Behind the scenes with George Oliphant
Construction television is a funny thing. People love the transformations – and we tend to make it look enjoyable and easy. That’s because we only have 30 minutes to tell the story (actually 22 after all the ads and bumpers). This means after shooting about 50 hours of footage, we cut trim things into a shorter piece that will hold the audience’s attention.
When we expanded George to the Rescue from a five-minute segment into a half-hour show, an editor told me that each ‘block’ could be a different adventure, because of all that goes on on-site. And that’s just it! We show you what we want you to see, but the real credit lies with the men and women doing the work you don’t see. They are responsible for making sure the job is well done.
People are always quick to point out prior contractors faults, but how do you know we don’t cut the same corners? Making a room look good on camera doesn’t make it a good job. However, framing and roughing are not sexy, and since you can’t see electricity there is no reason to show someone running wires. Let me tell you, if there isn’t a great spackle and paint team in place, what’s the point? That is why attention to detail is paramount with construction and design.
You can open any wall on a George to the Rescue project and see that the job was done the correct way. This is not just because I’m a crazy Virgo who creates daily punch lists and heckles the powers that be until problems are fixed, but because I work with an amazing team. A contractor is only as good as his team. If you want to know how good your contractor is, find out who does his plumbing, who does his electrical work, and what part of the construction team (framing, drywall, tape and spackle, paint, tile, trim, floors) is in-house what is being subbed out. If those tradespeople have good reputations and do quality work, then you’ve got a good contractor.
Price should never be the main reason for going with one outfit over another unless everything else matches up. Remember, if you have to ask if it’s good enough, you know it’s not.
This is what has helped make George to the Rescue work. We only do business with the crème de la crème of contractors. What separates them from other handy guys is the team surrounding them – and I have yet to find a weak link. Now, I’m the first one to admit I’m a jack-of-all-trades but, by no means, master of one. If your construction team is comprised of masters at their trades, your home will be the better for it.