Framing Monthly's BACKROOM MAKEOVER contest criteria


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Mar 25, 2004
Tampa, FL
Just opened my March issue to the Backroom Makeover-- On the 1st page of the article,Page 16, they prominantly list , what can only be considered as THE overall tone of how this contest is to be judged. This just left me with the impression that they did not think very long/hard about what they were doing......

#1 "A SOLID BUSINESS FOUNDATION ALREADY IN PLACE. If your business isn't stab;e or profitable already, it's doubtful that a change in the backroom only will have the kind of positive impact we hope to have with the contest."
#2 "A DYNAMIC FRONT ROOM. Again, if your front room is a mess-poor sales counter, unorganized moulding samples, threadbare carpeting-a change in the backroom won't matter."
#3 "A SPACE THAT CAN BENEFIT FROM A MAKEOVER. If your backroom is too small or awkwardly laid out, we might not be able to come up with a workable design."

Is it just ME, which it very well could be(so feel free to tell me to take the proverbial short walk...), or do I detect the faintest flavor of "if you already don't need it, you won't get it" ??? Check out those three prominant points and see what you think. I may well be overly sensitive, but I resent the *%^$#%%^$ out of the effete attitude being presented!!!
TO WIT...#1=if your biz is newish it may well not yet be "stable " nor "profitable"--wouldn't you think a newer biz needs this service even more than an older one(who has had the time & experience to put their stuff in a more useful setup)? #2=This is a BACK room redesign, they are advertising, not a FRONT room redesign. Why shoul my front have to pass this test when dealing with a backroom contest? #3=it's sorry I am that some businesses don't have 2 acre workrooms, or that some have those annoying support pillars,etc. right where they need to design in the coffee bar and lounge area, but that's life. As I read it, you cross any of their boundries(as they determine from the info you need to furnish), you are out of their running. I'm also somewhat mystified as to aht my 2004 revenue or number of employees, or sq footage has to do with the winning of a workplace redesign(see the entry form).
I thought this was a really good idea BEFORE I actually read the article! It would be a fairly safe bet that EVERY shop in the world could make use of "expert" design advice. Anyone out there think I'm all wet and should go back to bed and get up on the other side? I'm sorry but I simply CAN'T measure up to their lofty biz standards, so I won't enter & win (because my backroom is just SHOUTING for some TLC!).
The whole thing just rubs me the wrong way! Am I all wet on this??(certainly wouldn't be the 1st time!) Would like to hear from a jury of my peers. Thanks for the oportuntiy to blow a little steam. Bill Ward

B. Newman

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Sep 5, 2001
Kodak, Tn. USA
Bill, have you had your coffee (or in my case, Dr. Pepper) yet this morning? Have a cup and relax.

But now, having said that, let me say, yeah, I agree with you (just not as passionate about it, though - I guess I'm older and have seen these things before...)

I get excited about these kinds of contests all the time, until I read the fine print. Most of the time I can't compete because I'm not a "retail" shop (meaning "storefront"). Doesn't matter what else I do or don't do, this disqualifies me.

As for this particular contest - I'm with you.

If a business already has all these things,
then do you really think their backroom needs a makeover?

I think it just makes for interesting advertising - not realistic, just interesting.


Bob Doyle

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Jul 14, 2002
South Berwick, Maine

Point #3: towit if your back roomis too awkwardly laid out....

If it wasn't so awkward to get around I wouldn't need a makeover!

Forget Framing Monthly's crew send me Ty Pennington and his crew, as well as Scott Landis as workbench, shop layout guru!

(Scott's a friend of mine who writes books on layout and bench design, He came in once to help me, and walked out shaking his head! and he's a friend!!!)


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Dec 31, 2001
New York's Hudson River Valley
Newburgh Mercantile
It sounds like they already know what they want the article to look and sound like. They have crafted the parameters to eliminate any winner that will not provide them with that desired outcome.

It's too bad really, there will be no emotional reveal like when the bus pulls away and Ty says "here is your new workshop".

So exactly where do they think we make our money? Just in the front room? What about open floor plan shops? If you order joins and just have a fitting table in the back of the front room, you NEED a backroom. (now THAT is a giveaway!)

Shouldn't our backroom's reflect our individual business plans? There is no 'one size fits all' solution. The vendors that are giving stuff may have a bigger determination of what you get. Not what you actually need or want.

I hope that they knock our socks off with, not only what kind of workspace they create, but more importantly, we all give a collective cheer when we see who the winner is!


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jan 7, 2005

I read the article last week. I thought the EXACT same thing as you. I was really excited until I read the criteria. Wouldn't a small backroom benfit from a re-design? It's like they are saying, "If you net 100K per year, have a fabulous showroom, and an overly large and well organized backroom....please enter."
The tone just struck me as snotty.

Oh well, who needs 'em?