Tag Archives: Custom Built

Comments and queries for the week of Feb. 27

How does one apply to be considered to have Paul and his kickass crew do your deck or “customize” indoors?—Darren

Hey Darren! Isn’t the work that Paul Lafrance and his crew do on Custom Built, Disaster Decks and Decked Out fantastic? I’d love to have him come over and work his magic in my yard. Anyway, you can apply to have Paul, or many other HGTV hosts, swing by your place via the Casting Call page on HGTV.ca’s website. Good luck!


So many great choices [in the Canadian Screen Award nominations]! I agree that Orphan Black will likely win, but it’s worth remembering that the CSA voting took place just as 19-2’s ASTOUNDING season 2 premiere aired (truly, one of the best things I’ve ever seen on TV). It might be a tight race indeed. I’m excited to watch the awards.

P.S.: You guys should watch Vikings!—Lisa

I’m surprised by the unanimous love for Orphan Black in the “Will win” department, despite the near-unaminous opinion that the stellar 19-2 “Should win.” Is this mainly a pity vote for OB since it keeps getting snubbed by Emmy? Don’t get me wrong, I like OB a lot, but as far as drama goes, I think 19-2 is head and shoulders above. That said, Tatiana is definitely deserving for Best Actress.

Best Actor, definitely Jared Keeso, the heard-and-soul of 19-2. But why wasn’t Adrian Holmes nominated too? He turned (and continues to turn) in a great performance as Nick.

For Comedic Actress, I would vote for Kacey Rohl in Working the Engels. While the show wasn’t a great one, I felt she was the surprise bright spot in the cast (sorry Andrea!) with her comedic timing and great reactions to the wackiness of her family (I’d only seen her prior dramatic turn on Fringe).—Jeff


I have been preaching the gospel of Hard Rock Medical so hard, you’d think I was on their payroll. It’s such an interesting and well-produced show and so much better than the typical medical drama.—Meridith

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? greg@tv-eh.com or head to @tv_eh.


Paul Lafrance brings his crazy-cool designs inside for Custom Built

With Old Man Winter holding much of this country in its sub-zero grip, you can’t help but wonder if Disaster Decks and Decked Out host Paul Lafrance pitched his latest show, Custom Built, to HGTV just so he could ensure he’d stay warm.

The truth is a lot simpler.

“The exterior world is a niche for me, but I’ve been doing interior renovations for the last 20 years,” he explains. “The backyard was a draw for me because it’s such an empty canvas, but I want to connect with more people and tell their stories.”

The man who goes through life with three loves—music, Lego and people—returns to HGTV with his latest creation, debuting Tuesday night. In it, Lafrance and his loyal team of Joey Fletcher, David Kenney and Kate Campbell head indoors to create mind-blowing designs for homeowners. The first episode introduces viewers to Jeff and Allyson, who want their tired 60s-era bathroom updated to match the rest of their gorgeous heritage home. It doesn’t take long for Lafrance’s creative juices to get going after a walk around the couple’s property uncovers barn beams. By the end of the storyline those beams have been transformed into a stunning bathroom counter and a previously hidden antique door and brick work become the focal point of the new shower.

The spiky-haired Tragically Hip fan is quick to mention his co-stars when discussing Custom Built. The word “family” is used several times to describe Fletcher, Kenney and Campbell and part of this new television project spotlights the trio. Each episode heads back to Lafrance’s Southern Ontario workshop where a one-of-a-kind smaller piece is created for a client.

“That’s just showing something that’s been going on for years,” he says. “There has always been a shop. That’s the headquarters, the club house. That’s where creative ideas are birthed and built and fabricated for the renos that we’re doing. Being able to show the mad skill that all three of them have and the individual talents each brings to the table … I love that. There isn’t some leader that has his minions around him. My favourite days are when they come up with something more creative than I did.”

The veteran of HGTV still can’t believe people tune in to watch him tear things down and build them back up again. After all, he’d be doing this job whether camera crews were around him or not. What will those cameras will be capturing over the next several months? More episodes of Custom Built, hopefully more seasons of Disaster Decks or Decked Out. And, perhaps, a series documenting Lafrance building a new home for his family.

“Viewers want to see the real people, not characters,” he says. “I want people to know that if they’re watching me on TV, that’s the real me. If they were seeing my wife and my girls, they’re seeing the same thing.”

Custom Built airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV.