There are many ways to find home improvement advice. The most popular have always been books, magazines, tv and now blogs. Well these guys saw an opportunity to share their knowledge and opinions on home improvement via a podcast which is an audio episode you can download and listen to on your computer or personal listening device (iPod). We like the fact they aren’t pros but two guys who are passionate about DIY, personable and can explain problems in layman’s terms.
This interview unveils The Handyguys as they share the secrets to the success of their podcast, popular DIY topics and how easy it is for you to ask The Handyguys a home improvement question.
CH: Who are the handy guys behind “The Handyguys Podcast”?
HGP: The Handyguys are Brian Peppel and Paul Shane, two avid DIYers, not professional contractors. We have been doing large and small projects around the home for ourselves and others for the past 25 years, and we still have all of our fingers and toes.
CH: Why did you decide to focus on a podcast instead of just starting another home improvement blog (like we need anymore)? Do you guys have previous media training? The podcast sounds slick and well produced.
HGP: There is an overwhelming number of home improvement blogs, websites and forums online already. However, DIY forums and blog posts can be a bit impersonal, as can the so-called experts in discussion groups who often bully folks who are just trying to learn. We wanted to establish an audio DIY site with a friendly and non-threatening atmosphere.
In our day-to-day life, we often found ourselves being go-to guys for home improvement questions from other DIYers. A podcast provided a great outlet for us to share our experiences and relay our desire to help others. We love to chat about projects and help people out no matter their skill or background. Many home improvement podcasts are just re-purposed radio shows. If you want to get the weather and traffic with your home improvement podcast, subscribe to them. If you want a home improvement podcast that is produced specifically for the medium, then we are the only game in town.
As far as the podcast and website production, we are DIYers too. We studied, learned and implemented. We both have technical backgrounds in I.T. Brian has more of a sales and business background, whereas Paul is more of a technologist. Both Handyguys have lots of public speaking experience so they are not afraid to speak into a microphone.
CH: Where do you get your topics from?
HGP: Our topics come from various sources. Listener questions are a major source. Additionally, if we have a specific DIY project at our home, we use that material for an episode. On occasion we have content that is driven by our sponsors. We also scan magazines and the web for material that relates to the interests of our listeners..
CH: What are the most popular questions asked on the show?
HGP: We have received many questions about basement finishing. Both of us have finished our basements and have discussed this in several shows. However, we get questions covering the whole gambit of home ownership. Our two most popular shows cover the building of a garden trellis and dishwasher repair.
CH: You’re going into your 85th episode ~ Has anything changed in your delivery or style since your 1st episode?
HGP: Oh yes. When we first started, we had to figure it out as we went along. During the first few episodes, we were still learning the flow of a show. As our venture as progressed, production quality has improved, our website has improved, and we don’t scramble as much for topics. We have settled into a rhythm when recording the shows. We only work from an outline and can usually record a show in one take.
CH: As people digest home improvement information in many different forms, do you have plans to move beyond the podcast? Possibly the Handyguys on HGTV?
HGP: Well, we don’t know about HGTV. We are expanding into more video content, for sure. Most DIY videos online are poor quality (including some we have produced!) Our goal is to improve the production quality of our videos to be inline with our audio production. This takes time and money. For now we will be adding video occasionally but not on a regular schedule like our podcasts.
CH: How do people contact you to ask questions? How do people subscribe to your podcast?
HGP: People can call us at 818.804.8665 and leave a voice mail message. We can then use the audio of the question in the podcast. People can also email us at email@example.com or fill out the contact form on the website. We also announce our shows on Twitter and take questions via Twitter at @handyguys.
We don’t use every question we get on a show but we always get back to the person asking the question. We love it when we can actually dialog with a listener about their issue. In episode 85, we actually interviewed a listener who installed a backup sump pump. He contacted us and asked us for recommendations. We did some research and found a vendor. The show was about the importance of backup sump pumps when you finish your basement and about the specific product the listener installed.
As for subscribing, that depends on how they want to listen to our shows. If they have an iPod, they can just click on the iTunes button on our site. If they have a Zune device, there is a link for that too. Other portable audio players get their podcasts through an RSS feed. All those devices are a little different, but the RSS button will get the shows into their player. We have people who listen on Blackberries, iPhones, iPods, Zunes and others. RSS can also be used in various other news feed readers. In addition, many people just hit the play button on our website and listen from there.
CH: Can you share your favorite home improvement tip?
HGP: A favorite? It would all depend on what you are working on. Probably the best tip for a DIYer would be to do your research and know your limits before you dive into a project and get in over your head. If you get stuck, just give us a call