'Extreme Makeover' Family Enjoying 3,...

'Extreme Makeover' Family Enjoying 3,200-Square-Foot Castle

There are 45 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Feb 11, 2009, titled 'Extreme Makeover' Family Enjoying 3,200-Square-Foot Castle. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

When Carol Girard was asked what style house she might like from the ABC television show " Extreme Makeover: Home Edition ," she mentioned a colonial, a farmhouse or perhaps a Victorian.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

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Cindy

Trumbull, CT

#1 Feb 12, 2009
I normally dislike the "Extreme Home" show, especially the job that they did in Bridgeport (where the owner is now complaining about the taxes that she has to pay on her free house). But, I applaud the work that they did for this family. The tragedies that they suffered are absolutely unfathomable. I only hope that their new home can comfort them in some way and help erase some of the grief so clearly visible in the eyes of their small children.
Puhleeeze

Bristol, CT

#2 Feb 12, 2009
Who needs a 3200 sq foot home? There are a lot of people with tragedies who could use some help, not just this family. With the resources used and spent for this one family, several families could have been helped.
Great Place

Klingerstown, PA

#3 Feb 13, 2009
I am sorry for the circumstances but this is a great house.
It would be even nicer if the town reduced her property taxes to a manageable level.
Funny how the Courant never mentions how much the tax and energy bills are. The Courant doesn't want everyone to know what a drag the State really is on it's residents.
Democrats are calling for higher taxes, how will the homeowners be effected?
Enjoy.....
Great Place

Klingerstown, PA

#4 Feb 13, 2009
Puhleeeze wrote:
Who needs a 3200 sq foot home? There are a lot of people with tragedies who could use some help, not just this family. With the resources used and spent for this one family, several families could have been helped.
I have a 3000 sq ft home and it really isn't that big a deal. If not for the obscene taxes I would owe it free and clear but that is a few years away still.
Sorry you never made enough money to buy one but don't complain because others did... Go to school and make something of yourself rather than whine about others good fortune....
Franklin P

Canterbury, CT

#5 Feb 13, 2009
Puhleeeze wrote:
Who needs a 3200 sq foot home? There are a lot of people with tragedies who could use some help, not just this family. With the resources used and spent for this one family, several families could have been helped.
Spreading the resources out to more families wouldn't draw the viewers the show now has. Without the viewer ratings, no sponsors. No sponsors, no show. No show, well, you get the idea.

Extreme Home Makeover was a brainstorm that will continue on as long as there are deserving families in need and people like us who love to see them get help. Some of us are even fortunate enough to get to volunteer, and be part of it.

The show Sunday with the Girards left no dry eyes in my house. I wouldn't change a thing.
Listen to yourself

Greenfield, MA

#6 Feb 13, 2009
Great Place wrote:
I am sorry for the circumstances but this is a great house.
It would be even nicer if the town reduced her property taxes to a manageable level.
Funny how the Courant never mentions how much the tax and energy bills are. The Courant doesn't want everyone to know what a drag the State really is on it's residents.
Democrats are calling for higher taxes, how will the homeowners be effected?
Enjoy.....
You must be the life of the party turning such a wonderful story into political rhetoric. On top of that you suggest the others in town pay her share of property taxes, which would be the result of lowering hers. The reality is that she doesn't have a mortgage and is still getting services donated to her, such as free cleaning through generous local small businesses.

It's a win for everyone.
Gail

Albemarle, NC

#7 Feb 13, 2009
I am happy that this family has the new home, but there will be no closure. Unless you ever lost a child you will never understand that.
Barbara S

Chicago, IL

#8 Feb 13, 2009
Great Place wrote:
<quoted text>
I have a 3000 sq ft home and it really isn't that big a deal. If not for the obscene taxes I would owe it free and clear but that is a few years away still.
Sorry you never made enough money to buy one but don't complain because others did... Go to school and make something of yourself rather than whine about others good fortune....
I've got news for you if you own your house free of a motgage you have to still pay property taxes every six months or twice a year. So you your statement about free and clear is not right.
Good for them

Colchester, VT

#10 Feb 13, 2009
I am happy for them that they have received some much needed help.

I take exception though to the logic behind such a large home, this will absolutely become a hardship once the tax bills start arriving.

Would they be any less happy in a well appointed practical home? This situation, the show, the home and the why are very telling of the situation our country is in right now. It is indicative of the overconsumption, over borrowing, and gratuitious luxury that is the badge of having made it for so many.

