Extreme Makeover Home Edition

On a cool weekend in the beginning of October, California Closets-New England had the distinct pleasure of being involved in an Extreme Makeover Home Edition project.

A very deserving family in upstate New Hampshire had a beautiful home built for them by ABC and Trumbull-Nelson builders of NH. Through this whole process, or at least the parts that I was involved with, the message was plain and simple, ‘Be Positive. It was quite obvious in the way that all the workers and volunteers came together during that final weekend and it is very clear, as you will see when the episode airs at the end of November, that is the motto this family lives by.

The Marshall Family
The Marshall Family

About 6 years ago the Marshall family bought what they thought was the perfect home in Lyme, NH for their growing family that now consists of 8 children, plus mom and dad. In the years that followed they have had to deal with a multitude of problems with their house that included carbon monoxide leaks, mold and rotting wood. All of those things had turned their dream home into a nightmare!

On top of all those house related problems, their son Cameron, who is now 10, was diagnosed with leukemia. Despite all that was wrong with their home and the effects the decaying house could have on Cam’s recovery, the family was still able to come together and rally the community around Cam’s “Be+” campaign (Be Positive), which was named after his blood type. The B+ Positive for CHaD Kids campaign and Cam’s Course Run has already raised over $100,000 for the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD), including $3500 that Cameron raised on his own. Their goal is to help other families handle the emotional and financial challenges created by long term hospitalization, and chronic illness. If that isn’t turning a negative into a positive then I don’t know what is! Just think of Cameron and his family the next time things get tough and remember that through all of their hardships, they were always able to BE POSITIVE!

Our part of the project at California Closets was an obvious one. Install storage systems into all of the closets in the house. It was a perfect match for us because creating storage systems that efficiently uses all of the space available is our specialty. When you have a family of 10 all under one roof, storage space is an important part of daily life!

California Closets New England "Extreme" Team
From L to R: Greg Stamuli, Rich Chiarmonte, Scott Hanson, Chris Garcia, Rachel Precourt, Mike McKenna, Kim Kaplan

We first met with the designers of Extreme Makeover Home Edition about a week or so before they were scheduled to knock on the Marshall family’s front door. And when I say designers, I don’t mean Ty, Michael, Paige or any of the other ones that you see on TV. I mean John, Jowill, Travis & Andy – these were the people who were on the construction site day and night, throughout the week, making sure that things were going according to plan. I was impressed with the way they were able to “Be Positive” throughout the whole process. It had to be a very long week for them! We were not given specifics about the family at that point, other than knowing which closets were for boys or girls. Our designers then created plans for each area based on this info.

I went up to the house on the 5th day to take final measurements and I was a little surprised at the progress, or what seemed like a lack of progress, at that point.

I wasn’t very confident that it could be finished in time. The project was running behind schedule and now the pressure was on to complete the house before the Marshall’s returned on Monday. Our originally scheduled install time of Sunday morning at 7 was pushed back to 9 before we even got there. That was our first sign that it was going to be a long day…

The closets were not ready yet and we had to wait. And wait! We didn’t exactly stand around all day. We moved all of the product into the one room that was ready for us, installed the closet, painted another closet, moved more product, installed another closet, painted another closet and so went the day. Everyone stayed positive throughout the day and did other things to help out while we were there. We finally finished the master closet at 2am on Monday morning!

Our group that gathered to put in the closets included more than just installers. A few managers and 2 people from the corporate office also chipped in to help. It was a complete California Closets group effort! From the designers who helped to create the plans to the production planning and shop members that made sure all material was in-house and manufactured on time, everyone did their part to make sure the project was successful! I’m sure the Marshall family appreciated it!

Remember, when times are tough and things aren’t going your way, be positive! That’s how this family deals with adversity, and we should too!! 🙂

Mike McKenna

The episode airs on ABC on Sunday, November 29th at 8pm!

Click here to view the episode.

3 thoughts on “Extreme Makeover Home Edition

  1. B+ That’s right!! What an awesome event to watch take place. I was so excited to take Kyle and Megan to watch the reveal of the Marshall home. The teamwork that went into this project was exemplary! Way to go Cal Closets!! Look close during the reveal and you may just see Kyle Megan and myself saying move that bus!!!!!

  2. If the pilgrims had landed way back when in the SF bay, they would have had much more fun. They would have found that nothern california weather is vastly superior to maine sea cliff ecosystems on most days of the year. But they would have been much more happy if they had landed in the SF bay back then, and luckily for them they would not have conceived of bone chilling new england winters.

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