With a plethora of home renovation and makeover shows on television, dealers nationwide have had to contend with show producers contacting them with requests for free supplies. Hillsboro, Ore.-based Parr Lumber recently dealt with "House Crashers," a home makeover show on the DIY Network. It's the second time Parr has gotten involved in such a show, and not all the participants' memories of those experiences are rosy.
For "House Crashers," company officials were approached by the contractor involved with the project, Shelbyville Remodeling of Portland, Ore., to provide materials gratis. Because Shelbyville is a regular customer, Parr provided materials up to its usual maximum for donations.
The "House Crashers" project ended up going over Parr's donation limit, so the dealer decided to offer the show a reduced cost for additional materials. It worked out an agreement with the producers to put Parr's logo on the work crew's T-shirts, and the company's truck was videotaped rolling up to the jobsite for a delivery. The episode is set to air sometime in late September or early October, says Mike Higgins of SportsOne, a public relations firm representing Parr Lumber.
Parr also worked with ABC's "Extreme Home Makeover" in 2007. Higgins says both home makeover shows were easy to work with as they had specific product lists and were very organized. But Jennifer Swick, Parr's marketing director at the time, regards the company's participation as a definite failure.
Parr wrote a contract with show producers that promised Parr could hang company banners at the job site and would be mentioned in the end credits. Aside from donating materials, which included enough lumber to frame the house and wall panels, Parr also donated manpower to help complete the project.
But when the show aired, Swick says it didn't show the banners. Equally bad, Parr wasn't referenced in the end credits.
Swick says she got few answers from show producers when she started to "ruffle feathers" about it. Parr decided not to pursue the issue further. On the other hand, Scott Ericson, a regional sales manger for Parr at the time who worked on the project, calls the Extreme Makeover event a great opportunity to help the community and says the company was grateful for that.