Extreme Makeover reveals new home for Knoxville family

Extreme Makeover reveals new home for Knoxville family

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Spectators gathered ahead of time Wednesday morning. Spectators gathered ahead of time Wednesday morning.
Ty Pennington and Jenny McCarthy waited to greet the Watsons. Ty Pennington and Jenny McCarthy waited to greet the Watsons.
Mandy Watson sees their new house for the first time. Mandy Watson sees their new house for the first time.
Mandy and Daniel Watson with their son, Silas, on his shoulders. Mandy and Daniel Watson with their son, Silas, on his shoulders.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - With the famous cheer, "Move that bus!" Daniel and Mandy Watson and their three children got their first look Wednesday at the home built for them by local volunteers and crews from the ABC show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Along with a completely new and furnished home, a duplex was built on the Watson's property on Robinson Road, which provides homes for single mothers through the couple's non-profit organization The Restoration House of East Tennessee.

Just eight days ago the Watsons got a knock on their door that changed their lives. That's when they learned they had been chosen by Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for a new home.

Among the crew on the build were host Ty Pennington, special guest Jenny McCarthy, designers Paul DiMeo, Tracy Hutson, John Littlefield and Jillian Harris.

The Watson's new home was built in a week by crews and volunteers working day and night despite rain, storms, lightning, hail, bitter cold and snow.

The Watson's original home was crumbling, and had warped floors, cracking walls, falling ceilings, poor insulation and a damaged roof. Extreme Makeover demolished it to make way for the new structures.

The reveal for the family on Wednesday was originally scheduled for Tuesday evening, but was delayed due to the heavy rain and strong winds in the Knoxville area.

Executive Producer George Verschoor described the delay as a difficult but necessary decision.

"I shed some tears too when the bus was moving, and you see everyone standing here. I mean, you could just feel it all the way down the line. The excitement and you know, just waiting to move the bus," said Grace Construction project manager Brandon Anderson.

Extreme Makeover designer Paulie DiMeo has been with the show all nine seasons. He says this is a special build, the last, and he'll never forget the special people he's met along the way.

DiMeo says the best part is the children. "I certainly remember moments when I was little and someone took a little extra time with me, and I carry that memory with me today. So if I can do something like that by picking a kid out of a crowd and just making sure you take a moment and look them in the eye, give them a kiss on the forehead, for me that's a good day. I've done what I'm supposed to."

Spectators were excited for the big reveal as well, saying it was well worth the cold, muddy wait to see the Watsons go through their new front door for the first time.

"It was so exciting to see the looks on the kids' faces before they went in the house and all the people here. It's just a blessed occasion to have this happen," Carolyn Albert said.

The past week's goodwill has been infectious. "I personally believe everyone involved here, from the person picking up trash to someone swinging a hammer to someone in a managerial position, will all be blessed for what they've done here this week," Anderson said.

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