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Thread: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition-The Imbrianis 7/18/04

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    The new me! Feifer's Avatar
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    Extreme Makeover: Home Edition-The Imbrianis 7/18/04

    Extreme Makeover: Home Edition usually chooses someone for a home renovation after a family has applied for the show. This week someone was nominated by a family they have never even met. Nancy Agular was so grateful to the bone marrow donor who saved her daughter Esmarelda's life that she made a tape compelling Ty to find the person who made the life saving donation. He was able to do it and so we meet the Imbriani family . Brooke Imbriani is a single mother and bone marrow donator who lives in the same house with her mother(who was recently diagnosed with diabetes) and her two children. Since the diagnosis Brooke's sister and brother-in-law and their toddler decided to move in to help out and save some money for everyone. The design team was visible touched by Nancy's plea of help to find Brooke

    Ty and the design team roll up to the house and totally surprise this well deserving family who had no clue a home makeover was possible. The family is informed that all seven of them will be going to the big island of Hawaii for the week as the house is remodeled. They are floored.

    Assesing the damage
    Ty and the team walk through the house to get an idea of what the family wants and what kind of work they have ahead of them. Room by room it gets worse and looks like it would be easier to just scrap the entire dwelling and start from scratch. The Imbriani family gives them the go-ahead for whatever they feel is best and head to the airport.

    Ty takes a closer look at the structure of the house and makes a few phone calls to see what can be done. After calling everyone in the US to see if an entire house can be built in a week Ty finds someone in Canada who will deliver a kit house by the next day. Then he informs the design team that the existing house is history and the new one is on its way.

    Bringin' down the house
    A wrecking ball swings into action and strikes the first blow of demolition. The bulldozers finish the demolition by crushing the house like a box of toothpicks. Once the rubble is removed it is shocking to see Ty standing in the middle of and empty lot where the house used to be. Ty calls the Imbriani family and jokes about their furniture choices while blowing up an inflatable chair. Preston is then seen blowing up the Imbriani's dual recliner sofa via explosives in a remote location. All the family can do is shake their heads.

    Pins and needles
    The design team is a little antsy post demolition as the new house has yet to arrive. Time is ticking away and there is no house to build and design. The truck from Canada finally shows up with a load of timber that looks nothing like a house. The team and the contractors will have to put the house together like a puzzle as each piece is numbered with instructions on how they fit together. The pool and the garage are in before the house even takes shape.

    The design team takes a break to give blood and see if they are able to donate marrow. Each of them explain how they are more than glad to give considering that lives could be saved. It really hits home what a gift Brooke has given and makes it easier to push on with the work.

    Once the second floor is lifted up by crane and lashed to the first floor the structure looks more like a house. Ty is finding that shipping a house down from Canada was not such a good idea. Building codes in Canada and the US are just not the same and there is extra time and money being spent on bringing the house up to code before they can move on to designing the rooms. As a matter of fact they have to hire a general contractor to put in everything but the frame as that is all Peter from Canada was hired for. The team of construction workers envelope the half finished structure to make it look more like a home and bring it up to US code. Soon they find that it will not be so easy to get the tub into the upstairs bathroom. Finally one of the workers figures out a way and everyone is amazed that the tub actually made it to it's second floor destination.

    The designers are banished by the contractors the day before the family is supposed to arrive home. They are not thrilled but fill their time by shopping for furniture and accessories.

    Nancy Agular and her daughter Esmarelda show up to see the finishing touches to the house, but the house is running so far behind. The contractors are tired of the designers asking when the house will be released to them to decorate and Tony goes off on Tracy in a moment of anger. Early in the morning of the family's return Tony hands the keys over to Tracy and they resolve their tiff. Then the design team does what they do best.

    The house is finished shortly before the limo rolls up to the house. The crowd cheers with excitement as the bus pulls away from the house and the Imbriani family sees their new house for the first time. The design team greets the family and then takes them on the tour of their life.

    Right inside the front door is the living room with the family photo that rolls back to reveal a plasma tv built into the wall. After the living room is the huge kitchen decorated in red, white and black and a retro 50s feel; soda shop included.

    Pam(Brooke's mother) sees her first floor master suite that is decorated in all her favorite colors and has it's own bath.

    Next they head upstairs to the nursery that the baby and the toddler will share. It is all decorated in fun Winnie the Pooh and friends murals.

    Trevor is the next to see his room with the Patriots décor and a football stadium mural taking up an entire wall. The carpet is astroturf. He is thrilled!

    Brooke finally gets to see her room and is so surprised at how wonderful it looks with a walk-in-closet and a bathroom with an awesome shower.

    Brooke's sister and brother in law are equally pleased with their accommodations. They are so happy that their kids will be growing up together in this house filled with love.

    Now that they have seen the inside of their house, Ty is ready to show them the back yard. They have a hot tub and a pool with a cabana. They did a great job putting a fence up so that the kids will be safe. The patio has a wonderful design with lovely furniture to relax on.

