Does It Really Take Only 7 Days To Build An Extreme Makeover: Home Edition House?

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" was one of the pioneers of home renovation shows. Shockingly, the show initially didn't even run on HGTV but appeared on ABC from 2003 to 2012. Sometimes a real tear-jerker, it followed a crew of professionals and good-hearted community members as they worked together to remodel the home of a neighbor who faced hardship.

But it usually wasn't only the recipients of the renovated home who had cried by the show's end. Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, the hosts of ABC's latest revival of "EMHE," told People, "What's crazy is, I think a lot of people assume that it's not really seven days, that it's like 'TV seven days,' Oh no, it's real." Sheryl Palmer, the CEO of the home builder that signed up to collaborate on the new show, noted that it was long hours and a "24/7 schedule," allowing the crew to pull off what's usually a months-long reno in just a week's time.

The lead designer of the original program, Kim Lewis, confirmed these statements, telling House Beautiful, "People never really believed that [the homes were] actually built in seven days, because that's what we said on the show. But that was not true. They were actually being built in five days." She, too, alluded to the schedule being grueling, admitting, she often took quick naps using copy paper as a pillow. It's a crazy timeline, making us wonder exactly how they did it.

Here's how to build a home in seven days

In truth, the average person probably can't renovate a home in a week. It took a humongous group of people to pull it off, plus plenty of preparation. In the best-case scenario, it takes around six months to renovate a home, so to prepare for a five to seven-day turnaround, the "EMHE" team would spend six to eight weeks getting ready. That included planning, getting things delivered, then grouping and organizing all the necessary products and items so they're ready to go during crunch time.

Speaking of crunch time, after spending months prepping, the crew would clock in on a Monday and not clock out until Friday or Sunday. That sometimes went for everyone working on the crew. The Chicago Tribune once reported that a concrete foundation was built in just six hours when it often requires 72. A yard was transformed into a landscaped work of art in only a day when it typically takes over a week.

Aside from lots of prep, the other reason "EHME" can pull off a seven-day reno is lots and lots of help. The Chicago Tribune also divulged that over 700 people came together to pull off one Kansas City project. So unless you have weeks to devote to ordering and organizing and a group of nearly a thousand laborers, contractors, and designers, it's pretty impossible to match the show's speedy results.

That begs the question, was it quality work?

Sadly, the happily ever afters we saw on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" sometimes weren't meant to be. Occasionally, some of the stories ended in tragedy; although it usually wasn't because of problems with the house but with the cost of upkeep. Still, there are rumors of issues with the builds on "EHME" houses.

For example, one Reddit user asked, "People who've been on home renovation or remake shows, how's the house holding up?" The thread now has nearly 3,000 comments. One person replied, "Remember 'Extreme Makeover?' A show where they build or hugely remake a home for a needy person/owner? . . . Our friends — the neighbors to the home — volunteered and the home was completed in one week. In heavy rain, and cold, they built it, and now the home has any number of problems too. The owner went back [to] 'Extreme Makeover' to fix everything, and was told, 'You got this for free, fix it yourself.'"

But for the most part, it seems like the renovations completed in just seven days were quality work. So good, in fact, that when it came time to pay the mortgages, taxes, utilities, and bills (which had increased as a result of the renovation) families, unfortunately, faced foreclosure or were forced to sell their homes. Hopefully, the reboot of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" has come up with a way to help homeowners avoid this.