Sports talk shows and shock talk shows fill the airwaves in almost every market. But what about a talk show devoted to improving the home? Well, Houston area listeners have one. It's the Remodeling Pro Talk Show, hosted by Bob Birner, vice president of Amazing Siding. The goal, Birner says, is to educate and excite consumers about remodeling and home improvement projects.

“Most people would rather get a root canal than deal with a contractor,” Birner says. “We want people to do business with pros instead of amateurs. Remodeling should be a fun and exciting time when people breathe new life into their home.”

Got a Question? So from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. every Saturday on KNTH-1070 AM, Birner shares air time with design/build contractor Michael Strong, owner of Brothers Strong. Birner and Strong answer questions from callers, offering advice on everything from how to select a contractor to project pricing and building codes. They also interview experts and recommend products. The show breaks for news at the top of the hour, and commercials — including two for Amazing Siding — run throughout.

Birner has done the show for more than three years, changing radio stations several times. The show is a brand builder for the company, which is one of the largest siding operations in the United States, with 14 locations in 11 states, installing fiber cement, vinyl, and aluminum siding, plus vinyl replacement window and gutter systems. Field reps sometimes find their sales calls made easier because prospects have tuned in. Birner maintains that promoting Amazing Siding is not his main purpose. “It's about giving homeowners the right information, not making us look good,” he says. “Consumers are their own worst enemies. They go out and hire a guy out of a truck because he's cheap. We're trying to break that thought process and teach them how to look for a remodeler.”

Must Have Content The on-air two hour block of time costs Amazing Siding about $50,000 a year. In addition, Birner says he spends about 15 hours per month invoicing sponsors or preparing the show, because “if someone isn't calling in, you have to have content.” A Web site that will include links to sponsors is in the works; already the show streams live on the Web at Birner soon hopes to broadcast live from events like regional trade shows.