Because one can afford to do something does not mean it is wise or prudent to do so. This depression will hopefully recalibrate everyones value system and perhaps instill the truth that less is really more.

Before you jump on me, yes I am educated, am fortunate to have a good job by anyones standards, and live with my family in a tiny little home on a hill deep in the woods on a large chunk of land. It is our castle.
jon h

Newington, CT

#12 Feb 13, 2009
Great Place wrote:
<quoted text>
I have a 3000 sq ft home and it really isn't that big a deal. If not for the obscene taxes I would owe it free and clear but that is a few years away still.
Sorry you never made enough money to buy one but don't complain because others did... Go to school and make something of yourself rather than whine about others good fortune....
i dont think that was the point the original poster was making. i think their comments had more to do with the American fantasy that one must live excessively to legitimize their success. obviously some families can justify a large house, but otherwise its foolish or, in your own verbiage, obscene.

i'm fairly successful with multiple college degrees and, if i read their statement correctly, i agree 100% with their comments.
come on

East Hartford, CT

#13 Feb 13, 2009
Great Place wrote:
I am sorry for the circumstances but this is a great house.
It would be even nicer if the town reduced her property taxes to a manageable level.
Funny how the Courant never mentions how much the tax and energy bills are. The Courant doesn't want everyone to know what a drag the State really is on it's residents.
Democrats are calling for higher taxes, how will the homeowners be effected?
Enjoy.....
That's what I would like to know. Who is going to pay the taxes ($6000.00+) the utilities, heat, insurance. On a house that size it has to be at least $1000.00= per month. The family is never going to be able to afford the upkeep on that house.
oy vey

Newington, CT

#14 Feb 13, 2009
Like many posters here, I am concerned about the family's ability to keep up with taxes on such a large house down the road, especially considering the income reduction they undoubtedly suffered when the husband died. I do think the TV show should scale back; they seem to way overbuild perhaps as a way to showcase the designers, home builders, and products they promote. That's great, but I worry about the reciepients.
If, in fact, they do not have a mortgage, that would help immensely in paying taxes.
As for utilities, they discussed this on the progam. They installed an extensive solar energy system that was designed to provide enough energy for the entire house/family.

This show was so touching. God help the poor Girard family, who still have so much to deal with. They seem like such admirable people; I wish them the best.
puhleeeze

Essex, CT

#15 Feb 13, 2009
Great Place wrote:
<quoted text>
I have a 3000 sq ft home and it really isn't that big a deal. If not for the obscene taxes I would owe it free and clear but that is a few years away still.
Sorry you never made enough money to buy one but don't complain because others did... Go to school and make something of yourself rather than whine about others good fortune....
I did go to school, I have a graduate degree, and I can afford a 3200 sq ft home. I choose not to. The American mentality and consumerism of bigger and more is what got us into the current economic mess we are in. How big is big enough and how much is enough? There is a limit to resources in this world. And living responsibly in part means taking just your share of those resources, not as much as you can afford or more than you need. Interesting that my comment hit such a nerve in you.
Katie

Newington, CT

#16 Feb 13, 2009
Franklin P wrote:
<quoted text>
Spreading the resources out to more families wouldn't draw the viewers the show now has. Without the viewer ratings, no sponsors. No sponsors, no show. No show, well, you get the idea.
Extreme Home Makeover was a brainstorm that will continue on as long as there are deserving families in need and people like us who love to see them get help. Some of us are even fortunate enough to get to volunteer, and be part of it.
This is true, but the first season of Extreme Makeover Home Edition was much more reasonable in terms of the "makeover". The team would build an addition or they'd gut the inside of a house and remodel, but they typically didn't demolish an existing house only to build a zero lot line McMansion.

Many of the homes from recent seasons are completely out of place with the surrounding neighborhood and are often complete overkill for the family's needs. Yes, I'd be angry if my neighbor won and they built a monstrous house with their wall only feet from my home.

The Girard family's home is at least not in the middle of a suburban or urban area - like many of the EM:HE houses have been. How out of place would that "castle" look in a post-war neighborhood of 1200 square foot Capes on quarter acre lots, as in many Connecticut neighborhoods? The problem is only exacerbated when the recipient family is living in an urban ghetto.

