Friday night ABC premiered the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition episode featuring the Rhodes family in Columbus, Ohio. Beforehand, ABC 6 aired a special behind the scenes look at the making of the show. However, there is still more you didn’t get to see!

It seems many people forget that, though these homes are often small and/or run down, these families do have their own belongings inside. Furniture, personal items, electronics, and more need to be moved out before the home can be knocked down. Andrews got the call from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition late in the day the week before the project began asking if we would be able to pack and store the family’s items. The previous year Andrews’ Cleveland office had assisted on the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition project in Maple Heights, Ohio, so we were excited for the Columbus crew to have the opportunity to help on a project as well. With some quick planning, Andrews agreed to take on its second project with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

That following Thursday, after working a full day, a team of Andrews’ employees that included contractors, administration, upper management, and more headed over with a few of our trucks to the work site. After a quick briefing from the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition staff, the team coordinated with some volunteers to get the home packed. Some of the items were to go to “bin city” – these were clear bins that would be placed in one of our on-site trucks filled with items that would most likely be put back into the home before the reveal. The rest of the items were packed into our truck and brought back to our warehouse to be stored until the Rhodes family was able to come sort through the things to decide what they would bring back to the home. Volunteers learned how to properly wrap and pack the family’s items. The biggest challenge was the large amount of framed photos hanging on the walls. Over a hundred photos lined the walls ranging from recent to generations passed.

The project was already running behind schedule, so Andrews was allotted four hours to get all of the items packed and out of the home. This included kitchen appliances, furniture, and all personal items. Normally, this is plenty of time to pack all the items and move them out of the home, but the challenge in the Rhodes home was that they did not have an opportunity to sort through their things before the pack/move happened like most families do, so Andrews and volunteers were literally packing every item they owned regardless of if it was something they would normally have kept during a move. The packing went well into the night and the home was not air conditioned! It was a hot and muggy August night, but Andrews was impressed by their volunteer’s work ethic.

Around midnight the crew finally finished loading up the truck and the builders were able to go in and begin taking down walls and support beams. A few days after the reveal James Rhodes stopped by the office to schedule a time for he and his wife to go through their things. He was extremely thankful and generous, a very humble and nice man. While going through his items he was careful to pick out things that they no longer needed, but could be used by others in the community that needed it. Some items, such as some furniture, was donated prior to the build to the community.

For the crew involved, it really put things into perspective. It is hard to describe how small the original home was and the lack of privacy was jarring. Andrews was honored to be part of this project to help a very deserving family.

Check our our behind the scenes video!

Click here for more pictures from Andrews work on the project!

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