“I always love to build, love to make things,” says Wade, who’s certified in residential construction and has a mechanical engineering degree from Georgia Tech. “So, it was a natural volunteer opportunity that I’ve done, probably since I was in high school.”
Now Wade is a part of the non-profit’s Home is the Key campaign, focusing on the importance of affordable housing. Donations in time and money can help build homes for families. Those families can then build independence.
“It’s the ability to have something stable, so you can focus on things outside yourself, rather than just getting by,” he says. “Home is a human necessity.”
Wade’s strong partnerships with businesses allow him to get great deals on supplies for his Habitat projects. He says a physical home is more than just a “sticks and bricks” location.
“It’s the place where you’re surrounded by people you feel safe with,” he says. “Home is a place where you can relax.”
Dreaming and doing
Wade has been on over 500 episodes of home-improvement TV. Currently he’s the host, designer and executive producer of “Elbow Room,” where he helps homeowners customize their living spaces.
He wants fans to see the programs as an inspiration board more than a how-to guide. And he encourages homeowners to focus not only on aesthetics, but on design and functionality.
“We don’t allow ourselves to dream enough, to have a personalized environment that works for us,” he says. “We’re so worried about it looking pretty.”
Wade and his wife Pauli, who live in Atlanta with their three children, own Wade Works Creative LLC, an architecture and design, real estate and production company.
Wade says that his work — on TV, in his business and with Habitat for Humanity — is very rewarding. “I get the luxury of seeing life change and physical impact happen on a weekly basis, which is awesome,” he says. “We’re constantly seeing people’s environments improved and their lives because of it.”
Kristen Castillo, [email protected]