January 20, 2011
A lucky family from Wichita will soon be getting a new home thanks to the hit ABC TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. We don't know who the family is yet, but the producers of the show tell us they've narrowed it down to five finalists in South Central Kansas. They are in Wichita right now to begin the planning of the daunting task ahead of them.
"They're going to let me sleep a little, but other than that, it'll be a 24 hour a day deal for five days," said Bob Cook. His business, Bob Cook Homes of Derby, has been chosen as the lead contractor.
Cook has taken on the huge assignment of organizing and building the home. The shows producers are on the ground in Wichita this week to start the plans.
Ty Pennington and his crew will whisk the unknown family away for a week's vacation on February 17. While they are gone, their current home will be demolished and a brand new home will be built within a week. We asked Cook how, exactly, do you build a house in a week?
"That's what we have to figure out. They have to show me," Cook explained. "My typical build time is four months. They have some specialized ways of doing things. Of course, it's 24 hours a day and a mass number of people."
As the producers and Cooks team began the planning Thursday, it was obvious the biggest task right now will be to assemble and organize the volunteers.
"We couldn't do it without volunteers," said Jeff Cruz, EMHE producer. "We have a crew of 80 and 80 does not build a house in 106 hours, so we need all the support. It's going to be a community effort."
Pennington will surprise the family of February 17 and have the house finished exactly one week later. They won't only need volunteers, either. They'll need supplies.
"Everything is donated," Cruz said. "Every stick of furniture, every piece of wood is donated. We pay to come out and shoot the show, but it's really reliant on the community to come together for the family."
An exact air date is not known, but the producers tell us the show will likely air sometime in the spring.
This will be the third time Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will have built a house in our area. Their first time was in 2006 for the Nutsch family of Rose Hill. the show also built a home and community center in tornado-ravaged Chapman in 2008.
Again, as for exactly who the Wichita build will be for? It's still under wraps.
To donate your time or offer supplies or services, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Bob Cook Homes beginning next week for more information.