Want to be on a home improvement reality show? Read this first

Home Renovation

May 2017Josh Green / Atlanta News & Culture

What do casting directors look for?
“We like our clients—either people who are house hunting or in need of a home renovation—to have a sense of what they want,” yet still be flexible when it comes to, say, choosing an unusual paint color, says John Feld, senior vice president of programming at HGTV and DIY Network. These shows don’t want to feature white subway tile on every single episode.

If you’re submitting an application video or preparing for an interview, George Verschoor, executive producer of Fox’s Home Free, suggests thinking of your home as a story. “What makes you different from your neighbors to the left and right?” he says.

Just who pays for these renovations?
“It depends on the circumstances,” says Cartersville Realtor Bonnie Furey, who transformed a 1930s Tudor in southwest Atlanta with her husband, Drew, for the second season of HGTV’s Flipping Virgins. Furey says she fronted most of the costs for her home flip, so have a budget in mind when you apply to be on the show. Still, there can be perks: “As a gift to us for being [featured], they gave us all of the appliances,” she says. “And if there were any mistakes that were made, they would try to meet us in the middle. For instance, the contractor installed the wrong color cabinets. Instead of taking them out, the design team was able to come up with a new color, and HGTV paid for the painting.”

In a few lucky cases, the show will cover all expenses. “We often put more money—for the sake of television—than most people would put into a house,” says Verschoor. “It’s probably the nicest home on the block because it’s overbuilt.”

What happens if things go awry?
The internet does contain horror stories from homeowners who claim that their reality produced renovations were full of shoddy work and ill-conceived design plans. One Raleigh couple last year filed suit against HGTV’s Love It Or List It, alleging low-grade renovations performed on the show weren’t drawn up by a licensed architect and left their floor “irreparably damaged” and windows painted shut. But as long as the show uses licensed, professional contractors, then you have some legal protections. “If the rare issue arises, they’re responsible for making it right,” says Feld. “We’ll make sure of it.”

Andersen Corporation Earns 2017 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award

Andersen has been named a 2017 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award winner, the highest honor given for continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements.

BAYPORT, Minn., April 6, 2017 – Andersen Corporation, including Renewal by Andersen, has been named a 2017 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award winner, the highest honor given for continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. Andersen’s accomplishments will be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. on April 26, 2017.

An ENERGY STAR® partner since the Windows program began in 1998, Andersen is known for its long history of leadership in producing energy-efficient products. Andersen was the first window manufacturer awarded the ENERGY STAR National Window Partner of the Year in 1999.

Andersen’s leadership in energy efficiency is exemplified through products that have helped set industry standards for minimizing environmental impacts while maximizing energy efficiency, performance, and durability for customers.  Andersen’s dedication to promoting the ENERGY STAR program is centered on advancing energy-efficient products within its four major brands, and educating all stakeholders about the benefits of ENERGY STAR certified products and programs.

In 2016, Andersen’s top three ENERGY STAR related accomplishments included:

  1. Advancing energy efficiency ratings across the portfolio. Andersen now offers products that are ENERGY STAR® v. 6.0 certified in the Northern Climate Zone; added PassiveSun® glass and HeatLock® coating to most product lines for greater energy efficiency options; and also increased sales of Andersen®     A-Series products with triple-pane glass – recognized as Most Efficient of ENERGY STAR in 2017 with specific glass options.
  2.  Expansive outreach to consumers. Andersen deployed a multi-faceted campaign to educate consumers about energy efficiency benefits. Specific tactics included social media infographic, bylined articles and educational videos. Andersen also worked directly with the EPA to develop an engaging in-home ENERGY STAR® Scavenger Hunt for kids.
  3. Reducing operational energy use and increasing renewable energy. Andersen Chairman and CEO Jay Lund launched a Chairman’s Sustainability Award to recognize employees who deliver impressive environmental results. The winning site reduced its energy consumption by 20 percent through an LED lighting upgrade – helping Andersen to drive closer to an enterprise goal. Andersen also announced a subscription to up to 19 megawatts of solar energy through Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards Community® program.

“Andersen is honored to receive the 2017 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award,” said Sal Abbate, Senior Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Andersen Corporation. “We are committed to educating consumers about the critical importance of selecting energy-efficient windows that last. The ENERGY STAR® brand helps consumers make wise decisions about energy efficiency throughout their home.”

In 2015 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners saved American businesses and consumers 503 billion kilowatt hours and $34 billion dollars on their energy bills, while achieving broad emission reductions.

“The 2017 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award reflects how Andersen employees bring to life our company value of corporate citizenship, and lead by example, reducing environmental impacts by making our operations more energy efficient,” added Eliza Clark, Director of Sustainability and Environmental, Andersen Corporation. “Lowering energy consumption is a win for all of us and the right thing to do for the environment.”

Spring is great time for Home Improvement…and scammers!

his-scamsSpring is a popular time for home improvement projects as many homeowners are receiving their tax refunds and beginning maintenance for both inside and outside homes.

Additionally, the spring season can sometimes bring extreme weather, resulting in storm damage. Throughout this time, homeowners who are repairing their homes or are planning to use their tax refunds to cover the costs of home remodeling projects are advised to be on the lookout for scams.

Before hiring a home improvement business, consider these tips:

  1. Check out a business. We recommend ASK THE SEAL. You can do online searches to read complaints and reviews, and find out more information. hi rez Corp Logo B&W WO Free smaller seal
  2. Get multiple estimates. Before accepting an estimate, get at least three bids or quotes in writing. Don’t feel pressured to go with the lowest bid, as it might reflect the quality of materials.
  3. Ask for references. Ask for at least two or three references from the business’ last few jobs and ask questions about the quality of work, if it was within budget and on time, and to the customer’s satisfaction.
  4. Check out licenses. Be sure to check if the business is properly licensed in Florida. It’s also important that any business you hire is properly insured if working on your home.
  5. Get everything in writing. Do not sign a contract until you have read through it entirely. If you made verbal agreements, they should be included in the written contract. Any deposit or payment plans should be included, as well as any warranties or guarantees.
  6. Never sign a blank or partially completed contract. Also, be aware that for sales made at your home, you may cancel the contract within three days without any penalty, per Florida law. LEARN MORE HERE.
  7. Do not pay for the entire job in advance. Do not make the full payment up front or pay cash to a salesperson or contractor. Typically, a down payment of 30 to 50 percent of the total contract price is made before the work is started with remaining payments to be made after completion of each phase of work; final payment should not be made until work is completed and you have inspected the work.