HGTV Budgets

CEFreemanAugust 30, 2014

I went on a rant about an HGTV thing recently, but that post has disappeared. No reprimand letter or anything, just gone. Wondering if I offended an advertiser or are we now subject to censorship of which I wasn't aware, after 10 years on GW?

I did, however, receive a response from ajc71 regarding unrealistic budgets on Fixer Upper.

Wanted to say I agree with you. I actually like the Fixer Upper, too, because they're nice to each other. It's already become very formula, but I also love their resulting style.

Costs can be unrealistic, simply because things are different in every area of the country. They do manage to do some pretty major renovations on very small budgets. I'm interested in the final increase in value of the home, myself.

So ajc71, I wanted to respond to your response! :)

I also wonder what happened to some of the fun shows like Designed to Sell? or that kitchen show with the pedantic Mark Bartelemayo (I murdered that name..)? I've almost (but not quite) given up watching DIY and HGTV because I soooooo dislike House Hunters of any sort.

The Scott brothers' shows have too much whining about "exceeding expectations." [GD&R] Really, most of the surprise-you reno shows do, but that was my original rant. :)

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If you visit any of their sites, you'll find many real-life contractors hate these shows, mainly for creating unrealistic time expectations.

Viewers seem to forget this is television. Things get done bing, bang, boom, no late inspections, no late deliveries, etc.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 6:33AM
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Yeah, my (POC) ex-GC-DH was seriously denigrating when someone even uttered the words, "On TV..." or some such thing referencing these shows.

The employees of big box stores hate them, too.

What ex-DH loved was to get a job where Harry Homeowner decided DIY and HGTV were right and he could do xxx in a weekend. Remove that (loadbearing) wall. Tear off a deck. Hang and finish drywall. Cut out those pesky joists to run plumbing up hill. It let him exhibit his superiority over their ignorance. Uh-huh. i.e. he became even more insufferable.

I think the most realistic show is the one where two people decide to take on a kitchen or something. Is it Renovation Realities, or My First Renovation? I seemed to have blocked it out. They spend the show doing THE most stupid things, sometimes not avoiding injury, and the female element in the show is always the most whiney snot they could dig up.

I think the stuff they try to do is pretty real. It seems logical to them, but they have no idea what lurks underneath...
And... in a weekend with $1000. Un-huh.

And here I am going on 10 years.... I must not watch enough TV.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 7:37AM
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My husband and I did a diy Reno of a 3 bedroom ranch. Watching hgtv became comedy night. The fixer upper shows are so ridiculous. Our tight budget bought us exactly the mid range finishes we wanted, but our estimated 3 month Reno took a full year. And the bumps along the way were more mountains than mole hills lol.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 8:05AM
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Since I don't have cable I don't watch HGtv regularly but have watched many episodes of Property Brothers.The house buyer settles on a fixer upper that is a complete dump, top to bottom. Of course there are problems that the home inspection didn't uncover so more of the budget goes to that. In the end they show a beautiful kitchen, living room, dining room. Maybe one other room. Never the whole house. It seems the buyer dumped the whole budget into just a few rooms. I am imagining that the outside and the rest of the house still looks like a dump with no money left to do anything else. In real life most of us know those things will take plenty more $$$ and years to get done. But in the meantime , well, you have a beautiful kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 8:34AM
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Well, they say the kitchen is the heart of the home. Drag in a few sleeping bags...

I get so sick of the Need for Granite and the "exceeded my expectations" comments. How condescending and huh? You started with a dump how could it not exceed something? But it's so rude...

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 9:06AM
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The timeline thing drives me crazy. I kept getting "Isn't your kitchen done yet?" People really thought it would take 3-5 days. One day to rip out, one day to put in the cabinets and one day to put in the counter, done! I actually had people say that to me.
I can understand why contractors get so mad, people kept assuming mine was slacking or something (when he wasn't!)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 9:12AM
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Frankly, unless they showed up with a crew for every trade, plus labor? (Crasher shows)

I'd be extremely concerned about things done properly and safely.

Christina, I hope your response should be something like, "I think you're watching too much TV."

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 9:29AM
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@Christina - YES I kept hearing the same thing! And I kept on answering no, it doesn't work out like that at all when you're essentially rebuilding the place from the ground up. Literally, footings to the roof decking, and doing it all yourself.

It's less HGTV, more This Old House where they'll go for months in a series on rebuilding the same place. Correcting decades of mistakes and decay while changing the floorplan and everything else up takes time and cash. And lots of it.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 9:55AM
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I've noticed that if i look at the leaves on the trees, it becomes apparent that many projects start in one season, but end in another, tho they never explicitly say that.

I'm tired of the phrase "ticks all the boxes" on these shows. But yet I still

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 10:05AM
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"I went on a rant about an HGTV thing recently, but that post has disappeared. No reprimand letter or anything, just gone. Wondering if I offended an advertiser or are we now subject to censorship of which I wasn't aware, after 10 years on GW?"

I noticed your post was moved to the "conversations" side of the thread right after you posted it. I think it took me a year to figure out that the conversations side even existed. Now when a thread disappears, I look there first.

To comment onyour take on "exceeding expectations" from your other thread, I always saw that expression as more of a compliment than a diss ... "I thought it was going to look great, but it looks even better than I expected."

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 10:11AM
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One thing that I hate about these shows (which I really don't watch anymore) is how they have a list of projects but one project can't get done because of the budget. In my opinion the reason is they used higher (than required) end materials for the other projects and have no money left.

Maybe that is real life for some people but to me it is not. So you want to remodel your kitchen and bathroom. You pick out a $$$ range, $$$ sink, $$$ tile, etc. Then you don't have enough for the bathroom. In my world you would cut back on the kitchen spending being creative and still have money for the bathroom. They seem to tell the homeowners that there is no other options. Which is annoying to me as these are supposedly expert designers. If they do show a "budget" kitchen or such is looks like one. How about showing kitchens like on GW where real budgets and creativity meet?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 10:15AM
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Edited to add: I found "Conversations." It was right under my nose.

I guess I don't even know where "Conversations" is. I've seen plenty of threads that seem to stray from the main topic at hand (Kitchens, Baths, esp. in Home Decorating). If I'm not interested in the conversation, I just go somewhere else. I have had a post or two of mine removed sans warning or reprimand. I try not to be rude or confrontational. I think I had responded to one that was, and obviously someone complained about the antagonist and so their comments and all those who responded were excised. It can make for an odd thread.

I don't watch HGTV anymore. The endless House Hunters finally did me in, the way Diners Drive-Ins and Dives put me off the Food Network. Do they think we're all morons?!!

I liked Fixer Upper the first time I watched. All subsequent ones seemed the same to me so I took them off my DVR lineup.

This post was edited by linelle on Sat, Aug 30, 14 at 10:41

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 10:24AM
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Elraes Miller

I suspect all of these shows are buying wholesale or given products when mentioned. There also has to be other realtors involved too. These shows are for selling houses in my mind.

As for timeline, no belief whatsoever that there isn't a huge gang of people involved. And I really dislike their trashing everything instead of donating. Many surplus groups will even take the items out.

I liked Brother to Brother, but their designs are identical in reality. Whoever makes the major decisions on any of these shows has no creativity and is "stuck" on the same whine, squeal, done. A couple of times I was sure the same lines/shot were used by hosts on more than one show.

Am over it, now to the Food Network which relates to the same concepts HGTV hangs on to.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 10:39AM
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OMG! Technicolor, you are so right about the trashing! I ranted once about that, too. [lol]

Then, the one time they get a homeowner (not remodeler) who "insists" on donating something, they act like it's policy and philosophy all along. If I hear one more nit wit simper about how therapeutic demolition is, I'm afraid I'll demo the TV. I really don't watch much anymore because of this type of crap.

