In less than 48 hours, the exterior of the Giunta house on Elm Court has been finished, the drywall is up and painting should start soon.
After about 48 hours of steady work, a new house is rising from the wreckage of the old at the Giunta home on Elm Court.
On Tuesday, masons set decorative stones on the outside of the house, which has been painted a deep blue. The contractors have been working 24 hours a day since the demolition of the old house on Sunday and won’t stop until work is completed Friday morning. The house is being rebuilt as part of the ABC home makeover show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."
Paul Giunta was severely injured in a 2006 car crash while he was on his way to visit his wife, Renee, in the hospital after she gave birth to Brianna. Because of his injuries, he uses a wheelchair. The Giuntas’ three-bedroom ranch was not handicapped accessible, so Paul lived with his parents in a Marlborough retirement community. Thanks to “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” the entire Giunta family will finally be able to live together under one roof. Brianna and her father have never lived in the same house before.
Jason Fenton of James Fenton & Son General Contracting said his crew is right on schedule. The drywall is up and interior painting should begin soon, he said.
Show interior designer Michael Moloney said he’s designing some of the common areas, like the kitchen, and a master bedroom and bath for Paul and Renee Giunta. “The house is tailored to the family — my goal for them is to walk in and say, ‘This is my dream house,'” said Moloney.
Tuesday, Gayle Edwards, a lifelong Maynard resident, stood on the lawn of 12 Elm Court with several other spectators. She said it’s been wonderful to see the Maynard community come out to support the Giuntas.
“It’s nice to bring everyone out together,” she said, referring to the many local businesses and restaurants who have donated time, food or materials to the effort.
Paul, Renee and their three children, along with Paul’s father, are currently vacationing in Disney World, courtesy of ABC. They will return on Friday afternoon to see their new home.
On Sunday, the gaping maws of three excavators hung over 13 Elm Court, waiting for a signal. The crowd behind the machines, which had been noisy all day, hushed as the excavators’ enormous claws hummed with almost nervous anticipation.
See the action at the Extreme Makeover site
“GO!” yelled a crewman. The excavators crashed into the house, caving the roof in and demolishing the walls as the crowd gasped and then cheered. Within about 30 seconds, the home of Paul and Renee Giunta and their three children, Dylan, Cameron and Brianna, was completely destroyed.
“There goes Brianna’s room!” cried one spectator.
Earlier in the day, representatives from the Stow and Sudbury Minutemen led a march of hard-hat-wearing volunteer contractors bedecked in bright blue Tshirts. Show host Ty Pennington got into the spirit of ’76, wearing a black cloak and tri-corner hat.
After marching up the street, the crowd gathered in front of No. 13, cheering and waving at the cameras, chanting, “Bring Paul home!” Despite the brisk, chilly weather and the hours of standing around, waiting for camera angles and shots to be set, the crowd remained upbeat and cheerful, laughing at Pennington’s jokes and cheering loudly whenever they were asked.
The Minutemen officially kicked off the house’s demolition, firing their Revolutionary-era muskets at the house. Although they shot blanks, the noise coming from the muskets was surprisingly loud. Thanks to some Hollywood special effects, the musket fire was accompanied by some minor pyrotechnics that sparked a few flames and shattered some window glass inside the house.
Members of Paul’s and Renee’s families spoke to reporters before the excavators began digging, saying they were thrilled to see the town come out to help. “(Maynard) has wrapped their arms around us,” said Paul’s brother, Chris.
Gail Morgan, Renee’s sister, said the moment was slightly bittersweet — she and Renee grew up in this house and seeing it destroyed would be hard. But it’s worth it, she said, for her sister’s family to live together under one roof.
“(Paul) is an amazing man,” she said. “He knows he has a long road (ahead) but he’s determined to do it.”
Dawn Lindfors, a childhood friend and former neighbor of Renee’s, stood outside No. 14 with her mother and brother to watch the activity across the street. She said she was overwhelmed but happy for her friend.
“It couldn’t happen to a better family,” she said.
Middlesex Savings Bank has issued a fund raising challenge to Maynard children who want to help the Giuntas. At the bank’s Nason Street and Powdermill Road locations, kids can get free piggy banks. Any child who brings back a piggy bank with collected donations will receive a certificate for a free small cheese pizza from Neighborhood Brick Oven Pizza.
Members of the public are encouraged to volunteer and visit the project site. For more information on how to volunteer or donate, visit the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" Web site.