By DAVID GREEN
Cody Hanawalt would be hard pressed to call it a vacation, but his week volunteering with ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in Toledo was certainly like no other week of work.
Hanawalt, the walls crew chief for Midwest Poured Walls of Toledo, and fellow Morenci resident Dusty Timberman, the flat work crew chief for Midwest, spent a lot of hours on the construction site.
“We were there every day doing something,” Hanawalt said.
That’s what it took to demolish an existing home and build a new one in 106 hours.
Starting Tuesday afternoon, the concrete crew was on the scene overnight and all day Wednesday until 10 p.m.
“I went back Thursday to pour the patio and left Friday morning,” Hanawalt said.
Of course the workers returned Sunday afternoon when the new home was revealed to Aaron and Jackie Frisch and their 11 sons.
“My boss asked me about a month ago if I wanted to do it,” Hanawalt said.
During the week, more than two dozen Midwest employees put in time at the construction site. Their initial chore was to pour 340 feet of walls.
“We threw them up in less than an hour and a half,” Hanawalt said. “Normally it probably would have taken eight hours. We were really going at it.”
Work crews were given breaks for refueling, then got back on the job.
“We were pumped full of coffee and energy drinks,” he said. “There was so much going on, it really kept you going.”
Hanawalt said the atmosphere at the construction site was almost like a carnival. Campers were parked everywhere, there were always people watching the progress—some on rooftops, security into the neighborhood was tight, and there were some very interesting people.
For example, there was the guy standing in front of him who looked like Scuba Steve from Car Stereo One.
Turns out it was Steve and Hanawalt got a handshake.
“He’s just as crazy in real life as he is on TV,” he said.
When the show is presented locally on Channel 13 early in November, viewers will see the polished version of the Frisch family homecoming.
“They did five or six takes of the limosine arriving,” Hanawalt said, and the same for other portions of the filming. “It was unreal how many takes they did.”
The week was a vacation in that the volunteers weren’t paid for doing the work, but that was all right with Cody.
“It was worth it,” he said. “You’re only going to do something like this once in your life.”