"Exceeding Expectations." To me, and in some linguistic study I read recently, the implication is consistently that the speaker expected the .. do-er(?) to fail, therefore there weren't any expectations of success.

"No problem" rather than "You're welcome" was also interesting.

Really. When you start with crap, what expectations could you have, anyway?

I knew about conversations, but have never bothered to look there for a thread. Are they trying to encourage traffic there, which would be away from this board? I wonder why our accomplishment threads haven't been moved.

Usually mine get deleted because I'm less than P.C. I thought it might be due to my excessive quoting of "crap hole."

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 10:50AM
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Yes! The trashing thing drives me crazy. There must have been complaints because I'm seeing a lot more reuse/recycle going on then I used to. Many of my cabinets were too damaged for reuse (burst pipe) but I reused some in my laundry room and my contractor took the rest of the usable ones to be donated.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 11:09AM
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While we are on the subject of complaining about cable TV shows, could someone please explain to me the reasoning behind taking everything that was said just before the show cuts to commercial, and repeating it again after the commercials are over? Since all the cable shows seem to do it, someone must have thought it was a good idea. Am I missing something?

Equally annoying is the practice of rolling Twitter comments randomly across the screen. And why do we need to see plugs for future shows popping up during the current show, which often completely cut off a good portion of the picture? It's like the TV can't stop interrupting me and bothering me while I'm trying to watch something. The programming itself isn't nearly as annoying as all the stuff going on around it.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 11:29AM
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It's a good way to burn a few more seconds without having to record additional new content.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 12:11PM
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Ohhh - CEF - don't ever go away again.

You are a joy to read. I don't contribute to the other weekly thread you do but I do read it.

I just wanted to add that I commented on the conversation side of your thread and mentioned that "I've seen reality and it isn't HGTV".

This post was edited by blfenton on Sat, Aug 30, 14 at 12:30

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 12:22PM
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jellytoast, I'm with you. That's why the ONLY way to watch these shows is if they're Tivo'd because you can cut that part out.

My rant would be on Love it Or List it that they give their budget, they always encounter problems (which I love that they show) but I've never, ever seen someone say 'You know, we know the value of our house will skyrocket with your improvements so please do the job we agreed upon in the first place. Don't NOt give us the X, Y, or Z that we were supposed to get. GIVE US WHAT WE AGREED TO AND WE'LL PAY.' That would seem the logical thing to do, to me.

But again, I think it's often one of the most realistic because they DO encounter problems and they DO have to cut the project.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 12:40PM
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Managing rentals, we do a lot of cosmetic updates and I enjoy watching those shows. Kind of fun to decide at what point they will do some "signature" element of theirs (usually the one that will date the update a couple of weeks after they finish) Or when they try and pass it off as some brand new design....only used in the last 20 places they did.

I also hate to see them chew the subs to lower and lower and lower the price. At some point those subs have to decide what corners to cut and that will cost a new home owner in the end. And in the case of all those flips that cash is just going to the "stars" pocket rather than a quality product.

I am glad that the lady who always managed to put a swing in a second story child's bedroom by the window is gone.

A fun show would be to visit those projects 5 years down the road and see what held up.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 12:53PM
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"It's a good way to burn a few more seconds without having to record additional new content."

If "good way" equals "annoying way" then they are succeeding. If they want to burn a few more seconds, why not just let the cameras roll a little longer on the finished product, or show those sections of the recording a second time? Is it because if they focus too long we will see the errors? With the way they rush through those projects, I imagine there would be lot of them. Regardless, anything would be better than listening to repeated dialogue.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 12:53PM
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"My rant would be on Love it Or List it that they give their budget, they always encounter problems."

Hahaha ... yet it always seems to come as a surprise to them, even though the same thing happens on EVERY SINGLE SHOW. You'd think they'd learn to allow for those "surprises" in the budget, but nope, they never learn.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 1:12PM
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Personally, I don't want my kitchen or bath finished in 3 days. How careful can you be if you have a ridiculous deadline and just have to slap stuff in? Some of those HGTV jobs just make me cringe. DIY-ing your own kitchen and baths give you a much better appreciation of realistic time frames.

Example: when we put in our cabinets in the kitchen we discovered that one of the wall studs was put in backwards to all the others - the one had the crown (bumpy-out part) facing the kitchen side of the wall and all the others faced the bedroom on the other side of the wall. This meant that we had to do a lot of shimming to make sure everything was level and plumb in every direction and it took forever. Sure, we don't do this every day, in fact only once, but the fussy shim-measure-shim-measure, etc. just plain old takes time if you want it to come out right. Our end result is that our granite went on perfectly and the uppers don't have any odd connections or dips. Doing it right takes time. Faster if you've ever done it before, but still time.

OTOH, I've learned a lot from Mike Holmes, Amy Matthews, Candice Olson and Sarah Richardson. #1 might be get a specialist to do specialty jobs like electrical and complicated plumbing. From Sarah I learned that you can decide the whole color/decorating scheme of a bath based on a shower curtain. Did that! Mike is nearly a whole construction education. Also stuff on ice dams, frost heave, weeping tiles, and other cold related topics that are unlikely to ever come in handy here in S. CA, but still very interesting.

And then there's House Hunter Int'l. We like those for the scenery and the look at local housing options. Some day we'll go to Slovenia because it was so beautiful on HH Int'l - who ever heard of Slovenia?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 1:14PM
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jellytoast, I hear ya. They're helping out the poor soul who tunes in 15 minutes late and goes, "Waaahh!! I can't figure out what's happening!!!"

The only way I can stomach House Hunters is to watch the last 5 minutes. They will recap the entire show and show you the final reveal. There's no more content than 5 minutes, and that may be stretching it. I still can't watch it anymore, although Suzanne Wang used to be hilarious with her bizarre voice cadence and body jerks.

Bottom line: They think we're stupid and don't notice their ploys.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 1:21PM
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I hate "Flip or Flop" where they buy a house sight unseen at auctionj. Then they find that it has terrible problems which will undoubtedly bankrupt them. A couple of weeks later they sell it for more than they were asking and net a $100K profit.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 2:32PM
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All so true. The show (on HGTV or whatever twin network) where they remodel the entire kitchen while the couple is out for dinner for the evening had to be the biggest pile for sure. Can you imagine the quality of workmanship for that timeline? yikes.

I had a good laugh reading the other thread, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Don'tcha just wanna slap 'em?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 3:29PM
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I always liked Candace Olsen. You could tell her jobs were taking the needed amount of time and serious $. No silly "Three Rooms in Three days for $1000!" (And one of them is a kitchen)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 4:59PM
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Remember that show "Trading Spaces"? I think that kicked off all the hgtv craze...fixing a room for $1k and it was always hideous.

I figure the hgtv shows aren't figuring in labor costs.... These shows are really giving home buyers and remodelers unrealistic expectations.

Personally, I like House Hunters International. ....although I would like it much better if / when they went back to check up on the people and they said they made the wrong choice, hate the place, and should have chosen something else. Now that is reality!!!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 5:59PM
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I agree w/others on HH Int'l. That's prob the only HH I watch anymore. I love it when Americans are like "I really wanted open concept" or comment on how the kitchen is small. Lol. I also like HH Renovations where they revisit the people & they fess up to going over budget & extending the timelines. Sort of along the lines of what Teehee suggests, there was one episode where the couple (who seemed oddly matched) had broken up by the end of the renovation. I bet it was the reno stress that did it!

