Part of the thrill of watching DIY Network's Yard Crashers is the surprise element; host Chris Lambton visits home improvement stores all over the country approaching unsuspecting shoppers with the opportunity for a completely free dream yard makeover. But how does he decide who to approach? And what considerations go into casting? We recently had the chance to chat with Chris about it, and his answers surprised us! Get the inside scoop directly from Chris below.
A Good Attitude Is King
The biggest thing Chris takes into consideration when casting — even bigger than the state of the yard — is attitude. He admitted, "At the end of the day, I have to work with these people for two days. And they're long 12- to 15-hour days, so the biggest thing for me is that they have to be happy and goofy and make the experience fun." In short, you have to demonstrate a great attitude right from the get-go.
You Need a Crappy Backyard
A yard in need of a makeover is, obviously, essential criteria for being cast. In addition to asking people to describe their bad yard, Chris also likes to see a picture. "It's weird, people always have a picture of their backyard no matter how bad it is," he said, adding, "If they don't, I jump onto Google Earth and zoom into their backyard." Yay for technology!
It's Better If You're Oblivious
Part of the fun of Yard Crashers is the unexpectedness of the makeover. Chris says the element of surprise diminishes throughout the day as word spreads that the Yard Crashers team is in town, but he still prefers to approach the random couple shopping rather than the couple who read Chris was at the local Lowe's on Facebook and came there because they want a free makeover. "It makes it that much better to just bump into somebody and make their day."
A Surprising Number of People Walk Away
Despite all those clamoring for the chance at a free makeover, many don't even want to know what it's all about. "It's funny how many people when I walk up to them just say 'no' to me or walk away without talking much," Chris said. "That was one of the biggest surprises I found from doing Yard Crashers, how many people don't even want to talk to me." We're dumbfounded too. Those people clearly have no idea that they're walking away from a $30,000-$40,000 gift horse!
You Must Own Your Home
Sorry, renters, you're going to have to talk to your landlord about overhauling that outdoor space, because Yard Crashers will only work on owned properties.
In two days, there's only so much ground Yard Crashers can cover — literally — so Chris, Peyton, and crew prefer more reasonably sized yards to sprawling ones.
Swimming Pools Are a Turnoff
They might be fun to wade in, but they're a potentially expensive complication for Yard Crashers, so for insurance reasons they're generally avoided. "I've fallen into way too many pools — it's not good for the microphone," Chris joked.
Talk Is Valuable
"Ninety-nine percent of the vetting process is just talking," Chris said. So if you see the Yard Crashers in your local Lowe's, come armed with the facts and be prepared to plead your case.
Odds Are Not in Your Favor
The Yard Crashers go through at least 15-20 people before they find "the one." After reading all the casting criteria, we understand why it's hard to find a perfect match!