I’ve been covering Canadian renovation programming for a long time. How do I know this? Because the folks I’ve interviewed in the past are creating forever homes for themselves and their families.
HGTV Canada’s Sarah Richardson is the latest to follow the trend. Like the network did with Bryan Baeumler and Scott McGillivray, Sarah and her husband, Alex, do the same with Sarah Off the Grid—debuting Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada—as cameras capture the couple’s attempt to construct an abode off the grid for themselves and their children. I’m not much of a handyman and have a horrible eye for design, but you don’t have to be either to watch someone like Sarah. Yes, she oozes skill but she’s also funny as hell as well as relatable. Sarah Off the Grid really showcases her personality and what her family life is like, something fans of longtime hosts like Sarah are hungry for.
Husband Alex and daughters Robin and Fiona jump in with both feet alongside Sarah and collaborator Tommy Smythe in Sunday’s debut, laying the groundwork for a 5,000 square-foot home in Creemore, Ont., to be built from scratch and employing off the grid necessities like solar power, wood burning fireplaces and energy efficient materials. The catch? Sarah and Alex will be their own general contractors; a tall task, especially within the eight-month window Sarah has set. Things begin at a fast clip—the location is chosen, permits are procured and clearing the last commences—and before you know it the concrete foundation is being poured into styrofoam forms that help cut down costs and make hanging drywall easier.
Fellow HGTV Canada superstar Mike Holmes makes the trek out to the site in Episode 1, and he’s got opinions. Mike questions Alex and Sarah’s decision to do be the bosses, building a large home off the power grid, stresses the need for a backup sump pump and perhaps most important of all: advises more solar panels. This, of course, throws the couple for a loop and has them rethinking their plans.
Like her series before, Sarah Off the Grid is educational and entertaining. She’s charming and Tommy is hilarious. The secret weapon in Off the Grid is Alex, who is a natural in front of the camera. Sarah’s husband is charming, knows what he’s talking about and—above all—is positive the job will get done despite the challenges they come across. His upbeat personality is infectious; you just know they’ll be successful in their quest.
Sarah Off the Grid airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada.
Image courtesy of Corus.