Copper Makes an Entrance on "Hometime"

October 6, 2005


Hometime TV show Dean Johnson, host of the popular PBS-TV show Hometime, works on a unique copper-clad entry during a remodel of a 1950s ranch-style house in Minneapolis.

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The Copper Development Association (CDA) recently collaborated with the long-running PBS home improvement television series, "Hometime," to give a Minneapolis couple a dramatic new front entryway to their home.

In "Mid-Century Modern Rejuvenation: Wrapping Up," show hosts Dean Johnson and Miriam Johnson put the finishing touches on their latest project -remodeling a 1950s ranch-style house in the Southwest section of the city.

The dramatic new focal point of the home is a portico clad entirely in copper sheet metal, according to homeowner Nick Smaby. It's so unique, he says, passing motorists are not only slowing down to look at it but also stopping to complement him on it.

Hometime TV show Click here for a high-resolution version of this photo.

As part-owner of Choice Wood Builders, a design/build residential construction firm in Minneapolis, Smaby had his choice of building materials for the foyer's exterior. He says he chose copper because it's a beautiful, natural material not often seen in this kind of application on residential buildings.

The project architect, Jim Scott, agrees on copper's unique curb appeal. "Using copper to the extent we did is more common in high-profile commercial buildings where the architect is trying to make a design statement, and less common in residential applications," says Scott.

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Ken Geremia, communications manager for CDA, notes that "Copper is used as a design element in modern architecture all over the world." He points to the "Copper Building" in San Francisco's Mission District as a perfect example. It features a curved copper façade on one side that was recently cited as an example of "killer modernism" by le blog exuberance, an architectural Web log.

Installer Dan Hildebrand says copper has a real organic look and finish, even though it's a metal. "There's nothing like it to put on a house. It has a unique look that's never the same from one house to the next," he says.

"Copper ages gracefully," says host Dean Johnson, "developing a dark brown, then blue-green, patina that protects the metal from corrosion." Its durability is legendary - there are original copper roofs in Europe and America that are more than 200 years old.

Hometime TV show Click here for a high-resolution version of this photo.

The remodel of the Smaby home in the Lakes Region of Minneapolis has been the subject of several "Hometime" television episodes to date. This installment, "Wrapping Up," (episode 1917) will be released to PBS stations nationwide on Saturday, October 15. Check to find out when the show is scheduled to air in your area. 

About "Hometime"

"Hometime," hosted by Dean Johnson, is a home improvement television show broadcast on public television and in syndication. Now in its 19th season, the show helps homeowners achieve professional results from their home improvement projects.