After living in their unfinished basement for 2004, the Sabins get their home completed in 6 days

By Matt Bennett

If Ty Pennington, design team leader for ABC’s primetime hit “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” had been in Mapleton in December he couldn’t have done it any better.

Utah Valley’s own extreme home makeover story goes something like this. When Aaron and Jenny Sabin purchased their 1948 fixer-upper in Mapleton, their plan was to remodel. After tearing up their home, money and time constraints made it nearly impossible for Aaron to finish what he started. The family lived in their unfinished basement with hopes of putting the upstairs back together when times got better. Enter Classic Construction’s Chris Shurian, a group of Utah County subcontractors and the Utah Valley Home Builders Association, who gave the Sabins an unbelievable Christmas present by taking their half-remodeled home and giving it an extremely generous makeover.

Chris and his team of 20 needed complete access to the home, so they sent the Sabins on a six-day excursion to Anaheim to experience the best Disneyland has to offer. Then the plan set in motion to transform the Sabin’s unliveable upstairs into something beautiful and warm in less than a week.

“Everyone did their best,” Chris says. “They were bending over backwards to help each other out. There was a lot of ‘excuse me, excuse me, I’m sorry, excuse me, I’m in your way.’ Had this not been a charitable deal, tempers might have flared. There was a little bit of stress going on.”

The pro bono home remodel was part of the UVHBA’s annual Subcontractor for Santa program. In 2003, the UVHBA members fixed up more than 50 homes and donated more than $100,00 in money, time and materials.

“The Sabins’ home was an ambitious Subcontractor for Santa project,” Chris says. “There was a lot of planning that went into having everything finished in six days.”

While the Sabins were moved to tears with their new home, they also enjoyed their week’s vacation to Disneyland.

“We still don’t know who organized our vacation, but they didn’t leave out a thing,” says Jenny. “They even went so far as to reserve a crib in our hotel room for Gunner (the Sabins’ 1-year-old boy).”

Aaron’s favorite part of the trip was Disney’s Club 33, an exclusive private club in Disneyland resembling the streets of New Orleans.

“We really enjoyed the seafood and great service at Club 33,” Aaron says. “We are very thankful for the trip, but even more thankful for our new home.”

While the family vacationed, Chris led the team of hard-working subcontractors and neighbors to finish the Sabins’ home.

“The sheetrockers had the hardest job,” Chris says. “We only scheduled them a day and a half to do a six-day job.”

On December 5, Aaron, Jenny and their three children (Rietta, 5; Tienna, 2; and Gunner, 1) returned to Mapleton. After waiting at a neighbor’s home for two hours, the Sabins were allowed to venture back to their newly-completed three-bedroom, two-bath rambler.

“I couldn’t believe how many of our friends, neighbors, subcontractors and media were there to greet us,” Jenny says.

Aaron says he had hopes that Chris and his team would make some progress on his home, but he never dreamed they would have it totally finished in such a short period of time.

“I was wishing and dreaming for something good, but I’m just blown away by the quality and craftsmanship,” Aaron says. “I’m an electrician by trade, so I know quality work when I see it. I’m just so thankful to everyone who put in so many hours.”

Chris recalls walking through the finished home Saturday night hours after completion.

“Once the dust had settled and everyone was gone I walked through the home and honestly felt like I was walking through a Parade home,” he says. “The new furnishings and appliances were in place, the cabinets looked great and there was that new paint smell. This was a satisfying project.”

In addition to the dozens of friends and neighbors who gave time and money to the project, the following companies donated significant time: Paul Snyder Drywall, Jene Jesperson (painting) and McCoy’s Flooring and Furniture.

RC Willey also donated a couch, a bed and an entertainment center.

Approximately $80,000 worth of services and materials were donated to finish this home in time for Christmas 2004.


November 2003


January 2004


July 2004


December 2004: A HOME TRANSFORMED. When Aaron and Jenny Sabin purchased their 1948 fixer-upper in Mapleton, their plan was to remodel. After tearing up their new home, money and time constraints made it nearly impossible for Aaron to finish what he started. That’s when Chris Shurian of Classic Construction Services and the Utah Valley Home Builders Association stepped in and finished the home in an amazing six days. The project was part of the UVHBA’s Subcontractor for Santa program




BEFORE AND AFTER During the remodel, this 1948 home received all-new trusses, which allowed the home to have vaulted ceilings throughout. The Sabins came home from their Disneyland trip to a furnished home similar to a Parade of Homes entry.


North side of the Sabins’ home before the fixes.


The side of the home with loose framing.


The home in progress with new windows.



Finished product with newly-installed fence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *