Crews rush to meet 'Extreme Makeover' deadline in South Jordan

Published: Monday, June 27 2011 6:30 p.m. MDT

Asuncion Jiminez works on a home at Daybreak for the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," Monday, June 27, 2011.

Ravell Call, Ravell Call, Deseret News

SOUTH JORDAN — On Wednesday, Jessica Gomez and her children, Jonah and Ellie, will be presented with a new home in Daybreak, courtesy of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

The project officially began last Thursday with a crew of thousands of builders and volunteers working around the clock to complete the home by the Wednesday deadline, a mere six days later.

On Monday, Ty McCutcheon, vice president of community development for Rio Tinto — Daybreak's parent company — said the home is coming together nicely and on schedule.

"It looks great," he said. "The roof is on; the exterior is mostly complete."

The project is made possible by donated materials, land and labor as well as the efforts of more than 1,300 community volunteers.

"The volunteers are such an essential element of all of this," McCutcheon said. "It wouldn't be possible without them."

With the project nearing completion, it begs the question: How much would it cost the average person to build a home in six days, without the help of Ty Pennington and the "Extreme Makeover" team?

Maybe not as much as you'd think.

While the various labor organizations would certainly charge a premium for the express package, material costs would stay the same. One industry professional estimated the premiums on a six-day job could run between $100,000 and $200,000 in extra costs, a number that Patrick Holmes of Holmes Homes, the builder of the Daybreak project, seemed to agree with.

"It's hundreds of thousands of dollars," Holmes said of the added labor.

Holmes estimated the house's value at $550,000. He couldn't release the square footage of the home but said it is a standard-sized home for Daybreak on a quarter-acre lot.

Based on those estimates, and assuming you could find a willing crew, a regular Joe could have his own medium-size home on a quarter-acre in Daybreak, ready in six days for between $700,000 and $800,000. There are a lot of variables, and it's hard to pinpoint an exact cost because a six-day project is not something most contractors are eager to deal with.

Justin Taylor, vice president of construction for Rainey Homes, said that if a company were to take on a project of that nature, the first concern would be preserving the quality of the product without cutting corners.

"It becomes one of those things where you're paying more to get people when you need them," Taylor said.

Besides the corps of volunteers, Holmes said there are another 1,300 construction crew members working on the Daybreak project. Finishing the project by deadline means that at any one time there are more than 500 people working on the home, compared to the 20-man crew of a typical project, Holmes said.

"It was like an ant hill out there," he said.

While the home won't be unveiled until Wednesday, builders have until 2 p.m. Tuesday to turn the project over to the show's interior designers. That's a period of about 104 work hours from start to finish. A typical home, Holmes said, would obviously take considerably longer.

"That home would've taken us at least 120 days to complete," Holmes said.

On the public side, South Jordan police and paramedics have been on scene, ready to assist and manage the occasionally 2,000-strong mob of spectators at the site.

"The idea of community coming together, we've surely seen that here in the Daybreak community," Holmes said. "It's been an amazing event. When people leave the site, it's like they leave on a high."

The project has benefited from an outpouring of community support. One young man, Holmes said, is making shelves for the home and organizing a one-year food storage supply as part of his Eagle Scout project. At Saturday's Real Salt Lake game at Rio Tinto Stadium, organizers ran out of kits during a bone marrow drive — held in 7-year-old Jonah's honor — that registered more than 1,000 people. Jonah suffers from two rare blood disorders that require blood transfusions every six to eight weeks.

In addition, a benefit concert will be held for the family Tuesday at Herriman High School, featuring performances by David Osmond, Thurl Bailey, Alex Boye and comedian Jason Hewlett.

Email: benwood@desnews.com

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