Newburyport architect Andrew Sidford received a surprise call a few months ago from a producer for the HGTV show "Bang for Your Buck." The producer, who is from Denver, had seen Sidford's website and wanted him to appear on an upcoming show.
"I wasn't surprised that (Sidford) was featured because of the caliber of his projects," said Jocelyn McLaughlin, of 2 Plum Bush Downs, Newbury, whose home was picked for the show. "I really sought him out because all of his projects are consistently creative and never cookie-cutter."
In each episode of "Bang for Your Buck," three homeowners from the Boston area renovate the same room of the home with the same amount of money. After the renovation, Realtors determine the worth of each house and choose which homeowner made the best investment decision.
Sidford, who has been working as an architect since 1987, is no newbie to HGTV. He has been featured twice on the show "Old Homes Restored" for his work on a Federalist home in Newburyport, and an Adirondack lodge in New York. He also appeared on the program "Dream Houses" for a house he built in Newburyport.
Sidford said it was not until after college that he thought about becoming an architect. He first attended Middlebury College, where he majored in economics and minored in physics. He then went on to Renesselaer Polytechnic Institute for graduate school, where he got his master's in architecture.
For this project, McLaughlin and her husband said they wanted a kitchen that was more functional and took advantage of their view of the salt marsh. Sidford and his crew shifted the kitchen closer to the marsh and added a few windows to allow for more sunlight.
Sidford said his goal was for the couple to get a lot more light, but not lose a lot of their privacy.
"The kitchen is not much bigger, but it feels larger," he said. "We want to push people's money as far as it can go."
The total cost of the renovations rang in at $75,000. But McLaughlin said she thinks it was worth every penny.
"He was very sensitive to our budget," she said. "The approach was the same as if it had been a big project."
Sidford said the entire show was filmed over one weekend. The funniest moment for Sidford was when he touched his hair, and the crew had to stop filming so the hair dresser could restyle it. Both Sidford and McLaughlin were given a hair and makeup treatment and were instructed on what they could and could not wear.
"I learned that certain patterns do not show up on television," Sidford said. "For instance, striped shirts don't work well."
"It was a lot more grueling than I thought it would be," McLaughlin said. "Andrew and I spent three hours filming one thing, which was then shrunk down to about a minute and a half of dialogue."
After the "Bang for Your Buck" episode was filmed, the HGTV network asked Sidford to audition for a host position on a new HGTV show. The network said it usually only auditions actors, but wanted to make an exception with Sidford. Although he didn't get the job, Sidford said he hopes to be on more HGTV shows in the future.
"It's good exposure, and the clients and their kids have a good time," he said. "It's like a house portrait for them, and documents their (renovation)."
The show is expected to air on HGTV tomorrow at 3:30 p.m.