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Build a House…Build a Dream Contest 2020

When we first announced that we would not be able to host the Build a House…Build a Dream contest on March 21st; we were so hopeful that we would be able to postpone until things calmed down. With Governor Wolf’s shelter in place order and the extended closing of schools, we came to another sad truth that getting all of our participants together this year wasn’t going to be a possibility.

But that didn’t stop us! We want to show off all the hard work the students have put into their dream homes by hosting the first-ever VIRTUAL Build a House…Build a Dream contest! We are asking participants to email us a photo and/or video of their dream homes with their 100-word description of the inspiration behind their house. We will upload all the pictures and videos into a presentation and share everyone’s work in a video.

The virtual event will take place on May 2nd from 10am-12pm via a YouTube link sent to everyone that submits a home. We will also share the video on our Facebook page for everyone else to see these amazing creations.

We welcome any 5th grade student to submit a dream home even if they were not previously registered for the event! We hope this allows for some fun at home while everyone is doing their part to stay healthy and safe.

We have made some changes to the rules to accommodate for the virtual version of the contest. You can find more information below but if you have any questions you don’t see an answer for, please email Becki Patterson at

Submission Instructions

  1. All dream homes must be submitted by 5 pm on April 28th, 2020.

  2. To submit your dream home, please email the participant’s name, age, elementary school, a picture and/or video showing their creation along with a 100-word description of how they came up with their design. Also, please let us know if you had originally worked on your dream home with a partner.

  3. We will create a presentation of all of the homes and host a live YouTube video on May 2nd from 10am until 12pm displaying all of the submissions along with thanking our sponsors and pulling winners for our raffle prizes.

Please email submissions to

Contest Rules

Here are the updated rules to keep in mind when building your model dream home:

  1. Models must be three-dimensional and fit on a base no larger than 2ft x 3ft.

  2. Students must prepare one written description of about 100 words or less explaining why this is their idea of a dream house and highlighting any interesting features. This paragraph will be displayed with their homes.

  3. Since the house will be displayed in your home, you are welcome to use electricity or any other element that might not have been available before.

  4. Participants are also welcome to use liquids or goo when designing their homes since there is no risk to a venue location.

  5. Students must include their name, age and what school they go to.

  6. Since the contest will not be judged, we welcome the whole family to get creative and have fun building a dream home.

Helpful Answers

  1. What exactly is this contest when it’s not happening virtually? It may be easiest to think of the contest like a science fair, except instead of making a science project, students build a model home. Contestants spend time before the contest building their three-dimensional model dream home and then present it on the day of the contest along with a written paragraph as to why this is their dream home. Judges will evaluate each entry based upon originality and creativity, use of materials, appearance and design, and independent effort.

  2. Who can participate in this contest? Any fifth-grader in public, private, charter, parochial, or homeschool (or any other type of schooling we missed) can participate!

Tickets for our online raffle are now available!

We have raffle prizes available for participants and parents to win during the event. Raffle ticket sales are normally a big part of the funds raised during the Build a House event and are crucial to keeping Habitat’s mission going. If you’re able to purchase raffle tickets, we would greatly appreciate your support.

All students will be entered into the student raffles including passes to rock climbing, bowling, and other fun activities. We understand that most of these locations are currently closed due to the quarantine restrictions but we have been in contact with our fabulous donors and we will ensure that the prizes won will be valid for when the restrictions are lifted. (We can’t wait for that day to come!)

There are also 5 big-ticket raffle prizes available by purchasing raffle tickets through an online program!

Available Raffle Prizes:

6 One-Day Park Hopper Tickets to Walt Disney World

With the Park Hopper tickets, you can visit multiple theme parks on the same day of your ticket. These tickets are a $1,014 value! Tickets can not be used between Christmas and New Years.

Family Fun Package

Tickets for a family day out or a night for the parents to have some fun! Includes gift certificate to the West Chester Escape Room, Play Cards for Arnold’s Family Fun, Power Cards from Dave and Busters and six tickets to the Reading Fightin Phils. The package also includes a $20 Gift Certificate to Ron’s Original Bar and Grille.

Green Gardens Package

The essentials for a day of green-thumbed inspiration. Two guest passes to Longwood Gardens, a $50 gift card to Terrain Garden Café, a $50 gift card to Home Depot and a 1-month membership to ACAC Fitness. The package also includes a $20 Gift Certificate to Ron’s Original Bar and Grille.

Thrill Seeker Package

For the family that loves amusement parks! This package includes 6 tickets to Dorney Park, 2 tickets to Hershey Park and 2 passes to Six Flags Great  Adventure & Safari. The package also includes a $20 Gift Certificate to Ron’s Original Bar and Grille. 

All Out Art Package

A complete kit for creative experiences for everyone to enjoy! Includes a $30 gift certificate to Pinot’s Palette in Exton, a bottle of wine to take with you (your choice of white or red), a $50 Michaels Craft Store gift card and two admissions tickets to the Crayola Experience. Also included is a $20 Gift Certificate to Ron’s Original Bar and Grille.


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