    After the backyard tour Ty introduces Nancy and Esmarelda to Brooke who gave the gift of life. Nancy is visibly overcome with gratitude for Nancy's courage in donating her bone marrow. Brooke is thrilled to meet Nancy and her daughter. Nancy thanks Extreme Makeover Home edition for helping her find Brooke. The entire Imbriani family is grateful for the new home.

    And so ends this look at Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
    It occurred to me that no matter how bleak things might seem at times, at least I have a head. ----Stargazer

  2. #2
    FORT Fanatic Ogopogo's Avatar
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    I had read some articles here in Canada about their experience in building this house and they were apparently given a really hard time. It wasn't them that was responsible for the delay, it was the show. After the old home was demolished, the producers were supposed to provide a level concrete pad for the new house to be built on, and it took the producers several days to do so before the builders could get going (and they were there working on other things while they waited - the truck didn't pull up in the time frame shown on the show). The pre-fab company builds many houses for American clients and are well aware of different building codes, and delivered the house that the producers ordered. They apparently went way way above and beyond what they were initially contracted to do to get the house built, so it was pretty surprising to see the show so derogatory towards them, their product, and their effort. And, for them, I'm sure it was very discouraging to watch it when they had worked so hard. I know the producers try and make an entertaining show, and are pretty liberal in their editing to create such entertainment, but to be so insulting and disrespectful of Canada and Canadians and a Canadian company was going over the line a bit. Fortunately, the pre-fab company is very successful and have a great reputation for the quality of the work that they do, so I'm sure they won't lose too much sleep over this farce.

  3. #3
    everyone's a critic... holly71's Avatar
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    Ogopogo -

    Thanks for mentioning that. I thought the it was pretty tacky in the way they kept badmouthing the guy that brought the house down from Canada, & even said so while we were watching the show. They acted like he left them high & dry, when really, he did what they asked, which was deliver the house & get the frame up.
    Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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    Oh, Canada!

    Wow. Written like two people who work for a certain Canadian contractor. Maybe it's just me, but that's a lot of inside info that I never heard and didn't get from the episode. Maybe they were unfair. Maybe they weren't. But you guys seem to have your mind made up ahead of time. Hmmmmm. Conspiracy! (grin)

  5. #5
    AntiReality PL77's Avatar
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    If you were wondering, the Canadian Contractor was named Peter Francis. He works for a company named Chateau Building Products.

    Check out the story at w_w_w_chateaubp_com/web/Makeoverstory_htm

    Quote Originally Posted by chateaubp_com
    Our Story.

    On March 17th 2004 we received a call from Lock and Key Productions Ltd the producers of the Extreme Makeover Home Edition show. They had a project in San Bernadino CA where they needed to build a complete home in 7 days and have this work done by April 10th. We were able to provide them with a design and a price for this work and after having our price reduced from $65,000 to $50,000 we received a purchase order from them on March 19th. We were contracted to design, engineer, manufacture, deliver and help erect the framework for the house and to supply other materials. We also introduced Lock and Key to our CA clients contractor, Van Duzen Construction who were prepared to break into their busy schedule to help complete this project. It was necessary to use CA carpenters to do this work as Canadians are not permitted to work in the US, we can offer managerial assistance and direction only.

    By the middle of the following week we had modified the building to suit their needs and started to produce the working drawings and engineering necessary to erect a house in CA. We had already built several houses in CA and we knew the CA building codes very well. We used a BC engineering firm, Kunimoto Engineering, who were licensed to work in CA to perform the structural calculations and to stamp the drawings for the building permits.

    Designing and manufacturing a house is a complex business and we were fortunate that several of our suppliers were interested in the humanitarian side of this show and of course in the exposure that could be gotten from the show. These suppliers put this project to the top of their lists and provided us with the necessary materials in the time span allotted. Our in house crews also broke records and constructed all of the wall panels in less than one week, working a 35 hour shift to complete their work on time. We loaded the truck and send it off on Friday April 2nd at 11:00 pm.

    We arrived in CA on Sunday afternoon and immediately held a strategy meeting with the TV production staff, Tony of TAC Contracting the General Contractor and with the CA carpenter crew. We identified the materials and equipment that would be needed to erect the house and were assured that these would be taken care of. We also visited the site to get the lay of the land.

    Monday morning we arrived on site at 7:00 am, the truck with the house on it had arrived at 6:00 am that day. We anticipated that it should take an hour or so to knock down the old house but in fact it took most of the first working day. We were not permitted to unload the truck until the house had been knocked down as they wanted a shot of the truck arriving and I guess they could not operate two camera crews simultaneously. Finally we started to unload the truck around 1:00 pm. By 3:00 pm we had still not received the materials and equipment that we had asked for, they finally showed up around 4:00 pm. We laid out a temporary foundation with the 4x6 beams and started to build the 2nd floor walls on the roadway. We only had the tools that VDC brought with them as the equipment that we had requested had not shown up yet.

