The long-running, fan-favorite home renovation show, ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, gained an audience for its spectacular home designs and backstories that tugged at the heartstrings of America. Beginning in 2003, during the height of reality-tv, the show quickly gained a reputation as the nicest reality show on television because each episode featured a different deserving family dealing with some sort of financial or personal hardship. Not only did the crew, lead by carpenter and host Ty Pennington, build awe-inspiringly beautiful houses, it was the ultimate feel-good watch for anyone who loves a good home makeover show.
The show strikes an emotional chord with viewers as they watch the family in tear-inducing excitement and sheer joy following Ty’s famous cry, “Move that bus!”. The magic is not only in the “after” of the home renovation, but the number of people who come together to make these family’s dreams come true including hundreds of local volunteers. Making upwards of 200 homes throughout its ten-year run between 2003 to 2012, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition saw the rise and fall of many interior styles. Inevitably, not all of the choices stand the test of time, but rest assured that every home the show renovated was state of the art for its time. Here are some of the best homes that the show produced.
5. The Ripatti Pearce Family
This completely renovated Redondo Beach house was featured as part of season 4 of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in 2006. It is home to Tim and Kristina and their young daughter, Jordan. The pair previously worked together as LAPD officers until Kristina was shot while responding to an armed robbery. Following the fateful accident, Kristina found herself paralyzed making caring for her daughter and getting around the house a challenge.
Their two-story home at the time was ill-equipped for wheelchair access, so having a handicap accessible space became priority number one. As a thank you for her service, the Extreme Makeover team wanted to give Kristina and her family a home that would allow her to regain her independence. Their quaint unassuming home was transformed into a beautiful bungalow with the help of the entire team and 700+ volunteers. In true Southern California style, the renovation highlights beautiful landscaping and features outdoor spaces for the family to spend sunny days.
4. The Anderson Family
In 2010 the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition team changed the Andersons’ lives forever. The family of four lived in a suburb of Cleveland called Maple Heights, Ohio and were the recipients of a complete home renovation as part of the show’s 8th season. Parents Andre and Jasmine were living with disabilities as well as one of their two sons, Jaison and Jahzion. Due to struggles with diabetic retinopathy, both parents are considered legally blind, and one of their sons is hearing-impaired.
Their new house, a two-story English Tudor-style home, was fitted with everything the family needs to function normally. Things like special voice scanners and fingerprint locking mechanisms allowed them to perform activities they were previously unable to do. The interior is decorated in a very traditional style with personalized touches like the saying “Love is blind” in the master bedroom.
3. The Goodale Family
This log home built for the Goodale family in Wells, Maine was a clear fan-favorite from the show’s third season in 2006. Not only did the exterior feature beautiful stacked logs, the interior common spaces were decorated in a similar rustic style. Each person’s bedroom reflected their individual styles, and the room designed for young daughter Tabatha became known as the “rainforest bedroom” and featured a 5-foot high lofted treehouse bed complete with faux trees and wildlife.
While the team completed this overhaul of the property, Doug Goodale, his wife, and two daughters spent the week in Disneyland. Eight years prior, Doug, a lobsterman, lost his arm in a fishing accident. Before Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the family was living in a double-wide mobile home, making the 4,000-square-foot log home that was built in a matter of mere days an even more impressive feat.
2. The McPhail Family
This stunning home in Medford, Oregon is a result of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’s 9th season in 2011. It was built for the McPhail family; Lindsay, C.J., and their three sons. The couple dedicated their lives to helping children by founding the Southern Oregon chapter of the Sparrows Clubs, an organization that helps pair kids with medical needs to schools. Little did they know, they would need the help of the very organization they poured their hearts into when two of their sons were diagnosed with autism.
Their old house was fraught with leaking plumbing, mold, and heating issues and was demolished with fire by the crew in true volcano style including hula dancers and torches lit around the property. Following the demolition, the new house was built in record time and featured uniquely decorated rooms for each of the kids. The most spectacular feature of the home may be the grand spiral staircase connecting the lower porch to an observation deck.
1. The Girard Family
The Girard family’s dreams of living in a castle came true when Extreme Makeover: Home Edition redesigned their home in Voluntown, Connecticut as part of the show’s sixth season in 2009. The 3,239-square-foot, Tudor-style home has attracted lots of visitors over the years and is a novelty in their largely rural, forest town, but the Girard’s don’t seem to mind.
The family was nominated for the show after mother Carol Girard lost her husband Thomas and son Marc in a drowning accident a mere year after their home had been damaged in a fire. Carol and her four children Adam, Jacqueline, Lucas, and Hannah became virtually homeless before the show stepped in.
Today, the family is stronger than ever, and the elegant interior is a reflection of the family’s love, often featuring large family portraits. Their story, much like others from the show, is a story of perseverance and the profound effect that your home can have on your life.