Concrete Craft Transforms The Backyard For The Fifita Family On Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Concrete Craft®, parent company Home Franchise Concepts (HFC), and sister brands Budget Blinds ®, Tailored Living®, and AdvantaClean® recently participated with HGTV’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to completely renovate the home of the Fifita family in Hawthorne, California. The makeover was indeed extreme, including almost doubling the square footage from 887 to 1,600 sq. ft., and transforming the large, under-used backyard into functional living space with decorative concrete resurfacing for the driveway, courtyard, and basketball court.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition transforms lives
The 2020 relaunch of the iconic Extreme Makeover: Home Edition TV series continues with its goal of extreme home renovations for deserving families that give of themselves to their communities and who now could use a helping hand. New show host, Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), is joined by a dynamic design team, including designers Breegan Jane and Carrie Locklyn, and carpenter Darren Keefe to personalize every facet of the renovations. “The first thing we look at is what they need. To aid the lives of these hometown heroes and to help their families, not to mention their contribution toward their communities is our primary objective.” –Carrie Locklyn
For the Fifita family, pictured above, this meant expanding the home’s footprint with some very specific changes:
- Expand the kitchen and integrate with the dining area.
- Make the living room and entryway functional.
- New wood floors throughout the house to unify the space.
- Convert the master bedroom to a master suite.
- Give the bedrooms proper closets from Tailored Living.
- Add a second bathroom and third bedroom.
- Bring the son’s garage room under the same roof as the rest of the family.
- Increase energy efficiency with custom window coverings from Budget Blinds.
- Convert the huge backyard to a functional living space with decorative concrete resurfacing by Concrete Craft.
- Fenced-in the front yard for privacy and safety and transform it into a tropical paradise.
- Ensure home safety with two years’ air duct cleaning from AdvantaClean.
This is the house that love built
Brian and Lisa Fifita have lived in their home for 17 years, and are parents to five children, two currently living at home along with innumerable “heart” children that they welcome into their home. Living in a neighborhood where gang violence is a threat, the Fifitas have made their home a haven for local kids to have a safe place to hang out, eat, do homework, play basketball, and spend the night if need be. Having lost a nephew to random gang violence, Brian says he doesn’t ever want another family to have to go through that. Hospitality is a big part of their Tongan, Polynesian culture so their doors are always open. That’s why their niece, Kina, nominated them for the show, their incredible generosity: “They’ll be uncomfortable so everyone else can be comfortable.” And that’s been the case for many years as they cram an amazing number of kids into their home (Brian says up to 23!) with the resultant wear and tear. Show host Jesse succinctly summed up the major problem: “The house is too small for the amount of love you want to give.”
Home Franchise Concepts’ franchise brands provide solutions
For Concrete Craft and its sister brands, participating in the home renovation was a labor of love. It was exciting to be part of such a life-changing event and franchise owners, Home Office associates, and our vendor manufacturing partners contributed time, product, and expertise to help make the home amazing for this special family.
Concrete Craft franchise owners traveled for the event: Mark Steward of Scottsdale, AZ, Mark Sisco of Colorado Springs, CO, Lafayette Mecham of Nashville, TN, and Nick and Kelsey Bradshaw of North Denver, CO. It took many hands and feet to repair and resurface the extremely large backyard with a faux flagstone decorative concrete finish and resurfacing of the well-loved backyard basketball court. Inside, Budget Blinds supplied custom window coverings in natural colors and materials to complement the modern, Polynesian island vibe of the home. Tailored Living transformed bedrooms with closet storage systems, Murphy Beds, and a built-in entertainment center in the bunkhouse room.
- The damaged concrete was repaired with our RestoreKoatTM mortar that fills cracks and levels the surface before the concrete overlay was applied.
- The resurfaced and stamped decorative concrete overlay was stained with Platinum Grey and Dove Grey concrete stains and given a Graphite Antique finish for a polished look.
- The transformed backyard created a clean, beautiful living space for a patio and a sheltered pergola off the resurfaced basketball court in the back.
- The newly sealed surface will withstand many pounding feet without cracking, peeling, or flaking which is a good thing, since Brian says they can easily have two basketball teams at the house.
- The MasterPro StainTM Color Restore system penetrates the surface of the concrete for a natural, durable finish in Steel Gray that marks the main court, with a defining, easily visible Pearl border.
- The sealed surface will not chip, crack, or peel, and is resistant to moisture, stains, UV damage, mold, and mildew for years of carefree enjoyment.
Move. That. Bus!
The family was moved out while all the work was underway and only returned when the house was complete and hidden behind the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition bus, awaiting the “Move. That. Bus!” moment when the family finally sees their new home. For the Fifitas, the magic just went on and on from the first glimpse of the front yard to the open floor plan kitchen, dining, and living room area, to the bedrooms, and, finally, to the resurfaced basketball court, patio area, and a new shaded pergola for outside dining and relaxing. Jonathan Thiessen, HFC’s Chief Development Officer, made a special presentation to the family: “We have a program at Home Franchise Concepts called Heart & Home and it’s designed to give back to those that do great things and give back in their community. So, on behalf of HFC, we would like to give you $25,000 to continue with that.”
Ending up in the new backyard meant party time for all the friends, neighbors, and volunteers, with a special presentation from HFC.
There are far too many memorable moments and quotes to share them all, but here are a few highlights:
- Actor Anthony Anderson came by to help: “I grew up not too far from here and what you’re doing, taking people into your home and providing a safe haven for them, I just have to thank you and that’s why I’m here.”
- Ty Pennington, the original Extreme Makeover host, crawled under the house for Breegan to check sewer lines that could have impacted the pergola. All good! Open upper shelves in the kitchen were his design.
- The master bath was a big hit. “This is the best part of the house!” according to Brian, and Lisa is all smiles, “This is our bathroom; we don’t have to share with the kids!
- Jesse recognized the magnitude of this home makeover, “We’re not just helping the family, we’re helping all the people they open up their home to.”
- View more before-and-after photos of the complete Fifita home makeover: Creating a Safe Gathering Space Within a Polynesian-Inspired Home
Enhance your outdoor living
Spending time with family is always important and with warmer weather, taking advantage of outdoor living space is a way to enjoy your home more. Contact us today or go online to www.concretecraft.com to find the Concrete Craft location nearest you and request a free in-home or virtual consultation* to discuss ways to make your outdoor spaces work better for you. In compliance with public health guidelines for safely sheltering in place, your local neighborhood concrete professionals can do it all virtually* for you—design, order, and set an appointment to install when the time is right.
Catch new episodes of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Sunday night at 8p|7c on HGTV as well as watch previous episodes at https://watch.hgtv.com/tv-shows/extreme-makeover-home-edition.
*Virtual consultations are not available at all locations.