Episode 32 – Peter Finn
Building On TV With Peter Finn
Peter Finn, most recognised as the builder behind RTE’s hit TV shows Room to Improve and Home Rescue. In his day to day Peter is the Managing Director of MDS Construction where he is now taking the company from a small building company to housing developers.
What’s it like being a builder on TV?
The Room to Improve thing is interesting, because there’s always this sort of, there’s people that are familiar with working on sites and say ahh, that’s not real, or that you know, that can’t be real. How real is it?
Yeah well, believe it or not, Room to Improve is a very genuine look as to how a job goes, because pretty much what they do, it’s a very clever concept from the TV sort point-of-view, because they get someone else to pay part of the job and they get to film it. And what the client gets or the homeowner gets, is they get Dermot Bannon fees for free, and they also get the comfort that I suppose that the job is going to go well because let’s be honest, any builder is going to pull out the stops and make sure that the place looks really well at the end of the show. So I suppose you get that, and then you get the moment of you and your family being on television.
And that’s the way it works. And believe me, it is real like the stresses that are involved in it are fairly real, costs and all that type of stuff. But the one thing that annoys me about Room to Improve is that the costs are very tight on it and I don’t think there’s a fair reflection on the market at the time, because builders know they go on a show that they… it’s going to help them because kind of have that on their CV so they will ually put in a fairly tight price for the job. And then the shows get repeated quite a lot, so we could be looking at show two or three years old and market prices have changed.
But kind of I suppose in reflection of is the show genuine? It pretty much is. Like Dermot Bannon is very much how he’s seen on telly. He’s a very nice fella, we went and met him out for a pint, you’d have a great bit of craic with him. He’s a bit more difficult to work with. He’s very hard to get on the phone. He’s a very busy man. And he doesn’t go into massive amount of detail but then he comes on site and you can have your head, so that could be tricky to deal with. But it’s very good, the other show I did was Home Rescue. There’s no budget stress, whereas in Room to Improve, you have the same budget stress that you have on an ordinary job.