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Thursday, July 10, 2014

'Makeover' house goes up in a flash

The Wichita Eagle

The "Extreme Makeover" house rose against the sky Sunday afternoon as an army of volunteers brought the builder's vision into reality.

"We've got the whole basement Sheetrocked, the roofing's done upstairs, and the last of the windows are going in," said builder Bob Cook of Derby's Bob Cook Homes, who is overseeing the project.

In addition, half of the siding for the house was on, and all the utilities were hooked up.

"We've got lights and heat inside the house," he said.

Decorators are expected to begin finishing touches on the house tonight.

Not bad for work that began Thursday on an empty lot.

The "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" team is creating a dream home for former Shocker baseball star Carl Hall, who was paralyzed from the neck down after a June car accident in Kingman County.

The original home the Hall family had wasn't wheelchair accessible, and the family was forced to move to a rented condo.

This week, while their new three-story home on West Hollywood Court is under construction, Carl and Stacey Hall and their four children — Megan, Maddie, Logan and McLaine — are on vacation in Orlando, Fla.

As he shook off sawdust from his shoulders Sunday, Cook pulled a worn, folded piece of paper from his back pocket: the schedule.

Each line was filled with a task, a time period for getting it done and the subcontractor responsible for doing the work.

They were five hours ahead of schedule.

"We use this guideline as much as possible," Cook said. "The city is on a 20-minute call, anytime, round the clock. They have to be here."

It is the fastest this Derby builder of 37 years has ever built a house. His previous record was 87 days.

"You see these number of people out here?" he said.

At least 2,800 people showed up Sunday to volunteer, wearing blue T-shirts and hard hats.

Sunday's scene was a whirlwind of noise, people, activity and construction.

It was enough to draw a crowd that stood in long lines behind a construction fence.

"We heard there was no home yesterday and now there's a home," said Gretchen Larson of Derby.

Joan Shingleton of Wichita said she just wanted to watch the process.

"I watch these shows all the time," she said. "I think it is neat how they can do this for families."

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or

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