CAPS Remodelers Make “Today Show’’ Appearance with Charity Remodel
Remodeled by the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County Remodelers Council.
John Sperath, CAPS, didn’t exactly realize what he’d gotten himself into when he joined fellow members of the Remodelers Council at the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County in a charitable remodeling project filmed by the “Today Show” in conjunction with another NBC program called “George to the Rescue.”
The “Today Show” learned of a young woman who had been paralyzed in an accident shortly before her wedding and was struggling with living in a largely inaccessible house. The idea was to surprise the couple with some home remodeling help and make the big reveal on national television. After speaking with the show producers, the HBA quickly recruited some Remodelers Council members and the excitement to help quickly spread.
While it started as a modest idea to install an elevator and upgrade the bedroom and master bath, the remodeling project grew in scale to encompass almost the entire house.
At first, Sperath – president and owner of Blue Ribbon Construction – and other team members began working in secret and coordinating with family members of the couple to visit the home and conduct an assessment of what needed to be changed to improve accessibility for the disabled woman. They divided the plan into parts and gathered volunteers and donations of materials and products.
In addition to Sperath:
Glenn White from Complete Construction Company Inc. helped with plans, permitting, and engineering.
Steve Hilliard, CGR, CAPS, from Hilliard Contracting helped with demolition, elevator pit construction, framing, and trim carpentry.
Grant Dickens with Rufty Homes led scheduling and coordination while also contributing general framing and carpentry.
Lewis Sadler, CAPS, with Sadler Homes & Life Stage Design helped with the elevator framing.
Deveraux Hamilton and William Ahle from Envision Built LLC also assisted with elevator framing.
Louise Davis with Interior Decisions helped with interior decoration and home accessories.
After the “Today Show” producers revealed the plans to home owners Rachelle Friedman and Chris Chapman, they were moved to a hotel and the huge 12-day remodeling project began.
More than 200 volunteers came out of the woodwork to contribute time, help clean, provide meals and pitch in wherever possible. “Sometimes we had 60 people working all at once,” noted Sperath.
The Town of Knightdale even contributed by turning a permit around in one day, as well as having their inspectors on call, so that the remodeling team could stay on schedule and proceed with the massive project.
The house was re-imagined from top to bottom, starting with expanding the upstairs master bathroom through a rearrangement of walls. CAPS features were an important addition for improving the quality and ease of living from a wheelchair. The remodelers installed a curbless shower, a handheld showerhead, a shower seat, and grab bars. They also replaced the faucet and added a water control on the wall.
In the master bedroom they installed a bed lift, and added an easy to push handle for the closet with a new accessible closet system including drawers and cubbies.
Another huge improvement was the installation of an elevator, donated by Otis, which allowed Friedman to move from the garage to the first and upper floor independently.
Volunteers also remodeled the kitchen with a lower counter at the sink, a lever-handled faucet, paddle light switches and new cabinets.
Throughout the house, the volunteers made thoughtful improvements such as tearing out all the carpet and replacing it with hard wood flooring, which made it easier to navigate in a wheelchair. They also painted most of the house and had some help from an interior designer. The remodelers even built a new accessible deck behind the house with a ramp down to the sidewalk for wheelchair access.
An upgraded HVAC was included in the remodel, which allowed for two-zone and whole-house controls. Control 4 donated and installed systems for lights, television, and surround-sound audio.
George Oliphant, host of the remodeling show “George to the Rescue,” and his team filmed the entire remodeling project and introduced the big reveal to Friedman and Chapman live on the “Today Show” the morning of Feb. 22. Not only were they astonished with how beautiful the remodel turned out, Friedman and Chapman greatly appreciated the improved accessibility and quality of life afforded by the improvements. In fact, Friedman – who was always athletic – recently joined a wheelchair rugby team and was excited when her teammate friends could now visit her home because of its accessibility.
“The Remodelers Council and the local CAPS remodelers have gotten a big boost out of this project” said Sperath, who personally received calls from previous customers who read about the charity remodel in local media and saw the “Today Show” program.
While the council regularly participates in charity work this project was much larger and garnered a great deal of positive publicity. “It was very satisfying but also great to energize the HBA and council. This was a great opportunity to tell a good story about builders and remodelers. This project was stellar and brought out the best in everybody,” said Sperath.
For more information, view the “Today Show” feature of the remodel, see the list of volunteers and NAHB member companies who donated time, products, and materials, or read the press release from the HBA of Raleigh-Wake County.
Shared article from the National Association of Home Builders – Remodeling Council.