I believe they should have stuck with the more modest efforts of the first season. Sears and Lumber Liquidators would still get their sponsorship credits by providing appliances and hardwood floors for 1600 square foot remodels instead of 3200 square foot new build properties.
puhleeeze

Essex, CT

#17 Feb 13, 2009
jon h wrote:
<quoted text>
i dont think that was the point the original poster was making. i think their comments had more to do with the American fantasy that one must live excessively to legitimize their success. obviously some families can justify a large house, but otherwise its foolish or, in your own verbiage, obscene.
i'm fairly successful with multiple college degrees and, if i read their statement correctly, i agree 100% with their comments.
Thank you.
John

Hartford, CT

#19 Feb 13, 2009
The Girard is irresponsible. Why would you have 5 children and not have proper life and home insurance. I am sorry for their loss, but they do not need to be rewarded because they were negligent with their family and financial planning.
puhleeeze

Essex, CT

#20 Feb 13, 2009
Katie wrote:
<quoted text>
This is true, but the first season of Extreme Makeover Home Edition was much more reasonable in terms of the "makeover". The team would build an addition or they'd gut the inside of a house and remodel, but they typically didn't demolish an existing house only to build a zero lot line McMansion.
Many of the homes from recent seasons are completely out of place with the surrounding neighborhood and are often complete overkill for the family's needs.
Yes, very good point. I liked the show much better then, and the families were still awed by the makeovers and got what they needed. The realistic practical question is will the families who receive the McMansions be able to maintain and afford their homes? Or will the taxes, upkeep, etc. be another stressor?

“Concerned citizen”

Since: Oct 07

West Hartford, CT

#21 Feb 13, 2009
Good for them wrote:
I am happy for them that they have received some much needed help.
I take exception though to the logic behind such a large home, this will absolutely become a hardship once the tax bills start arriving.
Would they be any less happy in a well appointed practical home? This situation, the show, the home and the why are very telling of the situation our country is in right now. It is indicative of the overconsumption, over borrowing, and gratuitious luxury that is the badge of having made it for so many.
Because one can afford to do something does not mean it is wise or prudent to do so. This depression will hopefully recalibrate everyones value system and perhaps instill the truth that less is really more.
Before you jump on me, yes I am educated, am fortunate to have a good job by anyones standards, and live with my family in a tiny little home on a hill deep in the woods on a large chunk of land. It is our castle.
I think that you need to re-read the article and check in about the show. They built the home to be very efficient, so electrical and heating cost are quite low due to the built in efficiency. Also, there is no mortgage, only taxes and insurance; therefore, there should be no great strain on their budget. So why don't you just jump off your soapbox and let this family enjoy what the show and community has given them without trying to make them feel guilty. After all, this is a family that has been giving to others all of their lives, and they deserve whatever they receive guilt free. By your rant you are also demeaning the volunteers who donated and worked on this project. Get over yourself.
Pay Up Suckers

Old Lyme, CT

#22 Feb 13, 2009
puhleeeze wrote:
<quoted text>
I did go to school, I have a graduate degree, and I can afford a 3200 sq ft home. I choose not to. The American mentality and consumerism of bigger and more is what got us into the current economic mess we are in. How big is big enough and how much is enough? There is a limit to resources in this world. And living responsibly in part means taking just your share of those resources, not as much as you can afford or more than you need. Interesting that my comment hit such a nerve in you.
You sound petty and jealous.....
enough already

Colchester, VT

#23 Feb 13, 2009
andrea - west htfd wrote:
<quoted text>
I think that you need to re-read the article and check in about the show. They built the home to be very efficient, so electrical and heating cost are quite low due to the built in efficiency. Also, there is no mortgage, only taxes and insurance; therefore, there should be no great strain on their budget. So why don't you just jump off your soapbox and let this family enjoy what the show and community has given them without trying to make them feel guilty. After all, this is a family that has been giving to others all of their lives, and they deserve whatever they receive guilt free. By your rant you are also demeaning the volunteers who donated and worked on this project. Get over yourself.
Thank you. I am quite certain I read the article correctly and have seen the show, where they have gone from home make-overs to the "extreme", supersized, mega meal path that has lead us to where we are as a nation; largely fat, dumb and broke.

I was not castigating the Girards, I was making a commentary on a nation undeniably obsessed with excessive consumption, and speaking to comments of several other posters.

As for your opinion on the maintenances costs of the house; I believe time will tell whose correct, we'll just have to sit back and hope for the best.

I'll give you a pass on the rest.

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