Remote Patrol: Rib Hillis

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Rib Hillis recently joined the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition design team and travels the country improving homes - and lives. When he's not busy with the show, he's taking care of twins, tackling projects at his own home and donating time to charity. This weekend he takes a break from his busy schedule to visit Columbus for the Best of Fall Home Show.

What are your expectations for the Best of Fall Home Show?

I done a few of these now and it's always a blast. It's great people ... they tend to be fans of home improvement. So, I usually start off with, "How many people have seen my show?" and 100 percent raise their hands. Then I say, "How many people have seen me on the show?" and it's almost equal. So, it's a fun time when I get up there and share my experiences - the behind-the-scenes things you would never find out.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition changes people's lives. How has working on the show changed your life?

I have kids and I have bills I have to pay, so I was originally motivated by work. Then the show taught me about giving back. These families I work with are so incredibly giving.

They have houses that are falling down, they have a child who is sick ... and yet they continue to go and do things so selflessly. I've been given a great opportunity to help people, and I think that for those to whom much is given, much is asked.

Is that how you got involved in charity work?

I guess it made me think, because when I'm working on Extreme Makeover I can obviously make one family's life better, but how can I do that beyond the show to make a positive difference in this world? I have a great opportunity because of the platform of the show.

I've been working with Red Cross over the past few years organizing blood drives at the various cities we go to in conjunction with Extreme Makeover. We've been tremendously successful.

Another organization I've gotten involved with was formerly the National Marrow Donor Program, but now it's relaunched the brand and it's called Be the Match.

What are some simple things people can do to fix up their own home?

A coat of paint goes a long way. That's a real easy way to spruce up and remodel a home, and pretty much anybody can do it. I like to work with wood. You could take on some small projects like building shelves, and things like that don't seem to be too difficult. Just make sure you measure twice and cut once.

Best of Fall Home Show

When: Friday-Sunday, Sept. 11-13

Where: Ohio Expo Center, North Side