An ‘Extreme Makeover’ in Pagosa Country

Taking a cue from the popular television series “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” a local business has graciously offered to transform the exterior of a home of a lucky local resident or family.

As part of its 15th anniversary celebration, Paint Connection Plus will be soliciting nominations for a deserving family or individual whose home is in dire need of a facelift.

“We’d thought about this in past years,” said Paint Connection Plus owner Mark Mesker, “but this year, with the economy, especially with the attitude in town, we thought we would just go ahead and do it. I keep hearing from other people that this town needs something really positive, and I agree.”

Once selected, the winner will receive exterior painting or staining and deck staining from Paint Connection Plus, as well as receiving a hot tub, barbecue and fire pit.

Mesker added that the painting contractors he deals with have been eager to help out with the project, saying, “They’ve been saying they’d have no problem taking a day and pitching in. The painting contractors in this town are very cool.”

Mesker adds that other area businesses and residents have donated items and services as a show of community involvement in helping brighten the life and home of the winner. “Since we decided to go with it, it just kind of snowballed,” he said.

Mesker said that he also has the commitment of some local handymen to do general repairs, if needed.

“We’re not going in and doing major repair work. If there’s too much carpentry work involved, unfortunately,” he added with a chuckle, “it’s not the TV show. This is Pagosa Springs, after all.”

However, Mesker hopes that even more individuals and businesses will be willing to step up to expand the project. For instance, flowers, trees, or shrubs could be donated for planting around the house while individuals or businesses would be encouraged to donate the necessary landscape work to put the plants in (as well as designing or improving the landscape). Furnishings would also be welcome as would food for the winning family to barbecue on their new grill.

According to Mesker, a committee of local business people will decide who gets the makeover. “We’re looking for a family that really needs it; someone that, if they’re out of work, they’re looking for work. Or an elderly couple that’s really down and out.”

Mesker adds that the candidate would also have to be someone who has maintained their dignity through difficult times, saying, “Most importantly, someone with pride — their place is kept up as best they can, even if they’re struggling. If their yard is full of trash and the house is a total mess inside, that says something.

“We’ll check with social services,” he added, “and if they’re really struggling but making a good effort and really take pride in their property, we’ll definitely consider them.”

Nominations for the makeover will be collected at Paint Connection Plus until June 13 and residents interested in nominating a local family, single parent or senior should include the nominee’s name, address, contact information and a brief description of why they think the nominee would be the best candidate for a makeover. The winner will be announced at the Paint Connection Plus June 20 during the 15th anniversary celebration.

Individuals or businesses interested in donating goods or services to the project should call 731-5564 for more information.

“This is a real community project and, hopefully, we might get other people involved to make this a really great thing,” Mesker said. “This is a pretty cool town, and I’m pleased we can pull together to do this one positive thing.”