A house on Rice Spring Lane in Wayland received the HGTV treatment recently as a crew of professionals and volunteers descended on the home for a new, as-yet-to-premiere reality show.
Homeowner Michelle Belletiere and her son Sebastian Upjohn, a 2011 graduate of Wayland High School, watched and participated as their front yard and house's exterior were transformed from a shady and disheveled space, to a landscaped and welcoming setting that Belletiere said now fits in to the rest of the neighborhood.
On Sept. 6, Belletiere and Upjohn were asked to vacate the property as crews put the finishing touches on the projects. When they returned, they weren't disappointed.
"It fits in the neighborhood," Belletiere said. "It's not a home that sticks out for the wrong reasons. It was very easy for us to focus on the things that were broken. This is far and away above everything I thought."
Katie Sullivan is the production coordinator on the program. She explained that the show relies on volunteers, many of whom respond to the show's social media presence, to pull off major projects in a short period of time.
There is a surprise element to the show, Sullivan explained, which will be revealed after the first season finishes production.
Upjohn said his mom likes contests and put her name and exterior projects in the running for the HGTV show without really expecting to be selected.
"It was kind of shocking," he said.
Belletiere grew up in Wayland and has lived in her current home since 2004. She said she applied to a Craigslist ad seeking potential projects for a new television show, but was surprised to hear her home had been chosen.
She explained that the house had suffered a devastating fire in 2008 that meant the entire interior had to be refinished. The house itself was repaired, but "The outside got neglected in the meantime."
All the construction traffic on her driveway as well as the front yard trailer her family lived in during the repairs, wrecked havoc on the curb appeal of the home.
So she applied for the HGTV show with those outdoor projects that she knew she needed to complete.
"I had a whole list of little things eating away at me," she said after seeing the finished project. "Now the house is done and I can relax and enjoy it."
Paul McKechnie of McKechnie Associates, a landscape design and contracting company, was hired to complete the projects on Belletiere's list as well as a few others that tied the whole exterior of the house together. The Wayland project was one of several his company has completed for this HGTV show in the past few months.
He said working with HGTV allows McKechnie Associates to showcase its work, but working on a television show also means everything moves at a very fast pace.
McKechnie Associates handled everything from the design of the renovation through the implementation of the plan.
"It's more than just a job," McKechnie said. "It's nice just to set them up, take care of them and show them how to maintain it."
Belletiere said she was looking forward to being able to start enjoying all the work that had been done.
"It's been fun, but it's been long days," Belletiere said of the process. "I wasn't looking to be a TV star, but it was the price of admission. I really do appreciate everyone coming out. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and efforts. Thank you."
The show does not yet have a premiere date or title, but is continuing to film in the New England area. The show relies on social media buzz and volunteers to complete projects. If you're interested in volunteering, check out the page on Facebook.
Abby Jordan contributed to this article.