October 24, 2010

Extreme Makeover: Day 1

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has descended upon Louisville once again. The Lampe family was ambushed early Friday morning, and quickly whisked away to a hotel, where they stayed until Saturday, and then were sent to Orlando for a week in Disney World. As soon as they left, the action began. Friday evening their belongings were taken out of the house, and immediately the crews began preparing the foundation for the new garage and a wrestling gym (more on that later).

Joe arrived around 2:30AM, and as soon as the foundation was “rocked in”, they got to work laying the groundwork for the plumbing in the gym. Joe says that he thinks it is amazing that even in the middle of the night, there were at least 150 people hard at work around him.

As they were finishing up the groundwork, the concrete crew was already pouring the concrete slab. The whole groundwork process would normally have taken two people six hours, but it was completed in one hour by nine people.

Here are the pictures of the site that Joe took with his phone early Saturday morning…

IMAG0017The concrete crew strategizing, with the old house in the background

IMAG0015Concrete guys finishing laying the rock for the slabs

IMAG0018 Excavating crew digging out the foundation for the house

IMAG0020 Due to the position of where the bathroom will be, and the difference in height between the garage on the left and the gym on the right, they had to suspend the plumbing in the air with rebar, which is normally laid in gravel.

IMAG0021Concrete pumper adding the concrete into the slabs for the garage and gym

IMAG0023Right as Joe and the other plumbers finished with their groundwork, the sun started to come up. This is the house before demo.

Joe came home around 8:00AM and slept for about two hours. Then around 1:15PM, he headed back out to get to work on the groundwork for the house. He and the other plumbers met at their shop and got a call from one of the Elite Homes supervisors, telling them they were running behind. They sat around waiting for awhile, and then the owner of the plumbing company didn’t want to wait any longer and took Joe with him to the site to see if they could help speed up the process.

When they arrived, they were filming the special guests – loggers from various reality shows – cutting out sections of the house with chainsaws. This was the first step of the demolition. “Timber” Tina Scheer (from “Survivor: Exile Island”), Andrea Robarge (lumberjack mom from “WifeSwap”), and Gabe Rygaard (from “Axe Men”) each took a turn.

IMAG0027Here is the house with the sections cut out, and the camera crew filming someone on the second floor

At this point, Joe says that both Paige and Pauly from the show were walking around talking with people and doing some filming. He didn’t see Ty, but we know he was there yesterday morning before Joe had arrived. Paige wore a pink hard hat and took a turn throwing an axe at a tree.

IMAG0025The camera crew filming the house, while the framers build the garage walls in the background.

IMAG0026The white crane is lifting the walls into position, and the red concrete pumper is pouring the foundation for the house.

IMAG0028working on the garage

IMAG0030The bottom level of the house’s foundation being formed to be poured with concrete

IMAG0029Facing the house right before the demolition.

Joe’s phone died right before the demolition, so no pictures yet. I will try to add some when his coworker’s wife sends them to us. He said that a tree cutting machine held a big tree that pummeled the house, causing it to break and shatter. Debris flew everywhere, and landed a foot away from Joe. After that, two log carriers grabbed either end of the cable (seen above in the picture) and finished the house off by pulling and tearing it through the remaining parts.

They finally got to start on the groundwork for the house around 9PM. About 20 plumbers working together got it finished in two-three hours. Normally that is an 8-10 hour project for two-three guys. He then stayed a bit longer and helped set up the outside utilities.

He got home around 1:30AM and slept until 11AM. It’s a good thing he got a full night’s sleep, because he’s heading back out there at 3PM to do the rough-in of the house. The rough-in is when they put all the plumbing inside the walls… which means that between 1AM when he left and 3PM when he gets there, they will have built the frame of the house. Amazing.

A little overview of the family…

family_picture_frame3photo courtesy of the Elite Homes website

They are the Lampe’s. Shelley and Jeff are the parents, and they have 6 kids ranging from 16 to 3. Their youngest, a daughter, has Down Syndrome. Jeff Lampe, who owns a tree-trimming business (hence all of the tree related themes), has medical issues, including an injury to his eye, damaging his vision, the partial loss of a finger in a work-related incident, and a hernia that he cannot afford to get surgery on. Shelley Lampe, who works as a teacher, is currently working toward a Master’s Degree in Child Development. The family also uses their garage as a place for kids to come and learn wrestling. Jeff wrestled when he was younger and his boys did as well. They have won state championships and wanted to share the sport and the discipline involved with others. I have a feeling that the gym that is being built will be a huge part of the makeover. The house itself had a lot of water damage and foundation issues, and with the expenses of their daughter’s care and the day to day costs of living, there was no way for the family to fix it. Locals are saying that there is not a more deserving family. A brief news interview I saw portrayed them as kind and hardworking. I’m really excited for them!

The location of the house is a bit farther from my house than I expected. It is in Fairdale, which is about 25 minutes away. It’s actually right down the road from my aunt and uncle-in-law’s house. They are allowing spectators today, so in a few hours the girls and I, along with a few friends, are going to head out there. Hopefully we will be able to see a lot and I can get some good pictures.


Susie said...

This is so neat to be apart of. Hope Joe enjoys himself which I know he will.

Missie said...

We had extreme home makeover in our town just a few weeks ago. The episode airs tonight. Most of us here were glad when everyone finally left. LOL

Mom of M&Ms said...

How exciting for your family.. We are praying for Joe, and his co workers.. That they have a rewarding experience and that they stay safe!!! Thanks for the update.

Mary said...

that is awesome he gets to participate in all that! I just love that show and what they do to all those families.

Have a good night!

Vicky said...

How Awesome!! Yay for your husband and the Lampe family :) I miss it all so much and will live vicariously through you :) Great job with the pics and can't wait to see more!!

Baby Pickel said...

So amazing to have this wonderful opportunity to be apart of!!

Little Miss Can't Be Wrong said...

thank you for posting this -- i love that show and love the "insider's perspective."
also, i've tagged you in a post!


I found your blog from a post on Elite's facebook page. I wasn't able to go until last night, so it is neat to see everything that happened before I got there. :) It is a great project to be involved with, isn't it?


Stephanie, my dad is a superintindent at Elite Homes. So, not the "head honcho" of the project. :)

Holly said...

How awesome! I can't wait to see all the progress!

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