By Cheryl Conway
Constructing, remodeling, renovating and repairing homes, is a typical day for general contractor Kevin Dorlon of Long Valley.
But when an opportunity came knocking on his door to remodel a home in Independence Township for NBC’s show, “George To The Rescue,” Dorlon’s day became much more exciting and extremely busy, but well worth the cause. Make sure to tune in to watch this episode scheduled to air on Sat., Oct. 31, 9 a.m., 7 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. on WNBC.
“George To The Rescue” is a reality television show that features host George Oliphant and his team of contractors and designers who rescue the homes of deserving people. Dorlon was contacted by show producers in August and asked if he wanted to be in an upcoming home improvement project nearby.
When he got the call from one of the show’s supervisors, Dorlon was told “We are shooting in two weeks; can you assemble your team? I said ‘sure,’” he recalls.
Dorlon rounded up subcontractors George Gailum of Gailum Brothers in Mt. Olive to do the framing; S&R Mechanical in Mt. Olive for plumbing and heating; and Byrnes Electric in Mt. Olive. His company, All Seasons General Contracting in Long Valley is involved with the installation, excavating, masonry, flooring and trim and interior.
From Sept. 22 to Oct. 9, Dorlon and his subcontractors were scheduled to be on location to remodel a family home in Independence Township. The crew consisted of 29 men working on a 10-day project to add on to the living space of a colonial style house.
The job entailed removing an existing 14×20 screened porch and replacing it with an addition to be used as recreational space as an extension to the family room.
“We took that down,” says Dorlon, “and installed proper footing and foundation to create living space.”
Alongside Dorlon and the other workers was show host George Oliphant and his film crew getting live footage and interviews for an upcoming “George To The Rescue” episode.
“George to the Rescue” typically features 12 families per year, with six episodes that air in the fall and six in the spring, says Andrew Bank, one of the show’s supervisors.
In the past, “George to the Rescue” has featured families from throughout the nation. States include Arizona, California, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina and Texas. Due to proximity to its 30 Rockefeller Plaza headquarters, most of projects take place in New York and New Jersey, says Bank.
Producers selected Steven DeVaul and Robin Lazar, homeowners on Barkers Mill Road in Independence Twp., to be featured on the show.
Bank says this family was chosen because “This is a growing family of animal lovers (they recently rescued two dogs from Adopt-a-Pet.com) facing home renovation challenges they wouldn’t physically or financially be able to tackle on their own. Their sunroom space was unused and unsafe. We wanted to transform it into a multi-purpose room the whole family (and their beloved pets) can enjoy.”
Living in the four bedroom, three bathroom, 2,600 sq. ft. house for exactly two years since Oct. 2013, Robin Lazar decided to respond to an email in August from Adopt-a-Pet as part of a Homes For Dogs Project. The email had notified customers that “one lucky family” will be selected to be on “George To The Rescue.”
Lazar recalls being contacted the next day as a possible candidate. “They came out to meet us;” did a recording, came back two or three more times; and then they came back, on Fri., Sept. 4, and said ‘We are here to rescue you.’”
Lazar was “thrilled! We were shocked; we couldn’t believe it.”
Any repairs and renovations on the home “financially would have been rough” for her family, says Lazar. Any project of this kind would have taken “a few more years to even get it done,” she adds. “Our back area is tiny; the porch area is really bad. If we didn’t take it down, it would fall down. It was in bad shape.”
Currently, Lazar financially supports her family working in sales as an executive assistant. Two years ago, after having their third child, Lazar was diagnosed with Peripartum Cardiomyothapy, a health condition that weakens the heart. Symptoms included shortness of breath, rapid pulse rate, blood clot in the heart and an enlarged heart.
“It’ll never go away,” says Lazar, but “right now I’m in a good place; made a full recovery,” and hopes that relapses do not occur. “I was one of the lucky ones,” Lazar says, adding that she almost died from it.”
Lazar’s husband, Steven DeVaul, is a “house husband,” retired from his profession. The couple care for their three children, Caitlyn, 14; Brooke, 6; and Junior, two; and their two adopted dogs.
When their 15-year old dog died in April, they checked out Adopt-a-Pet and in May adopted a four-month old mixed Feist and Shi Daschund named Ruby, now 10 months old; then went back one week later to adopt Ruby’s sister, Riley.
The plan is to also invite Lazar’s brother to come live with them when her mother, who is 80, can no longer take care of her brother, who is unable to live on his own as he is mentally challenged.
Lazar and her family were put up at an Extended Stay during the renovation project so was unfamiliar to the logistics of the work being done.
“I’m very excited,” she says. Whatever “space they are building, we will enjoy it as a family. It’s a place we will all gather; a nice comfortable space to enjoy ourselves.”
Dorlon was more than happy to help out this wonderful family, even though it fell during a very busy time for him.
“Their timing is kind of crazy,” says Dorlan while on location for the show. “The timing is really bad; I’m up to my elbows on a big project,” building townhomes and condos at Bridgepoint Condos in Mt. Olive.
As the builder/owner of the condo project, Dorlon was in full swing building on Route 46 in Hackettstown. The project started in July and consists of five units made up of two and three bedrooms condos and one single bedroom condo.
Two units have already sold and three units are still available. Condos should be done by mid-April. Call 908-310-4770 for more information.
With a wife and four kids- ages 18, 16, 14 and five, working full time on the condos and then taking 10 days to renovate the home for “George To The Rescue” has been a lot, Dorlon admits, but well worth it.
“I’m not making money to do this,” says Dorlon. “I just did this to help them. It makes me appreciate just how blessed I really am. Although I work crazy hours, I’d like to spend more time with my family, I’m blessed everyone is healthy and happy.”
Show supervisors selected Dorlon for the project because of his great reputation.
“Kevin Dorlon and All Seasons General Contracting have tremendous online testimonial reviews and referrals,” says Banks. “After speaking with Kevin (as well as his architect, Doug Coleman), we knew we’d be in good hands. Kevin has a big heart and is committed to completing this project with our team.”