And Trading Spaces was awful Teehee - worst episode is a tie between the moss wall room or the one w/the hay on the walls in a house w/a two year old!

I'll also echo others on the excessive busting up of stuff. I know it's dramatic, but I'd much rather hear how they are going to donate/reuse things. My old cabs, counters, sink, light fixtures & doorknobs went to Habitat ReStore. Why not use the show as a plug for something like that?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 6:31PM
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Hildy did such awful things on Trading Space. She always seemed to intentionally be sticking it the homeowners. I saw her interviewed and they asked her about her own house. She said it was all white. Crazy.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 6:40PM
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Great thread & always full of life CEF! I can't remember chiming in on any of your threads so far, but have always loved the banter you get going!

Like a few others here, I really liked the Fixer Upper show. I live 1.5 hrs from the small city that it's shot in, so maybe that had something to do w/ it. I couldn't believe the budgets for the home & reno's was realistic & thought HGTV must be adding $ into it. But, I'm not so sure. A friend of mine, a real estate investor, told me his uncle, a RE investor as well, just built a small 15 unit apt complex by the university there & his entire labor costs was $60K! That wasn't material or permits or anything else, but still, that just doesn't seem possible. I live in Austin & you can't get an outhouse built with $60K for labor! So, maybe the budget on those homes is actually real. I think I'm going to have to do some research on this because if it is realistic, I'm heading in that direction to start flipping homes myself!!

suzannesl, I like the House Hunter Int'l shows too. I like to getting ideas on where I'd like to retire in Italy one day!! :)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 7:20PM
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I like House Hunters Int'l because it makes me sooo grateful to live in this country with our GW/Houzz kitchens and bathrooms!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 8:01PM
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This is so funny, I just turned of HH the other day, people being so stoooopid, and the day beefore one woman whining about 5400 sq ft being too small for them and their ONE baby. Loved Fixer Upper at first bcause I love Joannaks style. But yeah, they aree all the same. My DVR list is quiite small these days.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 8:50PM
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"... could someone please explain to me the reasoning behind taking everything that was said just before the show cuts to commercial, and repeating it again after the commercials are over?"

If you've just tuned in, this brings you up to speed.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 8:13AM
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>> Remember that show "Trading Spaces"? I think that kicked off all the hgtv craze...fixing a room for $1k and it was always hideous.

I remember that but had to look up the place where they glued hay on the walls. WTF??? While doing that I came across another one where they filled someone's basement with sand and painted yellow/red stripes on the wall that even the best hiding primer would run away from yelling "Nope!" I only saw the show on occasion... I had no idea it was this much of a cluster.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 8:54AM
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With Flip or Flop, I'm always horrifies by how little they pay for their kitchen cabinets. I always fell like the dh is turning around to stare at me, like "Why didn't WE find some $3,000 cabinets??? Those look fine!"

What are those cabs made of? Where do they find them so cheap? I don't know.

With Prop Brothers and Love It Or List It, I am always gobsmacking that the value of their homes jack up way beyond what was just put in them. I was always told you should never expect to recoup every dime you spend in any reno, but that kitchens and baths were your best hope. And yet they spend $30K, and the value of the home goes up $75K. In what universe?

In that show where the saucy little blonde renovates old houses in Minnesota, I am always creeped out by the sheer filth. It's like nothing ever gets CLEAN. They just paint it or slap new drywall over it. And the dead rat carcasses are still stuck in the rafters. Bleh.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 9:23AM
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I do watch Flip or Flop from time to time. They generally act surprised and make a big deal out of a kitchen that's bad and needs gutted. Just recently this happened on a house they bought from pictures only. I've yet to see an episode where they keep the kitchen anyway. It also amazes me how they seem to do so much for 50,000 in southern CA. We no longer live there but know it would be impossible to do half that here in the Midwest.

DVR takes care of the wasted time spent on all the recaps after commercial breaks. At the beginning of many shows they will preview the upcoming episode. I fast forward through it also.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 11:25AM
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"It also amazes me how they seem to do so much for 50,000 in southern CA"

Trust me, we can't do that much.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 1:48PM
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I'm with DebraK on this one. WHY when they say, "We have discovered this problem, and we can finish the kitchen that we've already started, but we can't do your bathroom" . . . WHY don't they back up, regroup, and say, "Oh, how disappointing! Let's downgrade from marble countertops to laminate, and let's not replace the furniture in the living room -- that way we can still do the bathroom too -- we will keep the old vanity in the bathroom to save money." Every last one of us would do that -- if we had a professional crew standing there to do the work and if we had no money to add to the pot.

The other thing that always gets me: If you couldn't finish the bathroom like I wanted, and if just didn't work out . . . Well, too bad. But if I didn't get all the things I wanted, I would be royally pissed if you took some of that money and bought a bunch of throw pillows and a new kitchen table. If I don't get what I want, don't go spending every penny of my budget on "extras". Let me save that towards the day I really can do the bathroom!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 5:53PM
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Lol @ MizLizzie's comment on the saucy blonde. I think that's Rehab Addict. I'm always shocked that she never has to do lead or asbestos abatement. Or tent for termites.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 6:30PM
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Just saw a snippet of Rehab Addict? when I turned on the TV. She was purchasing an old cabinet for $240 to put in, I presume, a kitchen. That cabinet was fit only for the bonfire. And...she drove out into the country somewhere to buy it! I'm presuming she won't personally live there. Maybe someone's going into the slum-lord business.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 6:55PM
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I don't watch HGTV much anymore, but when I did, my favorite show was Bang for your Buck. Does anyone remember that one? A realtor and designer would come in and critique a remodel in three different homes, while the homeowners got to listen. It might be kitchens, or a bathroom, whatever, but it was a riot to listen to the homeowners get upset when something about their remodel received a negative comment. At the end of the show, they pick the homeowner who did the best job, and got the most bang for their buck.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 9:00PM
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I also hate how on Love it or list it, they ALWAYS run into problems that end up nixing some or most of what the homeowners wanted. I dont want to watch a show about a drainage problem getting fixed. Also hate the fakey bickering and how the real estate guys shows them two sucky places before taking them up of their desired location for house number three. Oh the drama.

But I love me some House Hunters International. LOVE learning about what is the norm in other countries. Like how in Germany you take your whole kitchen with you when you move. Your WHOLE KITCHEN! And in Italy people don't typically have clothes dryers. In one episode on an American family moving to Africa, they learned that homes don't usually have washers OR dryers ( the family made their pick and then ordered a washer dryer). And there was one in India where the whole bathroom gets wet when people glass walls, no shower curtain, just a room full of tile with toilet, sink, and some faucets. Yeah, HH I is great. Although just once on those shows I'd love to see the couple get not an actual fight about the final choice. They are always suspiciously in harmonious agreement.. Hate that part.

Regarding timelines, I can't imagine how anyone watching these shows doesn't realize that is not realistic. Even when they revisit the HH people, it's months or years.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 9:19PM
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What bothers me about these shows is the budget only includes the supplies with free labor for the major designers which of course is not what happens the real world.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 9:57PM
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I guess everybody has their pet peeve about HGTV and I agree with all posted. But my pet peeve is the camera work. All they seem to do on HGTV is point the camera at the homeowners or hosts for canned reactions.

Sometimes there is actually an interesting problem they are fixing, like structural. Instead of holding the camera still so you can actually see what the problem is, they pan and zoom and fast cut to the worried homeowners and hosts so much I sometimes can't even piece together what the room looks like before or after. Endless shots of demo. Demo is interesting? A homeowner learning to swing a sledgehammer?

