The story's been out for a while: Some recipients of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition dream houses are having a hard time keeping up with the bills and taxes associated with their dramatically larger and fancier abodes. But now, producers are actually adapting the show's formula to reflect economic realities. I haven't watched it in a while, so take it from Dawn Wotapka at The Wall Street Journal:
The average size of current makeovers is 2,800 to 3,000 square feet. A 2005 episode featured a house in Lake City, Ga., that became a 5,300-square-foot English castle boasting five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, five fireplaces and an outdoor kitchen. These days, the houses appear more subdued, eschewing over-the-top amenities.
It hasn't been easy to scale back, when all the show's team wants to do is wow the families and make their lives better. Tracy Hutson, one of the show's designers, told the WSJ, "I think our hearts were in the right place, but we just got carried way [sic]... It can be extreme without being the biggest house you've ever seen."