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Women at Work: Hope Renovations

In her mid-20s, Hope Renovations founder Nora Spencer picked up her first drill after paying someone to do a job she later realized she could have tackled herself. She quickly discovered a talent for hands-on work, transitioning from home projects to full-scale remodeling. Over time, she renovated several houses, teaching herself skills from framing walls to pulling wire. However, she never encountered any women in the field.

Nora then decided to leave her corporate recruiting career to attend grad school for social work. During this time, she became aware of the urgent need for living wage jobs for women. Recognizing that trades offer excellent opportunities with good wages, she combined her love for the trades, her HR background, and her desire to positively impact women's lives to create Hope Renovations.

Each morning, Hope Renovation's crew meets to review the day's project plan, which can include small to mid-sized repairs, modifications and renovations for adults 55+ and those living with a disability, so that they can stay safe and independent in their homes.

Many of the Aging-in-Place Construction Crew completed Hope Renovations' pre-apprenticeship training program. This pre-apprenticeship training program for underemployed women and gender-expansive folks gives them skills to confidently enter the trades or enroll in apprenticeships and continuing education.

Carpenter Sara loads her pockets with tools, then lumber in the truck, for the day's project.

Today’s project is a rotting deck in need of new lumber, crawl space repairs, and a wheelchair ramp. 

General Contractor Kate knows how to work in tight spaces. 

Hope Renovations services a 20-mile radius around Chapel Hill, NC. They also offer financial assistance on repairs for lower-income clients. 

Construction Project Manager Caitie is always thinking 1 step ahead.

Afterwards, the crew debriefs and talks through tomorrow's projects–then they do it all again!

Thanks to Hope Renovations for showing us a day inside their inspiring work!

Follow @HopeRenovations on Instagram

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