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'Extreme' family loves new home that gets them 'back to basics'

Jessica Huber wipes a tear from her eye as she holds her 3-year-old daughter, Rosemary, during a news conference on Tuesday afternoon. Huber spoke of her appreciation for all the "Extreme Makeover" volunteers who helped to build the family's new home. Jed Carlson/

Howard and Jessica Huber said they love the new home that was built for them in one week by local volunteers working with ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

While the family vacationed in Hawaii, volunteers razed their old, dilapidated farmhouse and built a new one, complete with landscaping and a chicken coop. The Hubers saw the house for the first time Monday and spoke publicly about it Tuesday.

Jessica Huber said they were shown a few videos of the work being done.

"The clips we saw there was a sea of people in the background," she said. "We could definitely feel the energy, feel the love."

The Hubers said they love their new home, which will be featured during the two-hour season premiere Sept. 27.

"It's awesome," Howard "Howie" Huber said during a Tuesday news conference at the Oakland building site.

From the local photos on the wall to the wind turbine in the yard, the crushed taconite driveway to the 15,000 worms busy composting waste in the garden, it was a dream come true.

"They know us better than we know ourselves," Jessica Huber said. "I love just getting back to basics."

The house represents a lot of forward thinking.

"This is the kind of house we've always dreamed of building," said Bob Wolfe of Builders Commonwealth, the construction company that took the lead in the project. The green design incorporated recycled materials, energy efficiency and added touches such as the turbine.

The couple's children, 6-year-old Henry and 3-year-old Rosemary, said their favorite part of the new house was their bedrooms.

"Before, the kids shared a bedroom," Jessica said. "It's nice to have their own space, their own things."

Their parents couldn't pick a favorite part of the home.

"The whole house feels like a dream," Howard said.

The Hubers said they were humbled at the community's generosity.

"These are friends for life -- friends who will be connected forever," Jessica Huber said.

"I hope we don't overwhelm the family with their 2,000 new friends," Wolfe joked.

That spirit of giving didn't stop when the crowd shouted "move that bus" Monday. Sherri Freeman and Claire Hubbard of Superior stopped by the new house Tuesday to bring the Hubers a special gift -- four new bikes. Both were volunteers during the building process, and they noticed the family's current bikes were rusty.

Before the news conference was over, Rosemary was peddling her bright pink bike beside the garage, wearing a new helmet.

"I would love to see this kind of energy, community keep going," Jessica Huber said. If every one of the volunteers and spectators found a nonprofit organization to donate time or treasure to, she said, it would "make the world a better place."