1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Extreme makeover, Home edition

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by NightScenes, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    It seems to me that it has been quite a while since I have been able to get to this site and I must say that it is good to relax and take a few minutes to catch up. I don't know what has happened but here in central Texas, things are going full speed ahead. Between the landscape lighting and holiday lighting we have been hard pressed to keep up.

    Besides the normal business, we were asked to participate in the television show, Extreme Makeover, Home Edition. This was last weekend and was a great experience. It was 5 days from the time that I heard about the project it to it's completion. Talk about pulling your hair out!! We had to design, order parts, receive and then install the system. It also had to be an extreme system!! We headed out to the project on Saturday morning at 3:30 am and got back at 2:30 am on Sunday morning. We were following the irrigators to run our home runs and then put in our fixtures as soon as they put in the plants.

    Anyway, here are a few pics. We still have to go back and do the night adjust. They had far too many lights around (for filming) for us to adjust the system. I will post some shots after we make sure all is well.

    The first pic is (from left) Paul Weller, Me, Paul DiMeo, (one of the cast) Paul Jr. and Andy Mendez. This is my crew and Paul.
    Then it's our rig in front of the new home. The next one is Jr installing a fixture in a tree. Then it's the old house that was torn down on Tuesday of last week. The last one is the cast of the show in front of the old house. I will post some night shots after we make our final adjustments.

    We will return to the home tomorrow to add some Christmas lighting as well.

    I would like to wish all of my fellow landscape lighting professionals a very merry Christmas. May God bless all of you and I pray that you have a wonderful and prosperous new year.

    650 crew and Paul.jpg

    650 house with trailer.jpg

    650 jr in tree.jpg

    650 old house.jpg

    650 show people.jpg
  2. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    How does that work? Do you have to solicit suppliers for freebies or does ABC pay the tab? What about your costs? donated, cut price? Give us some details. I can't watch that show without crying, drives me nuts.
  3. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    The whole project is pro bono. I'm sure it costs ABC some money to put all of this together, but it's probably not much in the grand scheme of things. We donated our time and materials. I know that most of the contractors had to pay their employees for the work. Our work was on the weekend and my crew donated their time, which was a substantial donation as we were there for 23 hours straight.
    It's great to do something for a family in need and the up side is that we can now say that we did it. I think that the exposure is good and it does show dedication to community.
  4. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I don't want to sound like a Grinch but ABC is sure getting over.

    Hey everyone come and work for free and donate your materials and we make bank advertising and look like heroes for helping people.

    Less respect for ABC and more for the contractors. Not to down play the feel good part of the story but that is no small drop in the bucket. I hope you get some work out of it.

    They manage to find the millions to pay the women on Desperate Housewives and make a profit. But can't come up with the % that would pay for materials?

    It makes me cry, and they are getting over on the contractors? I am never watching that show again.
  5. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    I think its great Paul. We are starting a habitat for humanity project soon and I am going to throw in a small system as well (saftey more than anything)

    Can you tell us when this show will air and all ?

    I think its incredible exposure. If you get just a handful of jobs off it then you will make your time and money back several times over.

    Merry Christmas and God Bless
  6. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    The show is supposed to air in February or March. AZ, the reason we take part in projects of this nature is to help people. ABC is getting some big ratings on the show, which means many people will see the work that my crew did on the project. It would cost me far more money than I have invested to get that kind of exposure. I can include this project in my portfolio as well and indicate that it is a nationally televised project. I think that it is a great return on investment and we get to see the faces of those 5 children with autism when the lights come on. That feeling is priceless!!
  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I can fully appreciate the helping aspect of this. I too have done habitat homes and volunteer work for schools and such. The difference was nobody was going to profit financially from it. So I don't mind donating.

    I hope you get a lot of work and it turns out to be a financial boon in addition the the warm feeling.

    It does not let ABC off the hook for profiting off everyone else's labor in my humble opinion.

    I have been on local TV and in several national magazine articles and on tons of Garden Tours. It is strictly an ego play, little to no work is generated directly from these ventures. But they are fun and do make you feel good which has some value.

    A prime example is a home we take care of was featured in Phoenix Home and Garden. The article was 80% me giving advise and talking about the garden. One of my existing clients comes out with a page from the article and says I want my Bougainvillea trimmed just like this one. I laughed and said yea thats a nice home. Did you read the article? Yes she said there was some very good information. Did you recognize the company? No she admitted she did'nt. Well that is one of our homes and the tips are all from me. We both had a good laugh.

    Just goes to show you. What, I have no idea. Let us know how it all works out for you.
  8. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    We put out a press release on Monday and it was in one of our local papers on Wednesday. I've been told that at least one other paper is going to do an article as well. Maybe we'll get a job or two and we'll be putting it into our portfolio.

    I'll keep everyone up to date.
  9. Landlighter

    Landlighter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Hey Paul-

    You will be greatly rewarded for your giving.

    As we all know we are all salesmen and the best way to get people to buy is to help them. Offer a service and a product that really helps them and you will sell.

    There are different ways to help and I would gladly give my time and materials for a show like that - the connections you would make and the publicity you could generate for yourself would be unmeasureable.The credibility you would have over your competitors would be amazing.

  10. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    Wow. How awesome to be included on that show.

    Dave, I agree with you about ABC being chintzy. I think their budget got blown on the fancy coach that the cast travels in, cast salaries, travel costs, filming costs, and so forth.

    Still, they aren't doing anything that the contractors aren't doing to themselves. That's typical business these days. Around here we have a thing called the "Street of Dreams" every year. I am sure most metropolitan cities have similar things, where $1,000,000+ homes are toured by thousands of visitors then sold to the rich. Well, around here, the landscapers, irrigators, lighting companies, etc. who do those homes all do it for free or materials cost only. Most see it as a good form of advertising. I see it as a VERY expensive form of advertising. But I suppose it works for some.

    Paul, whether you were paid or not, I think it's great you were willing to give like that, and also great that you will also get some good P.R. for that job. We watch that show regularly, so I'll be watching for ya!

Share This Page