A North Delta family will be among the first featured on a new Metro Vancouver-focused version of the popular TV show Love It or List It.
Robin and Greg Scambler, along with their two young daughters, recently moved out of their Sunshine Hills-area home for four weeks to give a crew time to renovate the basement of the house.
Camera crews with Love It or List It Vancouver filmed the entire process for an episode to air in the new year, sometime in the weeks following the show's Jan. 7 debut on W Network.
On camera, show co-hosts Jillian Harris and Todd Talbot tried to influence the Scamblers in their decision to either stay in the reno'd home (favoured by former Bachelorette Harris) or have it listed for sale (pushed by realtor Talbot).
The Scamblers were shown the completed renovation work Dec. 6, but contractually they aren't allowed to discuss their decision - to either love it or list it - until after the episode airs on TV.
Six years ago, the Scamblers moved into the house and almost immediately went about renovating the upper floor.
"It's been ongoing, non-stop since then," Robin told the Now. "We came across this house, which was in our price range and had good bones and a good layout, but it needed a bunch of updates. I remember Greg saying to me, 'We'll do this (renovation work) in a year, babe, no problem!'"
Not so. "Boy, was I wrong," Greg added with a laugh.
Greg, a firefighter, did a "phenomenal" job with the renovation work, Robin underlined, but, with two kids in their midst, life got a little too hectic for the couple to get the entire house done.
Last summer, Robin heard about Love It or List It coming to Vancouver, and she quickly went to work on a detailed application to appear on the show.
"It's certainly not a two-minute drill, but it was all worth it to me - I jumped on it," said Robin, who works as a sleep consultant and part-time teacher at Woodward Hill Elementary in Surrey. "I think a key factor is that we have that story of people being burned out by too many renovations, and also not having enough time to get the job finished."
To be on the show, the Scamblers committed to a minimum $10,000 budget for the reno work and also drew up a "wish list" for what they needed to make the basement more functional for their family.
"In terms of design, we had no input," Greg said.
"That was scary and exciting at the same time," Robin added, "because we know how time-consuming all that stuff is - picking out paint, the flooring, colours, all that. The list goes on and on. But here we have professional designers doing the work, so that is amazing. We had to put our trust in them, and it's a big chunk of money we've put into this."
The Scamblers appreciate how quickly the renovations were done. "It's been fast, and that was a key when we decided to go ahead with all this, especially when two young kids are involved," Robin said.
Since summer, Harris and Talbot have travelled across Metro Vancouver to film scenes for the new show they co-host.
"People love that we're in and out of their home in just a few weeks," Harris said. "That's really appealing to people who want to be on the show."
Like with others featured on the show, Talbot's job was to show the Scamblers some other homes for sale - in Morgan Creek, in North Van and also just a few blocks away from their current house in North Delta.
"We probably deal with function more than aesthetics," Talbot said. "People are on the show because they have a challenge with how their house works for them."
That was certainly the case for the Scamblers.
"We've really put down roots here, so the idea of leaving would be difficult, but this house truly wasn't functional for us, because we weren't using the basement very well."
Until the Scamblers' episode airs on TV, the difficulty for them is to keep their "love it or list it" decision a secret.
"All of our friends want to see the renovations and know our answer, but we're not supposed to share that information," Robin said. "But I guess that people who live three doors down may notice if we've sold the house in the meantime, or if there's a sign on the lawn."
Big Coat Productions, makers of Love It or List It Vancouver, say the show is the first Canadian reality/lifestyle series of its kind to be franchised into a second city; the original is filmed in the Toronto area.
For show details, or to get involved as a featured homeowner, visit Wnetwork. com/LoveItOrListItVancouver or email email@example.com.