The Thackeray family of Sandy was the recent lucky winner of a national, “What’s Your Front Door View?” contest sponsored by the popular home-improvement show “Today’s Homeowner” and Window World. Contestants were required to submit photos of their current entryways with a caption indicating why they needed help.
In her contest entry, Ali Thackeray wrote, “Our front door is from the 1970s, but we are not! We are a young, energetic family and would love a front door to match who we are - more welcoming and light.”
Ali and Mark Thackeray bought their Sandy home in May 2012 because they believed that the layout and backyard were perfect. But when they bought it, they knew that they had a fair amount of remodeling ahead of them. They had asbestos in the ceiling, green shag carpet, purple-ish drapes, shaky windows and their front door was almost black.
“We came and fell in love with the place,” Mark Thackeray said.
“Even though it looked the way it did, we could totally envision it. We got it: if the layout is right, then you can change anything else,” Ali Thackeray said.
The couple spent six months or so remodeling what they could do themselves in the outdated home, and then they moved into it around November 2012. When they moved in, Ali Thackeray was five months pregnant with their third daughter.
Their daughter Ruby, who was born in March 2012, was born with a rare mass about the size of her head on her neck. She stayed in the NICU at Primary Children’s Hospital for the first month of her life.
“They didn’t know what it was. They had never seen it at Primary Children’s before. It was kind of like they didn’t know what to do with her, so they just kept her there,” Ali Thackeray said.
During their daughter’s month-long stay in the NICU, the family’s neighbors rallied around them. They helped watch their other two daughters, Jane, 3, and Siri, 6, and they brought dinner almost every week.
“That was really cool because we had just moved in a few months prior, and we were just fully immersed in the neighborhood,” Mark Thackeray said. “[Ruby] is doing great now.”
Due to their daughter’s health scare, the Thackerays didn’t have the time or the money to finish remodeling their home, which is why they decided to enter the contest.
Danny Lipford, the host of “Today’s Homeowner,” has been a contractor for 36 years, and he has become one of the most well-respected names in the home-improvement industry today.
“This is my 17th season of the show . . . I actually have the largest syndicated home-improvement show in America right now,” Lipford said. “There are many processes and systems in a home that many people view as complicated, and I’ve just got a knack for being able to break that down and tell people about it. I take a lot of the intimidation and frustration out of being a homeowner.”
The show frequently travels around the United States helping out different families with their home-repair needs.
“It’s great to see different parts of the country, and our audience—which is pretty sizable—enjoys seeing things outside of just one region of the United States,” Lipford said.
Lipford and his crew at “Today’s Homeowner” arrived at the Thackeray residence Oct. 20 to replace their front door. He also surprised them by requesting to film an entire Curb Appeal episode, which would keep them in Sandy for an entire week.
“We just thought it was the front door, and that was it,” Mark Thackeray said.
“It just made it even more exciting. We were glad to just win the door,” Ali Thackeray said.
Over the week that the crew was there, they finished a handful of projects to help make the Thackeray home more reflective of the family’s personality. In addition to a new red front door, the crew, along with the home owners, planted flowers, installed a new mailbox, painted the walls in the family room, replaced the windows, added a new storm door, replaced the exterior lighting fixtures and finished a few other do-it-yourself-type projects.
The episode about the Thackeray family’s home aired in the Salt Lake City area on Sunday, Nov. 16 on KMYU. The show currently reaches about 1.5 million viewers each week.
“I like ‘Today’s Homeowner’ because when you watch it, it’s more real . . . they’re realistic projects that we could actually do . . . We really appreciate them, and we were so excited to have them here and have their help,” Ali Thackeray said.