Instead of using good movie making technique of wide establishing shot, then closer, then closeup, they keep cutting from one closeup to another, mostly closeups of faces, and furniture and knickknacks that may be just staged pieces and nothing to do with the remodel. It makes you dizzy.

Gone are the days where you could actually learn something from this type of show

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 11:31PM
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LOL, Dovetonsils. So true!!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 12:22AM
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We did an HGTV show about 11 years ago. It was "Designer's Challenge" and we redid our son's bedroom. We had to pay for everything but the fee for the designer. The designer was basically doing it for the advertising. I will say that being on the show definitely sped up the timeline because we got priority. Some of the episode was filmed at the shop the made the furniture and I know they bumped us up on the production because of the show. So we got a discount, the designer got advertising and HGTV got a show that was cheap to produce. A friend of mine did her master bathroom on the same show and had the same experience.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 1:15AM
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I had a landscape designer friend who was a contestant on one of the landscaping shows. Three designers, three houses. I forget who judged the outcome. They never showed, IIRC, the homeowners. She enjoyed it and got some short lived advertising out of it for her firm. I think they paid her design fee, but the homeowners paid for most of the materials.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 7:55AM
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I just love this thread. Hgtv is my usual go to for noise channel. Nothing ever too captivating, nothing to give me nightmares. The budgets do make scratch my head... Those numbers can't include labor or the deals they get by using the products on the show. And then I learn things like everything used to stage these great renos is just for the camera shot and then it all leaves. Then MIL calls and says "well on tv..." Yea 30 minutes of content just can't capture real life.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 9:38AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Yeah, it's all laughable, until someone loses their mind and starts believing that ''reality home makeovers'' are real. Lots of folks here are savvier than your average homeowner. Most probably are proud to be handy enough to DIY some home projects with their own personal 4' level.

However, there's a whole group of people who never took shop class, or home ec, or had a handy parent, and who know so little about how real world things are done that they believe that TV is real life. They actually think that you can take down a wall, move plumbing and electrical around, and put in all new cabinets (with granite of course!) For 10K. Over a Labor Day weekend.

And that's my tangential rant. There seems to be very few people anymore with a practical knowlege of anything that remotely involves working with your hands. It's not just the lack of exposure in school either. All of the trades folks that I know are not young, and there are very very few young people who are encouraged to be electricians, plumbers, mechanics, or HVAC techs. Prejudice against tradepeople says that kids must go to college, even if their strengths arent academic.

Yet, most plumbers will out earn most English majors. Regardless, folks would rather introduce their sons and daughters as baristas at Starbucks than they would as apprentice electricians. The social stigma against those that work with their hands has to stop. A nation of ignorant helpless citizens who only value online information over hands on real life is already here.

The results of that in the real world are that people are held hostage by the fact that they don't understand enough about basic practical things that they believe that entertainment on TV is real, and thus can be conned by hacks out to exploit that naivete. And there are as many hacks who think that they can learn all about everything that they need to know by just reading it online without getting their hands dirty and starting their careers at the bottom.

It's a very sad day for everyone when there is pride in ignorance, and prejudice against labor.

Here is a link that might be useful: WSJ This Way Up: Mobility in America

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 12:52PM
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Poohpup, how did you end up on the show? Did you give them an amount you were willing to spend & then they worked within it?

My dream would be to have Candace Olson come do one of my rooms. She might be challenged with my budget

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 1:27PM
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HGTV shows are not meant to be educational - they are not PBS! HGTV is meant to be entertaining, and if the shows were not entertaining, there would not be the ratings that they need for a commercial show. I don't think anyone is stupid enough to take any of these shows seriously, as it is patently obvious that this was never their intention.

I love the bickering between David and Hillary on "Love it or List it" - and yet it is a predictable formula that is followed for each episode. Still, I like the characters. What does bother me is that people will increase their budget for a new house but seldom increase their budget as needed for the additional bathroom that they want, when they know that whatever money they put into the renovation (on this show, at least) is a profitable investment. I do agree that the assessed values at the end of the show are not realistic, but then neither are the budgets. Seeing snow on the ground is always shocking to me, as I have never experienced this - except on top of mountains.

I hate the Brother to Brother characters and cover my eyes when any commercials for their shows come on. Also, I think their designs are hideous - but they are just not to my taste. I also hate the way they are hitting each other - that amounts to assault IMO, and I would never tolerate it. Either that or it is extremely juvenile and unsophisticated.

FYI, on the "Flip or Flop" show, there have been episodes when they were NOT able to sell the house, and so they do not always make money. However, the budget for the show seems to allow them to buy more houses afterwards. They are paid actors, after all. I watch the show because it is in SoCal, and I like to see the neighborhoods near me. Living in L.A., I expect everyone to be an actor (I was in a movie and some commercials myself), and even my plumber was in a movie way back when.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 1:36PM
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hollysprings - are you aware that one of Mike Holmes hobby horses is just exactly what you said?

The Holmes Foundation is a charitable foundation that supports the training of youth in the skilled trades, through apprenticeships, scholarships and bursaries. In Canada there is a desperate --and growing--shortage of skilled workers, and unless youth are encouraged to enter this employment field, all homeowners are making themselves increasingly vulnerable to unscrupulous contractors in the future....

This doesn't help the U.S. much, but I appreciate his enthusiasm and he certainly has a following here. One problem I see is the waning influence of unions. When my BIL was a young man he worked his way up the union ladder in floor installation: apprentice, journeyman, master. If he laid your floor, it was done right. I'm pretty sure most of the places built around here have their floors installed by the guy who's maybe done one floor before and was hired from the "union hall" in the Home Depot parking lot. It costs less that way, you know, and unions, baaad.

Here is a link that might be useful: Holmes Foundation

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 2:08PM
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"I don't think anyone is stupid enough to take any of these shows seriously, as it is patently obvious that this was never their intention."

Well, according to Holly, "lots" of us here on GW are "savvier than the average homeowner." I guess all those "average" homeowners are stupid enough as, apparently, "a nation of ignorant helpless citizens ... is already here."

I do disagree with that take, though, and kinda think that the majority of people are "savvy" enough to know the difference between television and real life.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 2:35PM
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I am a news junky. So when the world becomes too much for me to handle, I go to HGTV for some really dumb stuff that takes no brain and causes no aggravation. It's all formula. It all looks the same. The home owners all say "all my god." I really hate when some jerk lies down in someone's bath tub with his big dirty shoes on and imagines himself naked, with a glass of wine, flowers and a his lovely partner.
Then I fall asleep only to get up in the morning, go right to the net to find out what's going on all over the world.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 2:42PM
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...and if you read it online, unlike TV, it must be true, right?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 3:19PM
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Meddam, my friend wrote into the show because she had a really horrid floor plan for her master bath and wanted help. She ended up being picked. When I was visiting at her house, I asked the producer if they were interested in doing my son's room. I was redoing his room around this big silver car bed my husband had purchased for him. The producer was interested because we had good budget and it would be a quick project vs a kitchen or bath that most people want. Forgot to mention that the designer did stage his room with a lot of accessories that we didn't keep.

The thing that drives me crazy is when people declare they hate a house because of the paint color or the homeowners furniture. Or they'll decide not to buy a house worth several hundred thousand dollars because a $300 piece of furniture won't fit. lol

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 4:02PM
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Re going to commercial on a line and coming out of it by repeating when they come back, that's a technique to hold people's attention, and it does work. Most people aren't the discerning consumers that GWKFs are, and they're only half paying attention. They're only half paying attention, anyway, and during the commercials, they're doing other stuff. By repeating 10 seconds that set up what's going on, the show holds their attention and keeps them from going, "Huh?" and changing the channel.

