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About Us
 

Hometime FAQs

Here's Where We've Collected a Lot of

Frequently Asked Questions

Along with

A Few Good Answers!

How do I get my house on Hometime?
Sorry we can't help...
We're sorry to say that we will not be able to come work on your home. The primary reason is that we keep several projects going at one time and have to bounce around between them. So we have to work almost exclusively in our neighborhood (Minneapolis and St. Paul). We DO take occasional trips around the country but these are usually to participate in Habitat for Humanity projects or to get a behind-the-scenes look at how a building material or furnishing is manufactured.

Help! Will you give me advice on my project?
No, and here's why. Last time you discussed a project with someone, we bet it wasn't long before you said, "Wait. Got a pen? Let me draw what I mean." It's really hard to give advice about a project you can't see. All it would take is the slightest miscommunication on your part or the tiniest misunderstanding on our part about the scope of the project, and we'd be unintentionally giving you advice that won't really help your situation. You'd be mad at us, our lawyers would be mad at us…

Here's what you do: talk to your neighbors; log into any of the really good home improvement forums out there; watch a tape and read a book or two; call your local building department; pay a contractor for their advice. Trust us, if you do this you'll figure out how to get the job done.

Why won't Hometime streaming videos play on my computer?
Our videos (like most web videos) use Adobe Flash technology. We suggest you make sure you are using the most current version of the Adobe Flash Player. You can download the most current Flash Player here.

Our visitors have also found that using a different browser sometimes helps play our videos better. We suggest trying the Google Chrome browser and the Firefox browser (all users) and Safari (Mac users).

And sometimes all that’s needed is a little patience. Our videos occasionally take a moment to “kick in” to play mode.

Thanks for watching our videos. We continue to work to improve the videos and the technology that delivers them to you.

Can I use content from the Hometime website on my website or in my newsletter?
We’re sorry, but all of the content on the Hometime website is copyrighted and can’t be posted or printed anywhere without our written permission (and a licensing contract). The only exceptions are the eleven press releases on the press page, which must be reproduced in their entirety, including the acknowledgement to Hometime and the copyright.

Will Hometime exchange links with my website?
We’re sorry, but Hometime does not exchange links and we don't respond to unsolicited link exchange requests.

Does Hometime.com accept content from outside contributors?
All of the content on the Hometime website (including articles and videos) is created by Hometime. We feel users visit our site for the uniquely “Hometime” approach to home improvement. Hometime does not solicit and does not accept content generated by outside contributors. This includes content promoting a particular product, service, cause or website. If you would like to submit a product or idea for us to consider for our program or web site, please read the next FAQ.

How do I get my exciting new home-improvement product on your show?
We will be happy to consider your product for use on Hometime if you snail-mail us a press kit and product literature (photographs really help). Please do not send videos or product samples; we'll call and ask for them if we need them. Our address is:

Hometime
ATTN: New products
4355 Peavey Rd.
Chaska, MN 55318

Don't get too excited about the possibilities, though. We receive hundreds of proposals each month for products that people feel should be on Hometime. Only very rarely do these proposals fit in with our construction, schedule, and show concepts.

Where can I get more information about that thingamajig I saw on the show?
If you are looking for more information about a particular product you saw on Hometime, check the On TV section of hometime.com, which contains show images and product listings for all new (and many past) Hometime projects.

What's up with Dean and all his "wives"
Okay, here's the story. Dean is not now—and never has been—married to any of his co-hosts. He is happily married, however.
So why did we make it look like Dean and his co-hosts were married? It's a philosophy we called "living the project." When we made it look like Dean and his co-host lived in the houses they worked on, we could delve into the issues of living in a house under construction: cooking in the living room, taking cat baths at the laundry tub, making yet another trip to the home center store, and eating way too much take-out. We even showed them goofing off to remind homeowners to take a break and have a little fun every now and then. Today, we are moving away from the married couple concept, yet taking the "living the project" format even further to include real homeowners pitching in and a unique home improvement crew.

