The home that awaited the eight members of the Cadigan-Scott family when they returned from Disney World in Orlando was nothing like the place they had left just a week earlier.
The 2,200-square-foot, three-bedroom house in Livermore had been transformed. In its place stood a 3,400-square-foot, eight-bedroom home with a swimming pool, a bathroom with seven sinks — and a family room with a TV set for everyone in the house.
“I was shocked, truly shocked, when I walked in,” said Rachael Scott, 18. “It’s still a little hard to believe this is still our house. I feel like I have to live up to it — comb my hair, make sure my makeup looks good.
“I’m waiting for someone to come in and tell me, ‘OK, vacation’s over,’ ” she said. “It feels like we’re just watching someone else’s house,” her 16- year-old sister, Jackie Scott, said.
But the revamped residence on Madeira Lane is indeed theirs, thanks to the ABC-TV show, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” The show airs at 8 p.m. Sunday.
And they are hoping it will mark the end of the extreme misfortune the family has suffered in the past year. Last June, Diane Cadigan, 43 , died of a heart attack in the family home. Just two weeks later, her husband Mark, also 43, suffered a fatal heart attack at home.
Livermore Police Officer Mony Nop, who was familiar with the family’s tragic story, nominated them for the makeover.
“Extreme Makeover” Executive Producer Tom Forman said he was touched by the way the family had dealt with tragedy.
“It’s a tragic and remarkable story at the same time,” he said. “Tragic because they’ve been through what no family should go through, remarkable because it brought the family together.”
The couple left behind eight children, ages 12 to 23, from their blended family. After the death of their parents, Jennifer Scott, 23, and Janice Scott, 22, Diane Cadigan’s oldest daughters, and Daniel Scott, 20, were in charge of the family. The other family members living at home are Rachael Scott and Kelli-Anne Cadigan, 19, Jackie Scott, Dolly Scott, 14, and Theresa Cadigan, 12.
ALEC Homes, a Danville general contracting firm, was selected to do the makeover. A crew of about 300, which included community members who helped out with chores such as moving furniture, started on April 28 and worked 24 hours a day for nearly five days. “We basically tore down the entire house,” said ALEC Homes CEO and President David Marcotte. Marcotte said the budget allotted by ABC to rebuild the home, which the show won’t disclose, was “gone the first day,” but that didn’t deter anyone from seeing the project through, even if it meant not receiving a paycheck.
Typical of the spirit surrounding the effort was the work of Anderson/HBC Windows of Sacramento. The company installed the windows and patio doors in the home — about $20,000 worth of work — for nothing. Most of the other contractors didn’t receive a dime either, gladly volunteering their time and materials.
Marcotte said the price tag on a job like this usually is about $1 million. “We had two goals,” Marcotte said. “Giving back to the community, and especially giving something back to these kids. The impact on them will be phenomenal. It wasn’t for publicity — I totally enjoyed the project.”
Everyone in the Cadigan-Scott clan wanted a swimming pool, so Marcotte made sure one was built.
There are other special touches. An area was set aside with drawings that serve as mementos of Diane and Mark. A five-hole backyard putting green was installed — a nod to Mark Cadigan, who was an avid golfer. In the bathroom, each girl got her own sink. As the only male, Daniel got his own bathroom.
“Such a tragedy we’ve been through, it was devastating,” Rachael said. “To have people you don’t expect and (who) can’t wait to help you and change your life (is amazing). It’s like a huge weight lifted off our shoulders.”