Remember, people, these shows aren't about helping you. They're about selling eyeballs to advertisers. Far more people watch them as sort of visual anesthesia than ever do any remodeling. That's where the "but on TV..." syndrome comes from. They have an uncritical half idea of what it's about from letting HGTV drone on in the background while they're folding laundry and making school lunches.

The thing you have to remember about these shows is that they really are only "spending" what they say they are, but they don't count their own labor--or the prep that was done with production assistants (PAs, otherwise known as cannon fodder) getting the permits and sourcing supplies for cheap, and/or advertising consideration. The labor is also done by everyone in the crew if necessary, to get it done.

And I've heard from people who've had these rush jobs that it generally looks like crap when it's done. Good enough for TV, but doesn't show the flaws in the paint, etc.

It's all about selling the commercials to the eyes of those tuning in...

Have to disagree wtih Meddam. The worst Trading Spaces was the one where the designer insisted on changing the floor but didn't have the money, so put magazines under the new floor instead of padding.

I don't watch HGTV anymore. When House Hunters started they actually followed real house hunters to real houses and would show house #35 and whatever. I thought Trading Spaces was a hoot just because it was so awful, but my brother would rant if I turned it on because it was a show about wrecking people's homes. :)

Regarding House Hunters, Int'l or not, Coll_123 said They are always suspiciously in harmonious agreement. That's because they already have a contract before the shows are filmed. Not like in the old days I mentioned above where they actually would make offers that fell through. When they expanded the show to the three places to look at format so they could do production in other cities, they had to guarantee that the show could be made in a short time frame. So they use people who have signed, and even sometimes half moved in.

Sometimes, especially on International, you can tell that the other properties are ones the agent wants advertising for because they're hard to move (too high for the locals), or that they're not really for sale, but interesting. There's a famous one that was done in France where tons of people recognized the showstopper and knew that it had never been on the market. But, I do like HHI. I like the cultural bits and travelogue between the hunts, and I like seeing the different kinds of houses. I feel let down if they're looking at ordinary suburban tract houses in Vancouver or Melbourne. It's "international" but still known. They're doing better with those, now, however, and showing more architecturally interesting houses, or at least more exciting travel shots.

Poohpup, I used to love Designer's Challenge and Landscaper's Challenge exactly because they were pretty real. The unrealistic part was the impression they gave that the designers would do a full treatment/presentation on spec for free. :) In reality, they only do that for plum jobs it's worth investing their own money in trying to win. Otherwise, they may waive the cost of the presentation if you hire them, but otherwise, you do pay for it.

Hollysprings, that's sad! I always thought a master plumber was a good catch. :) Same hours and pay as a doctor (this was back when doctors were paid well, nowadays I'd say better pay), but handier around the house. :)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 4:08PM
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suzannesl, I think you hit hollysprings' nail on the head. In a former life I was a labor negotiator in the chemical industry. The blasted unions were the bane of my existence. But even then -- even at my most 3AM aggravated with the shops down and a thousand people out of work -- even then I knew they were a necessary evil and I knew what would happen to our nation without them. Well, they are all gone now, more or less. And look where we are. Everyone wants to be an English major. My father came up through the apprentice and journeyman's system to own his own business building interstate highway bridges. It put a nice roof over our heads and helped educate four girls, all now taxpayers. Now my own plumber can't find a helper. Not even a HELPER. He gave up looking for a plumbers to join his firm. He needs three. But at this point, he says he will settle for a dependable kid to ride shotgun and tote his tools. Nope. The parents up and down my street all whine and moan about their kids living at home. But no one's applying to tote a tool bucket.

Okay. Rant over. But HGTV is a fantasy. I watch it like little girls watch Disney. But it is still a fantasy.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 4:27PM
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A high school teacher's perspective on the "no one wants to go into the trades" thing:

- When I was in high school (graduated in the 80s), we had tracking. That is, our core classes existed at three levels: The highest level for those who were headed to college, an average level, and what was essentially a remedial track. That meant that each class was tailored to that group's needs, which made perfect sense. Why'd it change? Part of it was that once a student was "assigned" to the low level class, he probably wasn't going to be allowed to move up -- even if he was a late bloomer. Also, a kid who had a learning disability in math was automatically going to be placed in ALL remedial classes; the idea that a kid could be average in reading yet need extra help in math didn't really exist yet. But mostly -- and this isn't politically correct -- it was because the college-bound classes were made up of mostly white students, while almost all the minority students were shoved into the average or remedial classes. However, in the attempt to avoid these issues, we've gone too far in the other direction. Now we pretend that EVERYONE should be going to college -- even if he doesn't read, hates school, can use technology but doesn't really understand how to control it, and has no direction in any academic field.

- Part of this is that student loans are now widely available and are socially acceptable -- no, beyond acceptable. There's almost an expectation that "everyone borrows", so go ahead and do it. In the past, before this idea was so predominant, money kept students from going to college. By and large, that doesn't happen any more.

- And, yes, there's a BIG social stigma against going into the trades. Oddly enough, this stigma seems to be strongest in two groups: 1) The kids who are from college-educated, professional families -- that is, the kids who've always assumed they were going to college. 2) The poor kids whose parents didn't finish school and are underemployed. These parents push the idea "my kid is going to college", though they don't seem to understand that high school habits (good attendance, choosing the tougher classes, studying) make college possible; rather, they don't seem to grasp that a kid who graduates with a D average isn't going to go on to the state flagship university and succeed. As a result of these stigmas, these kids take college prep classes and just sort of assume they're going to go on to college.

- I'd say 10-15% of our kids take and LOVE our vocational classes. We offer Cosmetology, Nail Technology, Automotive Technology, Electrical Trades, Welding, Culinary Skills, a CNA Nursing program, Pharmacology Technology, Masonry . . . seems like I'm leaving something out. Oh, Drafting.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 5:54PM
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BTW CEFreeman- I'm sure you are not trying to say that I am foolish enough to believe everything I read on the net. I do respect certain online sites and stay far away from others, just as one does when watching news on TV, choosing newspapers, magazines and people one takes seriously.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 7:31PM
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Have to agree on the trades. I've said many times that if I had it to do over again I'd like to have gone into the trades. I have a good college education and a good job but overall I think I'd rather have the skills of a union trade.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 7:44PM
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Well, maybe the dream of being a reality TV star via a construction career will motivate a few to go down that path. Otherwise, I don't see what there is to attract them. Sure they can make money, but that requires that they do actual physical labor to get it. Most everyone I know with teenage kids don't even require their kids to do chores around the house, so I can't see those kids getting too excited about a future career that involves a lot of hard physical labor. Besides, construction jobs require that they put down their phones.

You guys are painting a dismal picture of the future of the construction industry. All the more reason for homeowner's to join the ranks of the DIYers. May as well learn to do as much as we can because it sounds like we won't have anyone else to do it. Oh wait, I heard that on the internet.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 9:15PM
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No, sixtyohno. It wasn't about you. It was a general commentary.

I married my POC-ex-GC-DC because he could do and make things. Here in DC, I'd had my fill of dating sad, self-important child-lawyers, the 80s business degree business men (remember when THAT was what one studied), a banker, a real estate agent (wanna get rich quick?) or even military people of rank. I was impressed with the fact my fellow could DO something practical.

We could drive down the road and he'd point out a church his dad built in 1950. He'd point at a high rise and tell me they GCed that job and so-and-so did the electric.
IOW, he had something to show for himself. It wasn't another [inset sarcasm] deal, or a case. It was Tangible.

