less than a week.

“I figured with the amount of sheets that he said need to go up, I figure about two to three days and then obviously, it needs to be taped and that takes time. And then you need a little bit of mud on there … I’d say the whole project will take about five or six days,” said Matta.

He said his members are happy to give back to the community.

“All these young families that are working so hard to build their homes and build their lives and to lose their loved one like that, it’s so difficult,” said Matta. “The only thing that we can do as a community is to come together. What always makes America strong is when the community comes and gives warmth to those people who lost loved ones. We’re going to be there for support.”

We can cross drywall off the list.

Spencer said the project has given all of John’s friends and family comfort.

“Nothing made John as happy as when he was working with his hands and putting together this dream that he had for his wife, his daughter Cadence, and the new coming baby, Abby,” said Spencer. “I think getting the house finished in John’s honor has been such a great focus point for everybody, including John’s parents. They’re over there every day.”

Contact Mike Barter with supply donations or volunteer info: Please ‘CC and submit monetary donations here.

Ron and Don want to thank everyone who stepped up to offer material donations and services.

– The Pacific Northwest Regional Counsel of Carpenters is teaming up with the Northwest Wall and Ceiling Bureau and their vendors to donate and hang the drywall for the entire house.
– A-1 Dry Doctor also offering drywall texturing services

– Shoreline Electric Inc offering to help with electrical trim needs

– Jack’s Evergreen Painting in Redmond offering help with exterior paint
– Student Edge Painting offering paint and labor

– South Seattle Hardwood Flooring Company

– Rudy’s Plumbing in Bellevue donating all plumbing trim parts and labor, completing plumbing

– Salish Lodge and Spa engineering team offering labor for finish work, plumbing, electrical, sheetrock, painting, landscape design/installation and HVAC
– YouthBuild Snohomish County offering a student work crew for construction
– Greg Brown of GB Construction offering to facilitate work on home

– Affordable Quality Glass donating shower doors and mirrors and install
– Western Tile and Marble in Bellevue, donating stone countertops
– Hansen Brothers Moving & storage offering to help with moving needs
– Emilee Melton has a gas dryer to donate
– Meredith Zuberer has a bathroom vanity and counter top to donate


Septic system:
1 1500 gal 2 compartment septic tank
1 1500 gal pump tank
pump timer SJE Rhombus (or equal)
(we have all pipe material and the pump)
Installer and labor to be determined

Int paint:
same and PVA

aluminum, green, continuous, and downspouts

Gravel to finish driveway (can be reclaimed blacktop)

Concrete for back patio and side walkway (7-9 yards)

built-in cabinet/dresser in B. R.
util. room cabinet and shelves
(Have all other cabinets)

Interior Doors:
Bath: 2’4″ LH, 2’4″ pocket door, 2’6″ LH
Bed room: 2’6′ RH
Bedroom closet 2’6′ RH
Coat closet 2’6′ RH
Pantry 2’6″ RH
Swing determined hinge side door swinging to you. prefer wood panel doors, or shaker style, fir, alder, pine, other (not oak)
also garage to util 3’0″ RH (not fire rated) white oak
util rm 2’6″ LH white

Int. Hardware:
Door knobs, Cabinet pulls, towel bars, T. P. , door stops
Sliding door handle for Anderson door (match existing?)
Door & window trim (pine)
Baseboard trim (hardwood floors are clear coated Hickory)

Handrails, Ext:
entry porch and stairs
deck above garage

Front entry way stairs

Deck Coating:
Waterproof membrane Approx 80 sq. ft.

Base 300′ lin. 1×3 pine
Casing 6 doors and 8 windows

Screens, window:
will have to built to fit

Washing machine
Garbage disposal
Hot Water tank gas 40 gal.
(already have all kitchen appl.)

Tile Prep:
35 sheets ½” (3’x5′) Hardy Backer Board
2 rolls 30 lb felt paper
1 ½” Roofing nails (20 lbs)

Tile Finish:
Colors and amounts to be determined
Grout sealer

Fireplace slate:
100 sq ft Blue Roan 1″ (originally purchased existing from Clearview Nursery & Stone)

Breakfast Bar counter top

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