Home Of The Brave Is Taking Shape In Waterville

The husband-and-wife team of Stephanie Kuhlman, vice president of real estate and development for NAI Harmon group, and Doug Howard, owner of Doug Howard builders, stand inside the Home of the Brave in Waterville’s Farnsworth Village. Construction will be completed in June and an open house is planned for June 24-25. MIRROR PHOTO BY KAREN GERHARDINGER

BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — The drywall is up inside, and the exterior finishes of stone and siding are installed, but the best is yet to come, promises builder Doug Howard.

The sign outside 1730 Henline Way in Waterville’s Farnsworth Village an-nounces the “Home of the Brave” – a home being built with donations of time, materials and money. When finished in June, Howard expects that it will sell for nearly $500,000. All of that profit will be donated to Folds of Honor, a national nonprofit organization that funds college tuition for the children and sometimes spouses of fallen and disabled veterans. It’s the first project of its kind for Folds of Honor.

Since breaking ground in October, construction has remained on schedule, but the outpouring of donations hasn’t stopped, said Steph-anie Kuhlman, vice president of real estate and development at NAI Harmon Group. 

“The community re-sponse to this has been overwhelming,” Kuhlman said. “Every time we put something out in the media, another person wants to get involved. It’s been amazing.”

Standing inside the the home last week, the couple spoke about the origins of the Home of the Brave. 

Tom Schlachter, president of The Moses-Schlachter Group Inc. and Farnsworth Investors Inc., came up with the idea after speaking with Chuck Radabaugh, CPO and general manager for American Interiors, which launched a Toledo chapter for Folds of Honor six years ago. Schlachter approached Howard and Kuhlman, and they agreed to take on the project.

Since then, every Doug Howard Builders contractor has donated time, talents and materials to build the four-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home with a finished basement and three-car garage. In the months since the groundbreaking, more sponsors have come on board, including Erie Roofing with a $70,000 to $80,000 metal roof, Owens Corning with a new premier composite deck that will be installed by a Marine veteran, and Bauer Landscaping, which will finish the lawn this spring.

The home has more than $50,000 in upgrades, like the fully finished basement, solid-core doors, a $7,000 fireplace, fully tiled showers and lighting fixtures from Gross Electric. Carrie Miller, a designer with American Interiors, has donated her expertise to outline the finishes for cabinets, lighting and the exterior. Kuhlman said they’re still looking for a partner to construct an outdoor kitchen and patio experience – one that includes a grill and patio furniture – as well as companies to sponsor a room in the house to decorate for the open house.

A Parade of Homes-type open house for the community is slated for Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25.

Howard thinks the home will be sold before then, enabling him to have a check to present during the American Interiors golf outing in July.

With donations from NAI Harmon and other organizations, the funds are getting close to what is needed, but Kuhlman said she’s continuing to push for more.

“We want to cover every cent of this house so we can donate it back to Folds of Honor,” she said. 

That includes a $1,600 flagpole and American flag that will be funded by the Purple Star Generals and families of Anthony Wayne Local Schools.

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