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Home in Castle Pines Village experiences “extreme makeover” – Local builder quickly rebuilds a home lost to fire

Home builder Woody Howarth (left) stands with homeowners Jean and Nick Domico in their new, custom designed kitchen.

By Scott Lasher

There wasn’t a huge bus. There was no Ty Pennington. There was no trip to Disneyworld while they waited for their home to be rebuilt. Nonetheless, an extreme makeover of sorts took place in Castle Pines Village after tragedy struck residents Jean and Nick Domico in the form of their home being lost to fire.

In April 2009, the home was declared a total loss after what started as a small barbecue fire on the back deck grew to one that engulfed the home by the time firefighters arrived.

In spite of the devastating loss, the Domico’s were in very positive spirits after moving back into their home, which was rebuilt from the foundation up.

The Domico’s were able to move back into their home in early December, a mere seven months after the fire and only four months after Sterling Homes builder Woody Howarth and his team began the “extreme makeover” that got the Domico’s back in their home.

“The home is everything we dreamed of,” Jean Domico said. “Everything came together the way we wanted it and we couldn’t be happier. It feels very cozy and very warm to be home.”

Howarth and Sterling Homes caught wind of the Domico’s situation by nature of Howarth living up the street from the burned home in The Village. Upon seeing the shock the Domico family was going through, Howarth said he knew he wanted to do something unique for them.

“When we arrived at the site, they were rummaging through ashes, literally in tears,” Howarth said. “At that point, the first thought was, ‘What can we do?’ And we thought we could give them even more than they had before.”

Howarth coordinated the extreme makeover, completing the build and finishing the house on schedule and under budget. Howarth said even the basic framing of a home doesn’t usually finish in three months, let alone having the whole house completed in just shy of four.

Domico said she thought the house wouldn’t be livable for a year, which she said speaks volumes about the work the home builder was able to do.

“We sometimes had 80 people in the house working at one time,” Howarth said. “It was an ‘extreme makeover’ for sure. It was wild.”

Wild as it was, Domico pointed to Howarth as part of the reason she was able to push through the feelings that came out of the tragedy.

“Woody was great,” Domico said. “He has so much energy and his up-beat personality made it fun. He kept us looking forward and kept us excited, and that made it a great adventure.”

The exterior of the rebuilt home looks identical to the previous home that was lost in the fire, and this had to be the case due to building codes in The Village and other insurance requirements. The interior, however, was completely redesigned.

“We went to town and completely reworked the inside,” Howarth said. “We were able to deliver considerably more house.”

The Domicos hosted an open house on November 29 for residents of The Village, and according to Howarth, 50 out of 58 families representing the homes in the immediate area came to the open house.

“It is great to have those support groups,” Domico said. “Being able to lean on your family, friends, and neighbors made it much easier. And seeing it being built obviously made it easier to look ahead to what was coming rather than at what we lost.”

“There was definitely a period of shock we had to work through,” Domico said. “It was a devastating situation, but once we realized that these things are material, something we could recapture, that made it easier.”

While the open house served as the “big reveal,” Domico said moving in represents the “Move that bus!” moment in her real-life Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

“It was very emotional, moving back in to our home,” Domico said. “The feeling of being at home, truly at home, is really quite dramatic after being away from it for so long.”

Howarth, the Ty Pennington of this real-life makeover, echoed those sentiments. “I’ve always wondered what that feels like, that ‘big reveal’ moment at the end of the Extreme Makeover show,” Howarth said. “Now I know. And it is a beautiful thing.”

Photo courtesy of Tim Tonge, Castle Rock Fire Rescue

Photo courtesy of Lynniel Q. Van Benschoten

Photo by Terri Wiebold



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