I also think it's sad.
MANY years ago now, I had a woman working for me once, whose daughter was dating a mechanic. He owned his own shop at 24. I tried to be enthusiastic, but worried about her daughter. Another of her coworkers asked about future and college, etc. She came right back and said she believed the world would always need mechanics, plumbers, electricians, and people who had actual skills.

I, managing a travel agency, had an epiphany about the lack of importance in what we were doing.

Yes, I like someone who has skills. And we're not talkin' marshal arts. :)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 9:57PM
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One of the reasons I meticulously chronicled our 9 month renovation of our kitchen and living spaces in a Facebook photo album was to specifically address the unrealistic expectations people have. I wanted to show that real life renovation is long, dirty, messy, full of delays and frustrations, full of joy and exhilarating ah hah! moments. The HGTV world is so out of touch. My brother-in-law was our contractor and I know many of his clients these days struggle to understand that you can't do a quality kitchen or bath reno in a week. I hoped to share, at least with my merry band of friends, what is truly involved in a major reno. May not change anything, but it was fun to document it. Full disclosure: I still watch HGTV, but I do find myself turning off most of the regular HH shows. I find so many of the clients to be irritatingly whiny. Great thread, as always, Christine!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 11:54PM
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hollysprings said: "There seems to be very few people anymore with a practical knowlege of anything that remotely involves working with your hands. It's not just the lack of exposure in school either. All of the trades folks that I know are not young, and there are very very few young people who are encouraged to be electricians, plumbers, mechanics, or HVAC techs. Prejudice against tradepeople says that kids must go to college, even if their strengths arent academic."

LOL! Best post ever! That and the one referencing Mike Holmes. Mike Rowe has a similar foundation. hollysprings, are you really Mike Rowe?

I HUGELY respect this guy (and Holmes was always a bright spot in the dark sky of homeowner television, will have to look into his foundation, too,) and hope we as a nation might begin to see a paradigm shift when it comes to taking pride in the work we do, and doing what it takes to make ends meet and not be dependent.

Mike Rowe for President!


Here is a link that might be useful: mikeroweWORKS

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 7:31AM
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My sons and DH saw Mike Rowe at the 2010 Boy Scout National Jamboree - he spoke at one of the arena shows. Mike is an Eagle Scout, and has a section of his web page devoted to Scouting.

He has a t-shirt that says "A Scout is clean - but not afraid to get dirty!"

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 10:29AM
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Yes, one of my pet peeves are "designers" who don't have any practical experience doing anything. Believe it or not, there are some that just do the school bit and never have put a paint roller in their hands. (Not that education is at all unimportant.) It's like an architect who designs a building, but never worked a couple of summers in construction framing or roofing. Or a kitchen designer who only microwaves takeout. Practical considerations take a (distant) second place to "art". I just cannot fathom designing something dysfunctional and pretty, just because it's pretty. Like putting hay on a wall in a home. OK, interesting looking, I guess. But who on earth doesn't know that it's a completely unlivable choice!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 10:49AM
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Hollysprings, I have to second Greenhaven’s comment. Best post ever.

Years ago, when my father passed away, DH and I were surprised that nobody in the family was interested in any of his tools. (Who needs tools?) That was the beginning of a revelation for me. We were late to notice this trend, as we’ve always had our heads down, working with our hands. Although both of us have some college, we became professional craftspeople, and always improved the properties we lived in. We have no debt and retired early. But I still remember customer comments: “what a cute way to earn a living!”

We looked up one day to discover that the younger folks all around us (in my family, too) see no value in owning a hammer, or in building skills that don’t involve an iPad. And their parents reinforce this belief. When did this happen? I do find it worrisome; it’s not just that I wonder who will repair my furnace when I’m elderly. It’s also that the attitude represents a shift in values that makes me very uncomfortable, and sad.

What is wrong with manual labor? It used to be valued as an honest way to earn a living, and people used to find deep personal satisfaction, and pride, knowing they were skilled tradesmen, providing critical services to the community.

“...The social stigma against those that work with their hands has to stop.” I sure agree.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 1:17PM
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And the trend overlaps with an equally disturbing one - "throw away and buy new" instead of fix and repair what you have. I understand that in a lot of cases, simple economics drives this - it seems silly to spend $80 to fix a microwave, when you can buy a new one for $100. And it's a viscous cycle - we buy new because we don't know how to fix the old, or can't find someone else to do it. Things are not made to last, or be repaired, so we buy new. We forget how to fix or repair, because it isn't economical to learn how.

My biggest concern about buy new over repair is the enormous resources wasted by such an attitude. Even if money is no object and you can buy a new washing machine, chances are the old one will only be minimally recycled, and the new one requires a lot of raw materials and energy to produce.

Smashing windows for the fun of it on a remodeling TV show makes my skin crawl.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 1:29PM
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Annkh--and made worse by the fact that you can't get the part to actually fix the thing (like, say, my stove, that needed a new circuit board. But of course, they don't manufacture that anymore, 17 years later...).

On the plus side, my kids' high school does all kinds of tech ed. The one who is a senior's done a bunch of engineering (what he wants to do long-term), culinary & carpentry. But, then, I want him to spend some time there learning life skills! And now, he cooks dinner 1/week or so. Happiness.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 2:00PM
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HA! I just wanted to thank you for posting this CEFreeman - it made me LOL. It always cracks me up when they hand the wife a sledge hammer and she gets to "take out her aggressions" on her kitchen cabinets. I'd love to see the morning after shot where she's nursing her tendinitis...

I don't have cable anymore but ditto this sentiment and would like to include "house flipping" shows on the list. WOW do they give rehabbers a bad rep! If I ever meet whatshisnuts Montelongo I'd punch him right in his stupid face.

Greenhaven I'm with you on Mike Rowe for president. I love that guy!

IMHO I think this, just as with everything else, will ebb and flow. I think everyone is in agreement that we're tending toward a "throw away" world and one where people don't see the value in their own labor any more. The pendulum will swing in the other direction - it already is. Look to the hipsters to start building furniture by hand and revitalizing old trades. There's a guy here in Milwaukee who has started a program to teach a new generation trades of yore (like plaster, stained glass, decorative masonry, etc). He hires them and pays them $10/hr or so to learn the trade (on the job training) and puts them up in a house he owns. If I were younger and starting over, I'd love to do something like that!

After the generation of useless yuppies flushes out I think we'll start seeing a trend toward handier people again.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 2:20PM
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Interesting seeing this thread veer toward the importance of skilled trades people. Our family, including adult college educated children, had a discussion about this recently.

There is such a lack of respect for people skilled in the trades and a general lack of understanding of what it takes to be a master of a trade. My DH grew up in a family of heavy equipment contractors and most people think moving earth and properly building a road or siting property is like playing with Tonka trucks.

We recently had new hardwood floors installed in our home that were finished on site. I am in awe of how much skill and expertise was required to get from a stack of unfinished boards to the beautiful finished result. The floorers were there on time, worked through several evenings (we moved out during the process) and left our home neat and clean. They'll be back to do additional coats when the painter is done. I am as impressed with their work and manner as I have ever been with any professional person.

Why don't people like this get their fair share of respect?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 3:48PM
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"Why don't people like this get their fair share of respect?"

They do!! It is the hackers and the people who don't care about the quality of their work that don't get respect, and they don't deserve it. They cast a dark shadow on those in the trades who DO care.

Just because someone doesn't want to BE in the trades or wants their child to do something besides physical labor for a living isn't to say that they don't respect those who do.

I think it has less to do with people looking down on the trades, and more with people not wanting to do such difficult physical work. Sure plumbers make great money, but look what they have to do to earn it. Personally, I would HATE to be a plumber, but that's just me, and it has nothing to do with disrespecting them.

