Imagine opening the door and seeing Ty Pennington there with a camera crew, a design team and the promise of giving you the home of your dreams! That was what happened to a family in mid-Michigan this week.
On Friday, September 26, 2008, Arlene Nickless, of Holt, Michigan, and her family got the wake-up call to become the next family to be on ABC’s hit show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition!
The house, which was built around the 1860s, was supposed to be the dream home that the family would fix up slowly but surely. However, the dream was cut short by the death of Arlene’s husband Tim last January. Tim was the craftsman in the family, and his passing meant that there was only Arlene to keep the dilapidated house from falling apart around her and the couple’s three young sons. With the arrival of Ty and his crew, the family could now have a fresh new start without having to worry about the pipes or the wiring inside the house.
I am a fan of this show, and I’m so excited that I can now see for myself just how they can build a house in just 5 days, or exactly 106 hours! That’s right, it’s just an easy drive from my house to Arlene’s neighborhood. So I scooted off today to take a look for myself, and be able to bring you, for this week, a glimpse of how the show’s crew is able to do the impossible.
Friday was when the family started to pack for their vacation to Disney World, which is paid for by the show. If you’ve seen previous episodes of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, you know that the family is sent away for the entire week of construction. They also went through their belongings with the crew to let them know which they wanted to keep.
The schedule of jobs for the rest of week is roughly:
- Saturday (September 27): Move-out family’s belongings. The family leaves for Disney World.
- Sunday (September 28): “Braveheart” march of volunteers to the site. Demolition. Foundation is put in.
- Monday (September 29): Utilities; basement; house framing, plumbing and electrical jobs; second-floor deck; windows; roof trusses and shingles.
- Tuesday (September 30): Drywall; siding; ceilings; cabinets; exterior trim; painting.
- Wednesday (October 1): HVAC; more plumbing and electrical work; doors; appliances; hardwood floors; garage doors; closets; more painting.
- Thursday (October 2): Sprinklers and landscaping; furniture move-in; interior decor; final cleaning.
- Friday (October 3): “Move the bus” to welcome the family to their brand new home!
Now, how is all this going to be done in only a week? The secret is in the volunteers. Or rather, the hundreds of volunteers. For this project, 1,500 volunteers signed up to help. They will be working in shifts 24 hours a day to finish the job. The volunteer efforts are being organized by local builder Mayberry Homes. Local companies have also pitched in by donating materials, time and skills.
Next up, photos of the house and Saturday’s progress.
(10-01-08 Update) Schedules: Spectators are welcome to visit the site. Shuttles will be available on Thursday, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., from the K-Mart parking lot on South Cedar St. On Friday, the shuttles will run from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. ‘Move the Bus’ is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. on Friday. Spectators are urged to get to the site hours before the 2 p.m. reveal. “Up to 6,000 people are expected” according to this LSJ article.
image from personal collection