DREAM HOME PROJECT
On February 1, 2008 the Gaudet Family heard the now famous catch phrase, "Good morning, Gaudet family!" as Ty Pennington and the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition design team informed them that they had been selected to receive an extreme home makeover.
Steven and Lydia Gaudet's 50 year old home was battered by Hurricane Katrina and a small home fire. They raised 8 children in the home, 6 of whom still live with them. With a leaky roof, a disastrous bathroom, a crumbling kitchen and sinking load-bearing wall, the family home was in need of extensive repairs.
Although the Gaudet's home was failing, their whole family shared a passion for community involvement. Their involvement reached a new level after the birth of the Gaudet's youngest son, Peter, who has Down Syndrome. Lydia holds a position with Easter Seals as the volunteer coordinator. At Easter Seals, she teaches free parenting classes, with an emphasis on parenting special needs children. Lydia also heads a literacy program, teaching adults to read. The whole family works with United Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome Society of Mobile, and Camp Smile - a camp for disabled youth and adults.
After Hurricane Katrina, Lydia helped with disaster relief. She also helped with children who lost everything in the area high schools. The Gaudet boys helped their neighbors clean up their yards. Steve Gaudet explains the caring and commitment to community that he and Lydia have instilled in their children, "First of all, in a family, you take care of each other. But family is not just our immediate group. Family is the community; family is the nation; family is everyone, and you have to give of yourself in order to have 'family'." The Gaudets have always put others first, which explains the neglected condition of their old home.
Why We Got Involved
The Gaudet family is one special and deserving family, according to Frank Lott, III, president of Heritage Homes. He said it was an easy decision for Heritage Homes and its team members to take the challenge of building the Gaudet family a new home in seven days. He said that he and the other team members are "honored to follow the Gaudet family's example of service to others."
Heritage Homes has built over 2,000 homes in the Gulf Coast area and delivers added value in all of its homes through its unique building process. Heritage Homes staff and contractors believe every family is special and deserves the most value in their home. They deliver it by providing opportunities for home buyers to contribute some of their time to the process. Home buyers receive more square footage, Instant Equity, resale value, curb appeal, construction engineering, value choices, satisfaction service, 2-10 limited warranty, and after sales service.