Happiness on Goodhope Street

Laughs and tears for Extreme Makeover's down-to-the-last-minute finish

Laughs and tears for Extreme Makeover's down-to-the-last-minute finish

For those following the day-by-day progress of the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition house, the progress was nothing short of spectacular.

What was barely more than leveled ground on Tuesday after a 700-square foot house had been demolished is now a spacious, 4,500-square-foot stucco home.

But while observers and volunteers could barely believe the pace, by the show's standards the finish was behind schedule. The original Saturday reveal was pushed to brutally hot Sunday afternoon and then again to 7 p.m. — all the better to capture the house and the Johnson family in front of a picturesque sunset.

Huge crowds — estimated by the EMHE officials at 5,000 — watched and waited while the inspirational scene mixed with the television reality. Enthusiasm from friends, neighbors, volunteers and onlookers never waned through multiple takes of the limo arriving and the bus moving, and reached a fever pitch when host Ty Pennington and the Thompson family arrived on the set, in addition to comedians Cedric the Entertainer and Tommy Davidson, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, EMHE designers Paige Hemmis and Michael Moloney and MC Dave Morales from Mix 96.5.

Though the theme of the episode was how the Johnson family uses humor to overcome adversity, mom Elaine couldn't resist a few tears of joy at seeing both the crowds that had come out to support them and the new home for her, husband Eric and their five daughters.

Among the highlights of the build are a second-floor lanai, a mock runway between two of the girls' rooms (a nod to their love of fashion, office space for the couple to continue their work in the community and new land purchased adjacent to the house for a playset and landscaped yard.

Though the façade and basics of the interiors were complete, volunteers were asked to stay after the reveal to finish up some details on the house, which faced delays throughout the week due to rain. And though the landscaping was complete, those in attendance were asked to text "Houston" and a dollar amount to 27381 to help fund the land purchase.

The show featuring the Johnson family is scheduled to air on Channel 13  on September 26.

Extreme Makeover Home Edition
What all the fuss is about: The 4,500-square foot house by HHN Homes Photo by Sarah Rufca
Extreme Makeover Home Edition
The Johnson family, with Ty Pennington, enter their new home for the first time. Photo by Sarah Rufca
Extreme Makeover Home Edition
The Extreme Makeover: Home Edition bus Photo by Sarah Rufca
Extreme Makeover Home Edition
Photo by Sarah Rufca
Extreme Makeover Home Edition
Photo by Sarah Rufca