"I am as impressed with their work and manner as I have ever been with any professional person."

If they aren't professional people, what are they? Don't we always refer to them as professionals on this board?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 4:28PM
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I need to come right back to emphasize that I was in no way inferring that the tradesmen were in any way less "professional" than anyone in another line of work - doctors, lawyers, bankers, etc. I was actually trying to make the point in my post that I didn't think the good ones get the recognition and respect they deserve for their skills and the expertise required to do their work.

This post was edited by amck on Tue, Sep 2, 14 at 18:40

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 4:57PM
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"I was actually trying to make the point in my post that I didn't [think] the good ones get the recognition and respect they deserve for their skills and the expertise required to do their work."

Thanks for clarifying. Maybe HGTV and DIY TV have something to do with that by making everyone think they can do that kind of work. After all, how much skill and expertise is required if anyone can do it? I'm all for DIY and would never discourage anyone from going that route, but I do think the whole "anyone can do that" mindset diminishes the skills and knowledge required to do these things for a living, day in and day out. Then there is the glut of so-so or even poor quality work put out by some "professionals" that reflects poorly on the industry as a whole.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 5:57PM
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Ok, taking this in a similar but different direction.

HGTV & DIY Network: Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle. Or something like that.

What'cha think of the sledgehammer show? Can you scream WASTE?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 10:59PM
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@ Treb - "'ll find many real-life contractors hate these shows, mainly for creating unrealistic time expectations."

About now, I think my GC would prefer I watch those shows - rather than mention something I learned on GW.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 1:07PM
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What'cha think of the sledgehammer show? Can you scream WASTE?

I've seen the promos for that show, and I'm determined to miss this one. Those sledgehammer shots have annoyed me for years!

This kind of silly gratuitous waste only reinforces the trend towards "throw away and buy new" that annkh brought up, above. It makes my skin crawl, too! I know they do it for ratings, but I find it a bit insulting that HGTV believes this kind of display is what we all want to see. Grrrr.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 1:28PM
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"This kind of silly gratuitous waste only reinforces the trend towards "throw away and buy new" "

Apparently there is something for everyone on HGTV. I've seen Nicole on Rehab Addict present completely "remodeled" bathrooms filled with things I would happily take a sledgehammer to. I do like her show though, regardless.

When I tore out my kitchen, I figured if my old stuff wasn't good enough for me, it wasn't good enough for anyone else either. Everything in it was functional, but it was old, ugly, beat up, and almost even too gross for the landfill. I feel the same way about a lot of the kitchens I see demo'd on TV ... only a sledgehammer will put them out of their misery. I do agree with you, though, mudhouse ... do we really have to watch another homeowner take the first swing? Yawn.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 2:24PM
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jelly, I reused almost all of my old kitchen cabinets. Some went to my laundry room; some went to my garage; the big ugly angled corner cabinets are in my neighbor's garage; one last upper cabinet is in the other neighbor's storage room. None were beautiful, but all were reasonably functional for their new homes.

The only ones I didn't reuse were the base corner susans (which were complete crap), and the sink base, which had to be demolished to get it out from around the plumbing.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 3:16PM
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One thing to remember is that they cycle in new viewers every year and ones who've gotten savvy tend to rotate out. As kids turn into adults and then homeowners, they become whole new cohorts to watch shelter shows.

I haven't even seen the promo for the sledgehammer show, but I will say that even though I was able to find homes for all my old, half dead appliances, except the oven which was dead dead, and even was able to save a few cabinets for the Habitat store, most were rotted and the tiles were cracked (and almost never salvageable anyway). A full time pro did the sledgehammering, but a lot of it was done. Then he sorted all the debris and it was delivered to industrial recycling. They may not show it--and may not do it on those shows--but there really is a good reason for destroying some things that look okay but really aren't, and there really is recycling of the broken bits.

Good post-HGTV shows where they tell you the real price and do wonderfully competent work are on Animal Planet of all places. I guess they include trees in "animal". Treehouse Masters and Redwood Kings both show highly skilled and competent people building things right, using a lot of imagination, and getting paid very handsomely for it. :)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 3:20PM
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Someone far upthread wrote:
> Do they think we're all morons?!!

At some level I think the simple answer is yes, or at least they don't want to scare off any of the viewers who happen to actually be morons by making the show too "highbrow". Because the most moronic of viewers will do exactly as shown on so many of the shows -- destroy everything with a sledge hammer -- replace it all with whatever brand appears in the next commercial.

Smart shopping or careful weighing of the options or recycling or reuse are traits that are not of value to the advertisers, so the various shows are loathe to ever actually show any of those traits. They wouldn't want to set a bad example.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 3:44PM
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Swentastic said: "If I ever meet whatshisnuts Montelongo I'd punch him right in his stupid face."

Six-thirty in the morning and I scared the birds with my lol! I have no idea who that is, but it atill made me laugh hard enoigh to disturb the peace!

I have done enough DIY stuff to understand how deeply difficult it is to get certain jobs done RIGHT. My DH ( ex-Navy) used to say "good enough for government work.". Now I tend to say ( In my own home) "good enough for DIY."

I hate it SO much when those shows destroy perfectly reusable materials! Yes, some are just gross or destroyed, but some I would use in my own home if given the chance.

I took HH off my dvr list the other day after reading here how they sometimes film after the actual sale! I knew a lot was staged, but that just finished me off. Still record HHI because of the locales and culture.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 7:18AM
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P.S., I totally forgot to mention how proud I am of my DIl, who is just 21 but loves to learn the skills to maintain her new house, build rather than buy the tjings she wants when possible, and is so awesome about looking for gently-used items to furnish her home. She loves to have me over to help, but is more like "Okay, gimme the drill now" than "You are doing fine, MamaG, thanks!" Love that girl.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 10:07AM
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Well, in my opinion the trades got what they "asked for". I was no slouch academically, but wanted to take shop/trade geared classes as electives in high school. Request denied/no recourse. Solely because I am female.

Graduated H.S. and took landscape and business courses in college. Probably 30-35% of the ornamental horticulture students there were female. Everyone shared the hands-on work of trenching ditches, designing and gluing irrigation systems, pruning trees and hauling away the debris, planting boxed-sized plants, etc. Upon graduation, the women had difficulty getting work in the field, unless they went into business for themselves like my husband and I did.

The trades don't want to train people in their trade; they want to train men. Still. I won't be bothering myself to muster up sympathy in my heart for their self-constructed plight.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 7:01PM
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@ gyr - I thought I was the only one who was told "no" I could not take the woodworking class in high school.

Am sure I would have been a master carpenter and put Norm Abram to shame (just kidding). So, I went into medicine instead and put holes in and cut up people - instead of wood. :-)

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 7:33PM
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Well, not kidding, you very well could have been! :) So much talent never realized in so many fields--it still makes me angry because it continues to this day. What really rankled at the time was the lack of any reason given beyond just "No." Glad you found another way to carve out a use for your talents.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 11:03PM
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Interesting thread! I'll have to go look for the original.

Regarding budgets on these HGTV shows, I always pretend in my head the quoted prices are for materials only. That's the only way I can relate to them.

Regarding the trades, DH and I were recently having dinner with a few other couples whose professions require graduate degrees. One, an attorney, said she's not sure she'd even send her kids to college anymore--and referenced this joke:

"A prominent lawyer calls a plumber to fix a leak in his shower.
After about 25 minutes the plumber hands him a bill for $200.00. The lawyer, enraged, says: 'I’m a famous trial lawyer, and even I don’t make that kind of money for 25 minutes work!' 'Neither did I when I was a lawyer,' says the plumber."

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 12:20AM
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"Glad you found another way to carve out a use for your talents."