    Around this time we we informed that they walls had been changed from our engineered working set with the approved design and the the new layout had been used for the building permit. Fortunately we had a building inspector on site at all times and Chateau worked with them and a local engineer to re-design the hold down anchors. Chateau had arranged for the anchors detailed on our working drawings to be on site and fortunately for us Simpson Strong Tie also provided a senior technical sales rep to work with us. Somehow the Simpson rep was able to get the new anchors in time for the concrete pour and the Chateau crews helped Tony and his crew to prepare the footings for concrete. Around 8:00 pm Tony claimed that he had enough help and that we could leave.

    Also on Monday I was told that the workers could not eat from the food wagon as this was only for production staff. Early in the morning, around 1:00 am, on Tuesday I was woken by the front desk in our hotel who informed me that Lock and Key was not going to cover the hotel bill and could I bring my visa down.

    We arrived on site Tuesday morning ready to stand the house up. Imagine our surprise to find that the foundation which was only a few hours old did not match the drawings, either set. In one dimension it was 3 inches small, in another 2 inches big, it was out of square and in places sloped over 1 inch over 4 feet. We had no choice but to cut 1/3 of our walls down in length as they must sit entirely on the concrete in order to be properly anchored. I had a meeting with the Line producer and was told that as I did not have a signed change order from him there were no extras and that we would just have to accept that. I informed him that we would make the house fit and do our work but that any wall changes would be their responsibility.

    Around 4:00 pm on Tuesday we had cut down and made fit the first floor walls and flew 2 sections of the 2nd floor into place. We had a roof before sundown on our first real day of work. I then found out that Van Duzen;s crew were being let go and that they were not going to be paid for the waiting time on Monday, apparently the show ran out of budget and could not afford to spend any more money. We were pretty disillusioned by this point and it was getting hard to keep a positive attitude. Nevertheless we worked till 10:00 pm or so when a new framing crew showed up for work, apparently they were going to work through the night to finish the work.

    On Wednesday morning we arrived on site sans Van Duzen to find very little had been done in our absence. Where did the funds come from to pay this crew we wondered when there was no money to pay Van Duzen or us for the extra work?

    By 4:00 pm on Wednesday we had completed all of the framing with the exception of some backing for drywall and of course the changes in the wall panels. We asked for and received our final payment and were released from our work, we were done.

    On Wednesday night I received a call from the Senior producer asking me to return to the site to be the guest contractor for the rest of the show. I knew that I had not made many friends there and that the tone of the last on camera interviews was getting insulting to me. I was being grilled on work that I had nothing to do with and to be honest work that I was not expert at. I asked if they would provide me with a hotel and car and was told no. I declined their offer and spent a couple of days visiting other clients in LA. On Saturday myself and one colleague returned to the site and spent a few hours helping to hand shelves and mirrors and fix some of the more glaring finishing problems. The house looked good and we felt proud of what we had accomplished.

    No matter what was shown on TV we pulled off a small miracle with help from several companies and people. In particular Simpson Srong Tie was able to source new anchors and assist in setting them to the approval of the building inspector. Our Engineer in Canada worked closely with the Simpson rep and approved the changes that we had to make due to the concrete and changed walls by designing new details on the fly and working with the San Bernadino building department to have them approved. Will of Cusa Building Design who did our shop drawings was also able to assist us with new drawings emailed to us on site as we were constructing the house. Steve VanDuzen and his crew along with Bob Skerstonas and Scott Reuben made things happen and kept the site organized. Bob Trinder of RMT Contracting and his crew from Canada provided the expert help to solve the problems and keep the building going.

    Was this entire situation created on purpose or was it just bad management from all sides? I just know that with this type of project I would have expected a lot more support from everybody to assist us in doing our work.
    Just to provide the otherside of the coin...

  6. #6
    FORT Fanatic imajunkie2's Avatar
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    Heres a direct link if anyone else wants to read it : http://www.chateaubp.com/web/Makeoverstory.htm

    Thanks for the article Players

    I have to say EMHE is one of my favorite shows but this is one of those things that make you go Hmmmmmmmmmm.

  7. #7
    AntiReality PL77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imajunkie2
    Thanks for the article Players

    I have to say EMHE is one of my favorite shows but this is one of those things that make you go Hmmmmmmmmmm.
    No problem! Thanks for posting the link! I couldn't post the link because a) it wasn't working last night, and b) I don't have enough posts yet

    EMHE is also one of my favourite shows, which is why I was very dissappointed with their treatment of this contractor. It wasn't that I disagreed with them knocking a Canadian contractor; it was the way it came across. Canadians were too stupid and unwilling to finish the job, so it was up to the American's to finish it properly. I thought it was in poor taste, is all...
    Last edited by PL77; 10-25-2004 at 10:55 PM.

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    While the contractor is certainly entitled to tell "his side of the story" I would just caution everyone to remember it's just that -- one guy's version of events. And of course, he has an agenda. I'm not saying many of his points might not be valid. Just assuming that the show wouldn't simply invent the problems. As always, the truth is probably somewhere in between. Unless you're a certain Canadian contractor, in which case I guess things are pretty red and white.

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