January 06, 2008 08:15 PM by DA Southern
The Ray-Smith family of Milbridge, ME heard that Ty Pennington and designers John Littlefield, Paul DiMeo, Eduardo Xo and Didiayer, who we haven’t seen in a while…wait, EVER, might be in the neighborhood and may even stop by to do a quick renovation of the family homestead.
To say they were elated would have been an understatement but what about the OTHER occupants of the family home; the ghost who seem to share the abode with Brittany Ray and Ron Smith and their children, Thomas, who has Autism, JoJo, who may be Autistic as well, and daughter Bayley. Additionally, Both Ron and his daughter, Bayley, suffer from Hypolipidemia, a condition causing extremely high cholesterol, which resulted in fatal heart attacks in Ron’s mother and brother.
The 100 year old home built by Brittany’s great-great grandparents is spooked with a slew of problems: an outdated septic system, no insulation, a cracking foundation, an outdated furnace is outdated which overheats, a leaky roof, freezing pipes, and ancient electrical wiring that is a fire hazard and one of the more dangerous and serious issues.
If the extremely unsafe condition of their home weren’t enough, the Ray-Smith house seems to be haunted, likely by the ancestors of Brittany Ray. Several instances of mischievous behavior by the ghost had the Ray-Smith family wondering what the spirits were trying to tell them. Ty was shown several very eerie pictures of long-dead family members and Brittany told him that they felt attached to the ghost.
Paul was seen talking to the younger boy, JoJo and daughter Bailey and determined that JoJo liked a book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Somehow he knew he would incorporate the caterpillar theme into the room.
Didiayer was seen talking to daughter Bayley and discovered her love for horses and that she loved the colors pink and brown and decided to design her a SciFi-inspired room. Not really…you know she was going all horses, all the time.
John talked to Thomas and determined that he was Dinosaur crazy and knew he wanted a theme room that would give Thomas a haven where he could feel safe.
After Ty had a moving talk with Brittany and the effect of learning that Thomas had Autism and how it has affected her as a teacher and a parent, Ty gathered the family up and sent them to Disney World for a week. Afterwards, Ty and Paul decided to confront the ghost and ask them for design tips and if it was OK to do the renovation. (Like they had a choice!) Paul accompanied Ty to the door, pushed him into the house to talk to the ghost by himself and turned and walked away.
In an unusual event, the Extreme episode turned into an episode of “Ghost Hunters” as Ty had a psychic/intuitive come in to “talk to” the ghost to make sure it was OK to move on with the renovation. The PI, Jeffrey, told them info about the family that he supposedly did not know, which was mildly creepy in light of the creepy pictures of the long-dead family all over the place. Paul, who you could see was freaked out, started to take pictures with his digital camera and it stopped working. Hey, that never happens to the Ghost Hunters. Evidently, Ty got the go-ahead for the renovation but had to use some of the old wood from the torn down house. My, my, those ghost can be so bossy!
Day 2 arrived with Mike and Daisy Wight of Broughman Builders and millions of volunteers to get the project moving. Ty called the Ray-Smith family at Disney World to tell them that the ghost had given their approval for the demo and Ty introduced the builders and volunteers and the destruction began.
We quickly switched to Day 3 at 10:07 am as John was showing up the foundation of the new home and how it had to be built because it was on a hill. New designer, Didiayer, was showing some of the reclaimed logs from the home and how she was going to incorporate the wood into the new build and then she started up her chain saw and went to work. Hey, who doesn’t love a woman with power tools. Paul was seen showing us a glimpse of the caterpillar room and Ty gave us a hint of his secret project that included a dead crow and a nest.
Day 4 got an early start at 8:47 am we had a glimpse of the unique water heater system that was being installed on the roof and learned how the sun will heat the family’s water. Eduardo showed how he was reusing the old wood for flooring and John was seen visiting the Washington County Children’s Program, an organization that helped Thomas when the family learned that he was Autistic. John talked with Barbara, the Center Leader, about how Autism affects families and how he could incorporate the needs of an Autistic child into his build. John then had some gifts from Sears for the center and manned the camera to show the family in Disney World of the gifts for the center.
Day 5 had our first viewing at 12:53 pm and we had the first glimpse of the cool Dinosaur room for Thomas while Eduardo and Paul went on a Sears shopping trip for exercise equipment for the family to help them fight cholesterol. Poor Paul had to test it all out and was passed out by the end of the excursion. The day shifted at some point into Day 6 and we saw the activity shift into high gear. Ty announced to the crowd that the furniture would not move into the house until Day 7 because the build was slightly behind but that the family was definitely coming home on Day 7.
Day 7 started at 8:31 am with the furniture moving into the new home and he frantic pace continued right up until the family arrived home. When the family arrived home, Brittany was amazed at the outpouring of the crowd for the family as they were greeted by Ty, the design team and Mike and Daisy of Broughman Builders. Little Thomas cried out “how Beautiful” and the rest of the family wept. Eleven year old Bayley, who had the maturity of someone twice her age, said that she had a mixture of excitement and relief of knowing that the family was safe as she saw the home.
Ty sent them into their home and immediately we saw that there was tile instead of the traditional wood floors that greeted the family as they entered. Instead, there were areas of wood sections that were reused from the old house. I am guessing that the ghost will stay in the little sections, which is good because they will always know where they are.
Bayley was first into her horse room and then JoJo saw his caterpillar room, which was so neat. Thomas had an awesome room as he explored the “back-in-time” room, as he called it, as Ty arrived to tell the family that he had another surprise and took them to the new exercise room.
After a brief exercise time, Ty took Brittany and Ron into their new master bedroom. It was very unique in that it resembled a winter woods scene with crows all around them. Brittany explained that supposedly when you see a crow or raven that it was a departed family member. Creepy!
Ty let the parents back into the main room to meet the design team and before he gave his usual sign-off, went and hung the creepy, I mean, ancestral picture of Ambrose Ray, Brittany’s great-grandfather, at the landing of the stairs and then said, “welcome home, Ray-Smith family, welcome home.”