Meet Rico León, 'Rico to the Rescue' Host and Renovation Rescuer
On HGTV's Rico to the Rescue, builder Rico León helps homeowners get out of sticky situations and into their dream homes. Here's everything you need to know about him.
Hiring a contractor is a tricky and often stressful business. Finding someone who consistently does a good job (who, most importantly, you can trust) isn't always easy. Luckily, Rico León is here to help.
In HGTV's upcoming series Rico to the Rescue — hitting HGTV and discovery+ Saturday, January 7 at 9|8c — Rico swoops in to help homeowners dealing with a project-gone-awry because of a bad contractor. The super builder shares his own experience with dodgy contractors, dishes how to find a good one and explains how he plans to rescue homeowners' in Denver with his expertise.
He’s Learned From Experience
After losing hundreds of thousands of dollars to bad contractors on his own projects, Rico has learned a thing or two about how to get out of a complicated situation. He's been on both ends — as a contractor and a homeowner. “I’ve been through it all,” he says. “On the show, I take what I’ve learned from [my own situations] and help mediate between the contractor and the homeowner. We meet with lawyers, we show you how to break contracts, how to solve issues without going legal. I come to the rescue.”
He Started From the Bottom, Now He’s Here
Rico has been in the industry since his early 20s. He started out at a plumbing company and founded the emergency restoration division there. "I grew in the ranks fairly quickly and realized my brain was wired to write contracts and help homeowners protect themselves,” he says. Now Rico owns two successful construction and restoration businesses in the Denver area.
According to Rico, There’s No “I” in “Rescue”
There's a team of two who aid Rico in his rescue missions: Matt Plowman, the chief estimator, and Poonam Moore, an interior designer. “I'm Captain Kirk and Matt’s my Spock,” says Rico. “He fights tooth and nail to get insurance to pay the homeowners. Poonam works with the homeowners to make sure the whole look comes together.”
He Wants Every Homeowner in America to Know What to Look for in a Contractor
Good references are at the top of the list. “If someone has a lot of good reviews, that's a huge plus,” says Rico. “Ask for three references from the contractor you’re looking to hire, then give the references a call and get photos of the work the contractor did in their homes. It’s all about doing your due diligence.”
The Show Will Leave You With Warm and Fuzzy Feels
Not only do Rico and his team help families get their homes back to normal after half-finished jobs or unexpected disasters, they add in a little extra surprise, too. “Insurance pays for your life to be the same, not better,” says Rico. “Because it’s such a hard process and I want to make my clients happy, I’ll give them extra money out-of-pocket for their budget and say, 'Hey, use this wherever you want in the house.' It helps build my reputation and my relationship with the client.”
Golf is His Life Saver
While living in Pittsburgh before relocating to Denver, work was life for Rico. “It took 30-something years before I felt good about taking time off,” says Rico. “I picked up golf as a hobby and ended up being pretty good. The rest is history.”
He’s Found His Purpose
“Since I’ve been in so many bad contractor situations myself, I want to educate homeowners about what exactly to do in every type of scenario,” says Rico. “I hope with my knowledge, I can create real solutions between contractors and homeowners. That's my new ‘why.”’
Rico to the Rescue premieres Saturday, January 7 at 9|8c. Follow Rico on Instagram at @rico.to.the.rescue.