The recession slammed 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' production, says Paul DiMeo

You aren't the only one feeling the pinch. In an exclusive interview with WalletPop's Jason Cochran, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's resident carpenter, Paul DiMeo, reports that the tough times have hit his popular ABC show, too.

One of the first things to change was the size of the homes. In years past, families would be bestowed with homes that felt more like mansions, with scads of square footage and amenities such as new swimming pools. The taxman and the maintenance bills can prove too onerous for families to cope with, so that's a thing of the past, and homes are now built more modestly, with lower-cost upkeep in mind.

Also gone are the days when a dozen contractors would vie to be the one to give needy families their dream homes. Now, the show is lucky if one or two step forward for the chance at charity -- and national publicity.

DiMeo talks about how the downturn has impacted even the fantasy of his dream-come-true show. He also has a clever tip for homeowners who would like to make changes on their own, without the help of Ty Pennington and company.

His advice? Dumpster dive. No, really! See for yourself what Paulie thinks you should do:



DiMeo appears on EM:HE on ABC this Sunday night, when the rock band KISS joins the list of celebrity volunteers.




This is a return visit to WalletPop by Paulie. Jason talked with him earlier this season, too, and he had some additional tips about how to start a renovation if you're strapped for cash. Here's how that chat went:

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