‘Extreme’ exhaustion, cold complicate project

Despite some uncooperative weather and many exhausted workers, the new home being speedily built for a Burley family by ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” was expected to be finished in time for yesterday’s unveiling, said the construction company.

Roger Penner, the president of Howland Homes, said delays in the building of a new home for the Kirkwood family on Spruce Road began the very first day — Thursday — when the quick-drying cement was not as quick as had been hoped.

“It is formulated to dry in about two hours, but at a certain temperature,” Penner said, explaining that when the temperature dropped at least 10 degrees below what was expected, it delayed the drying time about five hours.

And then when the rain and wind started, Penner said the delays, and the time the workers had to stand around and wait, began to really add up.

“Some of the subcontractors, like the sheet-rockers, they had to wait like 12 to 15 hours before they could get in there, so they were just exhausted,” he said.

Penner denied reports that many workers — including roofers and painters — had walked off the set and refused to continue, frustrated with the delays.

“They were running on fumes,” he said. “It was not safe for them to be there working.”

An employee of Port Orchard’s Vern’s Roofing reported last week that the company’s crews had volunteered to roof the new home on Friday and Saturday. Phone calls requesting comment on Monday were not returned.

Penner said on Monday morning that the project was “back on schedule,” and the home was expected to be completed by midnight yesterday, in time for the unveiling later that day.

“It is humming out there now,” he said, explaining that the roof was completed and that crews were finishing the inside of the house. “They are doing the interior, what we call ‘detailing’ the house — painting touch-up, the finish carpentry, etc.”

Penner said the project was able to stay on schedule thanks to some last-minute calls for more volunteers, including some broadcast on KOMO TV and radio.

“We put out the call for more skilled workers, and we got them coming from all over,” he said. “We just got tons of skilled people donating their time.”

The new home site will open to the public through today.

Shuttles will leave Horseshoe Lake County Park, 15931 Sidney Road, from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.

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