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Posted: December 29, 2008 5:00 a.m.

A home for the holidays

HBA helps Newton man keep a roof over his head

Photo by Tisa Smart Washington/

No place like home: Lewis Stephenson, owner of Top Notch Homes, Inc., volunteers time and resources along with about a dozen members of the Newton County Home Builders Association to bring the home of a Newton County man up to code, allowing the m...

Newton County man got an early holiday present this year, thanks to members of the Newton County Homebuilders Association, who brought his home up to code Dec. 15. Because of the work, the home passed inspection Dec. 16.

"I'm on the board of the Homebuilders Association and this is one of those good things we try and do," said Lewis Stephenson, who spearheaded the project. "I feel great about being able to do something good for somebody, especially during this time of the year."

The association learned of the family's need from the Newton County Planning and Development office after Earnest Simmons, District 2 Commissioner, alerted them. The home failed to pass inspection in the summer, and the office had been working with him to get the work done since then. The owner, who is mentally disabled, tried to complete the work himself, but was unable. If the home was not brought up to code the owner would have to find somewhere else to live. Members of the association decided they would help the man complete the necessary repairs.

"We re-did the handrail, we re-did the steps on the front and the back. We underpinned the trailer. We had to put up pickets on the handrails. We had an electrical company that belongs to Homebuilders Association come out and do the electrical part for us. And every bit of this is donated," Stephenson said.

Several companies from the home building industry participated in the project including Top Knotch Homes, JRJ Construction, Wallace Builders, The Dawkins Group, Harris Containers/Jimmy Harris Trucking, and Little River Construction. Social Circle ACE assisted with the lumber and Newton Federal Bank and Pinnacle Bank donated the money to buy the materials.

The volunteers completed the entire project in one day.

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