These days, it seems as if every cable station has its own polished, highly produced remodeling show that features remodelers and their projects. Patrick Franz''s television debut came as a coincidence.
After a relationship with a contractor went sour, a homeowner contacted Franz''s Hinsdale, Ill.-based Clairmont, Ltd. to finish a project. Franz soon found out that the project''s progress was being filmed for HGTV''s New Spaces, which covers a complete room remodel or addition from start to finish and highlights specific design challenges. Franz completed the project, rescuing both the homeowner and the show''s producer.
"That''s how I got my big Hollywood start," says Franz. Since that first show, Franz has worked with New Spaces on four more shows. A fifth is currently in production. "I''m very grateful because it''s been very easy to get shows on [New Spaces]."
Franz uses his television experience to show credibility when marketing to new clients. "These shows just don''t pick any contractor or project," he says.
Franz isn''t the only remodeler who believes these programs help to promote a company''s professional image. "It lends credibility to our company," says Stephen Gidus, partner of PSG Construction Inc., Winter Park, Fla.
Paul Gidus, the company''s other partner, appears in a three-part remodeling series on Fox 35 WOFL Orlando Network, which is scheduled for 12 stations across the country this spring. He is featured in the segment titled, "The Value of Professional Help" and stresses the importance of consulting a professional when taking on a remodeling project.
PSG''s foray into the world of televised remodeling began when a project won an award and was schedule to appear in Better Homes & Gardens. The magazine, which has a relationship with Fox 35 WOFL Orlando Network, recommended the company for the television special. After much research, the show''s producers selected Paul Gidus and the company based on PSG''s portfolio of showcase projects.
Bob Dubree, of Creative Contracting in North Wales, Pa., credits his company''s appearance on "Gimme Shelter 2" and "Men in Toolbelts" to his NARI membership. When these shows came calling on a supplier member of the association, he referred Creative Contracting. Dubree knows the shows gave the company credibility and publicity, but says there was a drawback to his television appearances. During the three-day shoot for "Gimme Shelter 2," very little progress was made on the project. "They are really hard to do," he says. "They can be really disruptive."
Despite the thrill of a television experience, Franz recommends maintaining realistic expectations. Fame, after all, is fleeting, he says. "You have to take this with a grain of salt."