Local home improvement businesses prepare for close-up on new TV program

gmartin@islandpacket.comNovember 4, 2011 

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Several local businesses will be showcased on the small screens of Sun City Hilton Head, part of a new television program featuring home-improvement options for the community's residents.

The first episode of "Home Makeover -- Sun City Edition" is set to air Monday on Sun City Television, a closed-circuit channel airing exclusively within the retirement community and operated by the Sun City Community Association and a group of volunteers. WHHI-TV is a partner in the production of "Home Makeover â€" Sun City Edition."

According to Martin Smith, director of communications at Sun City Hilton Head, the program will be a resource for residents considering home remodeling.

"We have about 200 homeowners each month who fill out modification applications -- anything from people looking to add a screen porch to improving accessibility for people with injuries and disabilities," Smith said. "This show will help ease residents through that process."

The show's fall season will feature five businesses working with nine Sun City homeowners.

The show, loosely based on the ABC program "Extreme Home Makeover," affords home-improvement businesses a means of showcasing their services.

"This is a different step for us because we can advertise our work to a captive audience," said Mary Smoak, a spokeswoman for Beaufort-based Dean Custom Air.

The show won't reach quite the same audience as its ABC counterpart -- there are about 7,200 homes in Sun City Hilton Head -- but Smoak says that's still a big stage.

"This will be huge exposure for us," she said. "We typically advertise through print media, so this is a new way of showing what we can do."

Businesses appearing on the program will receive an 11-minute segment in each show, in addition to a series of 30-second commercials to air on Sun City Television. The program will air twice a day, at 6:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Other businesses are excited about their upcoming appearances on the program.

"We had already done a lot of work in Sun City," said Jim Smith, owner of Wood Tech Cabinets in Bluffton. "But we hope to get a few more jobs out of this, and there are always new people moving in there who might not have heard of us."

Jamie Ragonesi, owner of Prestige Stone Fabrication in Hardeeville, said the new exposure is welcome in a slumping economy.

"We're glad to be involved with the show now, and we're absolutely hoping to be involved with it going forward," Ragonesi said.

Follow reporter Grant Martin at Twitter.com/LowCoBiz.

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