Where are Robin and all the other past co-hosts these days?
Robin Hartl was hired by Hometime in July 1992 to begin production of the 1993 season. She taped her last episode in August of 2004. With twelve seasons and over three hundred episodes, Robin was on Hometime longer than any other female co-host.

Besides Hometime reruns, Robin is still on TV.  You might have seen her on infomercials with Richard Karn (“Al Borland” from the sitcom Home Improvement ) for the Little Giant Ladder Systems. And she says she hasn't ruled out having a TV show of her own.

To stay updated on her activities you can check out her web site: www.robinhartl.com.

Susanne Egli joined Hometime for one season after JoAnne left. She has since appeared in numerous regional theater productions, commercials, and training films. She is presently putting her communications skills to work as a communications coach with Change Masters, a communications consulting firm.

JoAnne (JoJo) Liebeler was the second Hometime co-host. She was with the show for four years before moving to Los Angeles to pursue work in the entertainment industry. After several years of freelance work, including a gig as a comedy writer for a syndicated TV show, she returned to her home improvement roots. JoJo has started a production company that develops and produces television programs-something that's been a longtime dream of hers.

Peggy Knapp was our first co-host. She joined us in 1986 but left after the first season. Since then Peggy has produced and/or reported for a variety of programs, including Newton's Apple, Network Earth, Earth Matters, and The American Edge. She has received numerous awards for her work, including two Emmy Awards and a Cable ACE Award. Peggy is presently on staff at the Center for Global Environmental Education at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she produces Rivers of Life, an internet-based learning program.

Where is Judd Nelson?
Judd Nelson spent 12 years as Hometime's Construction Manager. Before going into construction, Judd taught art at a public school here in the Twin Cities. Since retiring from Hometime, Judd has turned his hobby of creating unique metal sculptures into a business.  You can see some of his work at his web site: www.juddnelsonstudios.com.

Why don't you give costs for the houses you build?
When Hometime builds a house the costs are very skewed because we are not a typical contractor. On Hometime projects the bottom line includes not only construction costs, but also the added expense of video production. For example, our construction labor costs are often inflated because our contractors have to work around our video production schedule, which makes the job take longer.

We also use lots of new products and materials that may not yet be common, or even available, in many areas. We often pay for a lot of head scratching while we figure out the best way to install these products. Sometimes a product is so new that it hasn't yet become available in Minnesota, which means there may not be local contractors who know how to install it. We've actually had to bring in installers from other states when this happens. Believe us, providing airfare and lodging for your contractors can really mess up a construction budget.

Finally, property, labor, and materials costs vary so widely across the country that it would be impossible for us to give you any idea what the houses we build would cost to build in your area.

We do have plans & study plans available for many of the houses we have built on Hometime. Based on these plans, a local contractor/builder can give you an estimate of what it would cost for you to build that particular home in your area.

Does Hometime do midrange projects any more?
Sure we do. As best we can tell, we have two audiences—those of you who want detailed information about reality-based hands-on projects, and those of you who are armchair dream-project builders—so we try to accommodate both in our production schedule. As we plan our schedule each year, we try to balance the high-end (usually a new dream home or a major remodel) with more moderate renovations (often landscaping projects and kitchen or bath remodels).

Beyond the entertainment value of building these dream houses, we feel there is value in them for anyone who will be building or remodeling in the next few years—no matter what the cost of the project. That's because new techniques and materials are expensive and show up in high-end homes first. These techniques and materials often become more available—and more affordable—after they've been around a few years.

Where are all the new shows?
Every year we produce new programs that appear on public television. In addition, we are now in syndication and producing new shows for those stations, as well. On our TV page you can check our PBS Schedule, and our Syndication Schedule to see what's currently airing. There is also a station finder so you can find which station in your area is carrying the syndicated version of Hometime.

Can I visit past Hometime projects?
To protect the privacy of the people who now own these properties, we do not release the addresses of our projects. We—and they—thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Where can I buy a copy of the music you play on Hometime?
The music on Hometime is not actually available anywhere! Due to the complicated issues that come with purchasing the rights to record and broadcast commercially available music, we purchased an exclusive line of music for use solely on Hometime. This music cannot be sold anywhere else.