Extreme Blunder | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It

Extreme Blunder 

Here's one for the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" blooper reel.

Less than a year ago, the reality TV show's producers chose the Vitale family in Athens, Vermont, as the recipients of a new, custom-built home. The Vitale's son was born with severe birth defects, and their home wasn't handicapped accessible. So the "Extreme Makeover" crew descended on Athens, tore down the family's old house, and built them an energy-efficient, handicapped accessible, 3000 square-foot home.

Too bad they didn't double check their work on the septic system — the Vitales have now abandoned their new house after the town health officer discovered E. coli in the water running off their property. D'oh!

Even worse, the Brattleboro Reformer reports that the Vitale family may be responsible for making the necessary repairs.

The production is tightlyscripted and the Vitales had to sign a contract with ABC and with theMcKernon Group, the Brandon contractor that led the project.

That contract, which puts strict limits on what Vitale can sayabout the experience, appears to hold the Vitales liable for anyproblems that occur away from the general construction, according toVitale.

"The contract is designed to protect them," [Louis] Vitale said. "Whenthey were finished, we had to take the house. No questions asked."

And fixing the mess won't be cheap.

Vitale said he has been talkingwith representatives from the McKernon Group. And while they haveagreed to help with engineering for a new septic system and leach fieldif that is needed, the Vitales are going to have to come up with theestimated $10,000 to $30,000 it will likely cost to install a newsystem.

"It's terrible. We don't have $30,000 to fix it," he said. "Wecan't use our septic system and I sure as hell can't afford to put in anew leach field."

Vitale, who works at a 7-Eleven in Bondville, said his onlyoption is to mortgage the new property and sink a couple thousanddollars into the field near his house.

Maybe they'll do another episode on the leach field.

Did you appreciate this story?

Show us your ❤️ by becoming a Seven Days Super Reader.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Tags: ,

Pin It

More by Cathy Resmer

  • Social Sentinel, Burlington Code Academy and Maureen McElaney Win Awards at 12th Vermont Tech Jam
  • Vermont's Top Innovators Honored at Tech Jam 2018

    Social Sentinel, a Burlington-based company that identifies threatening content on social media, was among the winners of the 2018 Tech Jam awards, presented last Friday at the 12th Vermont Tech Jam. The prizes, given annually by the Vermont Technology Alliance, BTV Ignite and Seven Days, recognize leaders in the state's tech ecosystem. The awards ceremony was the culmination of a busy day at the free career and tech expo organized by Seven Days and presented by Vermont Works. Representatives from more than 50 companies and colleges talked with hundreds of attendees who walked the expo floor. Jeff Couture, executive director of the Vermont Technology Alliance, said he talked with job seekers from across Vermont and outside the state at the event, "including someone, suitcase in hand, who visited from North Carolina."
    • Oct 23, 2018
  • Inspiring Projects to See, Hear and Play With at the Vermont Tech Jam
  • Inspiring Projects to See, Hear and Play With at the Vermont Tech Jam

    • Oct 17, 2018
  • The Tech Issue — 2018
  • The Tech Issue — 2018

    • Oct 17, 2018
  • More »

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam, and compiles a weekly tech e-newsletter every Monday. She also oversees HR, helps manage Seven Days' digital staff and oversees its parenting publication, Kids VT. In 2018, she designed and administered a statewide youth civics project, the... more


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Recent Comments

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2018 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation