Thousands of Volunteers Finish Extreme Home Makeover - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Thousands of Volunteers Finish Extreme Home Makeover

By Stephen Florino

KALIHI (KHNL) - It usually takes about six months to build a new home. But if you get a lot of help, you can shrink that time down to less than five days.

It took 106 hours. About 3,000 volunteers. And in the end, they all feel it was worth it.

Hundreds line in front of the house to see the finished product of months of work crammed into a few days. And not even the heavy rain could dampen the spirits of these fans and workers.

"The house came out nice," said Adam Agni, an electrician who worked about 16-hours on the project. "Well worth the time we put in."

"Came out good," said roofer Sean Magalianes, of Sunrise Contractors. "Sunrise did um that's why."

Sunrise and thousands more volunteers worked around the clock to finish the home and separate learning center.

"Was exciting," said John Kupau, a worker at Sunrise who also helped. "Especially when you get over 100 guys on one particular house. Was pretty exciting."

"Sheesh, I had fun," said roofer Jovaustin Murray-Thorton. "Been on the house 14 hours straight. Was fun."

Designers describe the home as having a kamaaina feel, based on traditional, old Hawaii homes. Both the main house and learning center are about 3,500 square feet each.

It's all for Momi Akana and her family. She founded "Keiki O Ka Aina" family learning centers, a non-profit group offering educational programs for Native Hawaiian families. It used to operate out of her home. But not any more.

"They've given so much to other families, they'll finally once be able to enjoy their own home and all of the things they only probably dreamed about," said Jeff Proster, president of Brookfield Homes Hawaii, the contractor chosen for the project.

"Hope you guys enjoy your house," said Kupau. "And much blessings to you guys."

Contractors say the most challenging part was dealing with the rain during construction. But one designer says rain is a blessing in Hawaii. And the Akana family is very blessed.

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