Chicago-Area Retired NFL Players and Home Builders Construct Home for Wounded Veteran

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Today a new, specially designed Chicago-area home for a wounded veteran came one step closer to completion with volunteer help from former NFL® players, trades people and community members. The former players, led by Reggie Smith and including Marques Sullivan and Mike Hoban, helped finish the outside of the LIFEhouse™ for a Hero by installing LP® SmartSide® engineered wood siding and trim donated by LP Building Products.

Today a new, specially designed Chicago-area home for a wounded veteran came one step closer to completion with volunteer help from former NFL® players, trades people and community members. The former players, led by Reggie Smith and including Marques Sullivan and Mike Hoban, helped finish the outside of the LIFEhouse™ for a Hero by installing LP® SmartSide® engineered wood siding and trim donated by LP Building Products.

The LIFEhouse is built with award-winning universal design principles that will accommodate the unique needs of the wounded veteran. The home will be donated to one of the nearly 48,000 U.S. veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The LIFEhouse is in the Newport Cove community, created by home builder/developer New American Homes near Antioch, Ill., on suburban Chicago’s Chain O’ Lakes. This home is part of the national Touchdown for Homes and locally involves the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago (HBAGC), the Chicago NFL Players Association (NFLPA) Former Players Chapter (of which Smith is president) and New American Homes. Other former NFL players who installed siding were Marques Sullivan, Brian Glasgow, Jermaine Hampton and Mike Hoban.

Helping select the veteran for the LIFEhouse is Operation Finally Home (OFH), a national 501(c)(3) that provides custom mortgage-free homes to wounded and disabled veterans and the widows of the fallen. The name of the veteran who will receive the home will be announced this summer.

Susanne Tauke, president of New American Homes Inc., said, “The LIFEhouse concept is a collaboration between our company and the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDEA) at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York. The IDEA Center is internationally known for its pioneering architecture and design work in accessibility. Our first LIFEhouse won the 2012 Best of 50-Plus Housing Award from the National Association of Home Builders. This led to an anonymous donor providing the seed money to build the LIFEhouse for a Hero.”

Tauke added, “We are so grateful to the companies who are donating great low-maintenance products for the home – companies like LP Building Products, Wausau Supply and Andersen Windows.”

Built for a wounded veteran’s needs
The ranch-style LIFEhouse, at 1,992 square feet plus a finished basement, features an open floor plan with wide doorways and circulation areas. The specially designed entrances, kitchen and bathrooms are accessible for a physically challenged veteran.

Among the features adding to livability are multi-level cabinetry, lever door handles, stair handrails with lighting beneath, alternating colored low-pile carpet on stairs, hardwood flooring, no-slip porcelain tile, accessible light switches and outlets, and appliances accessible from a sitting level. The home incorporates predominantly made-in-America products. Wausau Supply, one of the Midwest’s largest building supply companies, is donating the siding’s prefinishing, which is advertised to have a virtually maintenance-free finish and a 30-year no-fade warranty.

Smith said, “The goal of the NFLPA is to create visibility about former players giving back in the communities that have supported the players. We were delighted to work side by side with building professionals to install siding on LIFEhouse and honor the great sacrifices of our wounded veterans.”

Rita Unzner, executive director of HBAGC, said, “A goal of HBAGC members is to strengthen communities by building or renovating homes for veterans in need and children or families. HBAGC is very pleased to support Touchdown for Homes.”

Paul Sowacke, Chicago-based channel manager for LP Building Products, said, "LP Building Products is extremely pleased to be part of this project. We’re sure the veteran and his or her family will enjoy the LP SmartSide Trim and Siding for its beauty and durability."

Newport Cove is an award-winning planned community of 67 homes located on 42 waterfront acres along Bluff Lake, one of 15 lakes in the Chain O’ Lakes. Forty percent of the community is dedicated open space, including an eight-acre waterfront park and 100-plus-slip marina.

To obtain a 300 dpi visual of players helping install siding, please email pkunklier(at)teamhfa(dot)com or call 888.376.7601, ext. 6963.

About Touchdown for Homes
Touchdown for Homes is a nationwide charitable outreach program of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the NFLPA that brings together local home builders associations and former NFL players to strengthen communities by building or renovating homes for children or families in need and veterans. For more information visit http://www.nahb.org/touchdownforhomes.

About New American Homes
New American Homes is an award-winning builder specializing in distinctive custom and semi-custom homes, in Chicago and its north/northwest suburbs. For more information on Newport Cove and the LIFEhouse, visit http://www.newportcoveonline.com or contact New American Homes at 847.772.2772.

About the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago
HBAGC is a not-for-profit trade association representing more than 2,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other segments of residential construction. HBAGC provides its members with networking and educational opportunities and represents them in matters related to government relations and advocacy. Founded in 1939 and located in Rolling Meadows, Ill., the HBAGC covers Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. It is the oldest affiliate of the NAHB, whose headquarters are in Washington, D.C. For more information visit http://www.hbagc.com.

About LP Building Products
Louisiana-Pacific Corporation is a leading manufacturer of quality engineered wood building materials including OSB, structural framing products, and exterior siding for use in residential, industrial and light commercial construction. From manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Canada, Chile and Brazil, LP products are sold to builders and homeowners through building materials distributors and dealers and retail home centers. Founded in 1973, LP is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under LPX. For more information, visit http://www.lpcorp.com.

About Operation Finally Home
OFH is an award-winning program created as a nonpartisan/nonprofit organization in 2005 by Bay Area Builders Association (Houston) Support Our Troops. OFH supports as many wounded veterans as possible via home builds and advocacy. OFH partners with corporate sponsors, builder associations, builders, developers, individual contributors and volunteers to help severely wounded heroes and their families’ transition from the battlefront to the home front and help them succeed in their challenging new world so they may ultimately enjoy a productive and rewarding life. For more information visit http://www.operationfinallyhome.org.

Media Contacts:
Rita Unzner                            
Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago        
630.780.7490                             
hbagreaterchicago(at)gmail(dot)com     

Susanne Tauke
New American Homes, Inc.
847.772.2772     
mstauke(at)newamericanhomes(dot)us             

Patrick Kunklier
hfa
888.376.7601, Ext. 6963    
pkunklier(at)teamhfa(dot)com

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