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…
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.
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.
Here 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.
working on the garage
The bottom level of the house’s foundation being formed to be poured with concrete
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…
photo 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.