Anyone who’s ever done the smallest home reno or construction project involving the building industry is going to need to take a moment. The idea of building a house from scratch to inspection perfection in just 100 days seems absurd. There are a million fiddly little details that can lead to month-long delays. But the new reality series 100 Day Dream Home is taking project management and construction to a whole new level on HGTV (177) in mid-May.

Series hosts and project leaders, married couple Mika and Brian KleinSchmidt, will guide us through this impossible dream over eight separate building projects (you might recognise Brian from S15 of The Amazing Race, which aired in 2009. He has since divorced his race partner Erika Dunlap and married his high school sweetheart, Mika). Mika’s focus is on the design side, the detailing, the real estate deals, and getting clients to make up their minds on all the details, while Brian gets his hands dirty with the work crews.

In each build, the clock starts ticking on day 1 of construction – breaking ground – and it stops on the day of the big reveal 100 days later. When Mika and Brian open the front door for their clients, the house will already be fully furnished and decorated, even if the final chandelier has to be hung at midnight. The gardens will also be fully landscaped.

And don’t think that there are shipping container homes or kit homes. Each home is custom made for a different client, and the projects we’ll see range from bungalows to craftsman-style dwellings, to seaside mansions.


But how?!

This is the kind of project that’s only possible with an enormous amount of planning “pre-production” (major issues like securing permits happen before the clock starts), squeaky-tight co-ordination, massive building teams and multiple processes and projects on the go at once. It’s juggling chainsaws and babies. Heaven help everyone if you slip up.

Plan for problems: Mika and Brian had to prepare to work around extreme weather since they’re building in Florida in the US. This season they worked through hurricane weather, losing five days to a tropical storm. With just a 10-day storm buffer built into the plans, that was cutting it fine.

Control the “castle in the sky”: Part of Mika’s job is to hustle the clients through deciding everything from architecture, to paint colours in record time. She and Brian start by taking clients on a whirlwind tour of four pre-existing houses. "We say, ‘Okay, let’s take all the elements that you do like in these houses, put them all together in one and build you exactly what you want,’ and that's their dream home,'" reveals Brian. Then during construction, Mika has just two weeks to talk through every aspect of the interior design details. Once the clients have made their decisions, they don’t see the house again until it’s finished. Nobody gets to delay the project by changing their mind.

Do it right the first time: Despite the building speed, they’re aiming for high-quality construction. “For drywall, rather than have three guys we’ll have eight. We’ll knock it out in a day, half a day. We’re doing these quick but they are also quality – built to last. These are people’s dream homes that they’re going to live in for the rest of their lives. We make sure they’re perfect, says Brian.

Work smarter: “We schedule the inspections early in the morning and just assume they’re going to pass. As soon as they’re inspected, our next [trade crew] is ready to come in. A lot of builders will wait three or four days after the inspections – with 11 inspections on a build, that’s 33 days you’re losing by waiting for inspectors and waiting to see if it passes and then lining up your teams. We’ve got everything lined up from the beginning,” Brian adds.

Just wait ’til you see how they make it all happen!

100 Day Dream Home S1 starts on Tuesday, 19 May on HGTV (177) at 19:50

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