ROFL! No pun intended?!

I got to take half a semester of woodshop in 7th grade, but every student rotated through every "shop" class; wood shop, metal shop, sewing and cooking. 8th grade year every student had the opportunity to take a full semeater of any two. I am 43 now, and I can say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the experience fueled my love for building things, especially out of wood. Even after I suffered injury at the helm of the band saw. ;0)

Moved away after 7th grade and never got the opportunity again to get into a wood shop class. I still might find something around here, but it is so difficult to even find people who can teach it anymore.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 9:07AM
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In Mason, MI in 1973, Jr. High girls and boys were also rotated through shop and home ec. It was really interesting. Our Shop teacher though, was definitely condescending to the girls in what he thought should be. [shrug] Oh well.

Greenhaven, look for at Woodworker's Clubs (of America, I think.) I took a class there in basics. It's where I actually learned what 90% of the tools I have are. I also learned I had almost every single thing they did. I rock. Or ex-DH did, when he left it all behind. :)

Anyway, I got more comfortable with different items. I want to take a class specifically devoted to routers, because that's the one I haven't tried to teach myself.

I always thought I'd like to be a brick layer. Carrying the materials would have become an issue, though.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 9:37AM
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I took three years of shop in junior high, never took home ec. My Mom taught me to use a hammer, saw, and drill. She was always building things! I don't think my Dad knew which end of a screwdriver to hold.

Today I'm a mechanical engineer. I once went to a conference where there were only two women. All the men (and the other woman) wore black or navy or dark gray suits (it was 25 years ago, when people still dressed up); I wore a pink linen blazer. Just because I'm in a male-dominated profession doesn't mean I have to dress like one!

It came in handy, too - if someone wanted to find me in the group of 200 to ask about my research, they didn't have any trouble picking me out of the crowd.

I also worked on a garbage truck in high school (because my boyfriend's family owned the business). I worked months on the back end, until I learned to drive the truck. I loved the look on peoples' faces when they'd say "Hi, fellas!", and see that I was a girl!

We had one very chauvinistic employee. He could not let himself be shown up by a girl in any way. I'd walk to a set of cans; he's walk faster. I'd trot, he'd trot faster. Pretty soon we were racing to the cans - and finishing the route in record time!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 10:42AM
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" And yet they spend $30K, and the value of the home goes up $75K. In what universe?"

Replacing fixtures and fittings, etc doesn't make money. Moving walls and improving the flow of the house does. Good flippers make a lot of money, and they do because they improve the way houses flow.

They also tend to buy houses with things that aren't too expensive to fix, but tend to horrify people - I saw one flipping show where the guy bought a house from another flipper who'd given up because the house smelled bad - one of the toilets was clogged - was like a $100 fix and the guy sold the house to him at a $20K loss.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 11:04AM
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I took 6 years of shop through middle school and high school. The middle school classes were about 1/4 girls, in high school however I only recall two girls in the classes. So I don't think the school prohibited girls from attending, but they may have "discouraged" them, since guidance counselor suggested that maybe I shouldn't take shop, since I was college bound, and shop was usually the route for people who had no prospects for college, and that maybe I should take a study hall instead, since I was taking a full load of college prep classes. That was the last time I sought any "guidance."

One of my classes did have a section on bricklaying, where part of the grade for that section was to take a wheelbarrow filled with something heavy (bricks? concrete blocks? bags of mortar? ) and push it 50 feet down the hallway turn around and come back. Since I was rather scrawny, it was quite difficult for me. The wheelbarrow tipped over and I got a non-passing grade for that portion of the class grade.

greenhaven, if you are going to have an accident the band-saw is a good one to choose. Accidents there are likely followed by "Ow that %&@#%ing hurts" whereas over at the table saw the exclamation might be "Oh $#!+!, can someone help find my finger?"

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 11:29AM
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annkh - at least your high school had shop. Mine was all college track. Back in "those days" they gave us a test to assess what we might be good at along about 11th grade. I was good at a number of things, none of which were secretarial type things. Looking back at that test years later, I see that I scored a 99th percentile on mechanical reasoning. No one ever suggested that I might do well to pursue something using that talent. Had I been a boy, I suspect that conversation would have taken place. As it was, my counselor told Mom that, really, not everyone had to go to college. Nice. In the end I graduated with honors from one of the top universities in the country in the requisite 4 years, so I guess that counselor was just wrong from beginning to end. And too bad about no shop - in recent years I've taken classes at the local community college in "Cabinet and Furniture Technology," along with a couple of foreign languages, science, and art.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 12:14PM
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One of my regrets in life is that I didn't take shop in high school. Back in the early 60s it would have been unthinkable for a middle-class girl on the college track.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 12:25PM
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Isn't this interesting?
In my family of 3 girls, it was college. Period.
My parents were bucking the trend in that they were not raising us to find a man, get married, have a family and be a good wife. Even for the last debutante in the family. College it was so we could grow up and take care of ourself.

The skills I use and value the most of my 3 degrees? Waiting tables, tending bar, computer/web building and training, and teaching yoga. Hey! Wait! That's what I doing again, here at this juncture in my life.

When I was in college, there was only Fortran for a computer language, and PCs were a dream not yet dreamt. After college, community courses were accounting (I got out without any math or science credits aka "interdisciplinary degrees") MIS (Manager of Information Services, now IT) , Microsoft certification classes, and a few other, incidental classes. But my point is, I learned so much more after college. Only hands-on (other than computers) productive talents in the last 5 years

I'm glad my parents didn't push us to marry and reproduce. OTOH, I'd have liked a little more practical knowledge.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 1:24PM
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Regarding fixer uppers and equity: I got REALLY lucky four years ago.......due to ONE thing! The realtor that listed the 1925 Craftsman/Colonial house I bought was a HORRIBLE photographer and his photos made the house look just awful (but it wasn't...needed work but had amazing bones). I got the house at a great deal and built in equity from day one. Realtors! Take good pics or hire someone.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 2:14PM
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Bob_cville said: "greenhaven, if you are going to have an accident the band-saw is a good one to choose. Accidents there are likely followed by "Ow that %&@#%ing hurts" whereas over at the table saw the exclamation might be "Oh $#!+!, can someone help find my finger?""

That about sums it up, ha ha! Although it was followed up with the tjought 'So that is why he said not to push the wood through from the front.'. I was a bright kid I swear, lol!

Kompy said: "Realtors! Take good pics or hire someone."

YES! One of my biggest pet peeves!!! Real estate photos are the worst, but jorses for sale has got to be a close. I will not look at ads with no photos, but it peeves me off something fierce when I get to see a hairy, filthy horse standing in mud past his ankles wearing a halter eleven sizes too big and hung onto by Joe Bumpkin wearing cutoffs and rubber boots. Umm, no thank you?

But I digress. Very few people ever talked to me about going to college, even though I knocked every test out of the park and was in college prep classes making good grades until my senior year. Not one of them actually encouraged it. I got married instead and went to college and earned a couple 2 year landscape design and horticulture degrees when my kids were in high school.

But no regrets. I was not prepared to go to college when I was eighteen. And now I am a learning machine.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 10:54PM
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I thought I was pretty savvy about remodeling but it turns out that I am an HGTV moron.

We wanted to get our sunroom windows replaced but it turned into a much bigger project. We agreed to do the demo to save $$. I'd seen the tv shows; how hard could it be?

Really hard. And that was just a couple of days after I'd received a steroid shot -- ohmigosh, once that thing wore off ... Owwwww!

P.S. Sent my kid through college for graphic design. He's back in school now. This time for welding!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2014 at 7:59PM
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