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Renovation Realities on DIY Network


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#1

piccolascimmia

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Posted Dec 2, 2008 @ 11:15 AM

I searched and searched, but couldn't find an existing thread on this fab show. Is anyone else enjoying it? I love how it shows the real story of starting a project, thinking it can't be too hard, and the resulting chaos.

From DIY's site/About Renovation Realities:

Home renovation looks so easy on TV. We see a project move quickly and smoothly from start to finish and the results are always beautiful. But somewhere between "before" and "after" there are always at least a few speed bumps and one great story. Budgets skyrocket, tempers flare, relationships suffer. This is real life, and Renovation Realities proves that even in home improvement, truth is often stranger than fiction.


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#2

piccolascimmia

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Posted Dec 9, 2008 @ 12:40 PM

Oh goodness, last night's was a doozy. A youngish dude asks his mom to help him completely replace his kitchen for $3000. She mothers him, he hates/enjoys it, they hang cabinets that eventually fall off the wall, she buys new linoleum countertops only to have them fall out of the truck during the drive home, and son spashes paint solvent all over himself.

Incredibly satisfying semi-real life renovation stories. I just realized I like this for the same reasons I like Buy Me...semi-real people in a pretty average predicament and the results of thinking that watching tv makes everyone able to renovate their home.
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#3

Marla Singer

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Posted Dec 9, 2008 @ 3:05 PM

That Boston guy was possibly the dumbest person I've ever seen on a show of this type. I nearly pissed my pants when dumbass accidentally kicked his cabinet off of the wall. What are the odds that the replacement falls off too once he puts dishes or food in it?

Also, I cannot believe that the employees at that Home Depot (or wherever they bought the countertop) actually let the mom drive off in that truck without cueing her in that she should probably tie it down.
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#4

Marla Singer

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Posted Dec 13, 2008 @ 11:08 PM

More people need to watch this show because the episode I saw today was better than the one with the Boston moron.

The only thing I can hope for the Walkers is that their relationship doesn't end violently.
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#5

piccolascimmia

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Posted Dec 17, 2008 @ 2:28 PM

Which ones were the Walkers? Here are the episodes I've seen:

-create a new hallway to connect all the rooms together without having to go through each room to get to another (ugh, who designed that house?)
-guy redoing the bathroom for his wife for a Christmas present (I didn't think it looked that different after, and it would KILL me to have it only like 70% done for who knows how long)
-Boston guy redoing kitchen with his mom
-dude with friend redoing his deck, who nearly demo's it to fall on top of him, and sends a ladder into the window

I think that's all I've seen. Were any of those the Walkers? I can't wait for more episodes!
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#6

piccolascimmia

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Posted Dec 29, 2008 @ 4:07 PM

Oh, and one more episode...a hipster husband and wife make changes to a house 5 days before they're a scheduled stop on a home tour. Hijinx ensue when they try to figure out load bearing walls and such. GOOD TIMES!!!
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#7

pjamma

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Posted Jan 1, 2009 @ 9:01 PM

I just watched the Willis's try to add a master bedroom and bath in an attic. Everything went wrong. I imagine this is what large scale DIY projects are like if you have no knowledge except for what you see on TV. I wanted to cry with them and give up with them. In the end it all got done. Not sure how well it turned out but at least they don't have to use the port-a-potty.
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#8

toolazy

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Posted Jan 2, 2009 @ 11:32 AM

I tried to watch this yesterday but I quickly grew annoyed with the couple bickering constantly so I changed the channel.
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#9

vanstaaler

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Posted Jan 2, 2009 @ 3:52 PM

Shea: "I'm a ready, fire, aim kinda guy" Classic lines all over this episode.
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#10

blorkiemom

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Posted Jan 2, 2009 @ 7:32 PM

I'm glad I'm not the only one who actually watched about 5 episodes of this yesterday. Did they search out the most horrible wives possible for a couple of them? The home-tour wife who expanded the renovation when they only had 4 days to get it done and then had the nerve to call her husband "lame" on camera? And the "why can't you shovel everything while I work on this completely unimportant chair project--I'm just a woman and I can't do much [tears]" gal? Gag. Waiting for the sequel: "Renovation Divorces."

Anyway, it's a hoot to watch these folks try and complete projects on completely unrealistic timelines and with no idea what they're getting themselves into. Just like my own home improvement projects! They're mostly good-spirited about it (exceptions listed above, obviously) and so it's kind of fun to watch.
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#11

Bentley

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Posted Jan 2, 2009 @ 8:55 PM

I was fascinated by the "bee lady" in that one episode. Is there money in that? And the bee-yatch wife of that husband was the most annoying woman I've ever seen on television. One more sarcastic comment from her and I would have been totally on board with his slugging her with a 2x4. Heh, I just caught my own pun.

It seems to me the smartest thing they could have done was call off the party and taken the self-imposed pressure off themselves. Not to mention, if I'm inviting 40 people over to stand on my new deck, I kinda want to make sure it's built right and meets all safety standards. Otherwise we'll have the spinoff, Renovation Lawsuits to go with the Renovation Divorces show biorkiemom proposes.

I thought the southern guy trying to build an attic bedroom was fairly smart. In the sense that I think he could have handled the project if no curveballs had been thrown his way. He seemed to know the basics but didn't know how to adjust for the unexpected. But they were smart enough to call in experts before they got themselves into a jam.

The lesson of this show seems to be "just hire experts to begin with and save yourselves the time, frustration and humiliation."
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#12

Sandstar

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Posted Jan 3, 2009 @ 12:37 AM

The lesson of this show seems to be "just hire experts to begin with and save yourselves the time, frustration and humiliation."


I'd like to think the lesson is: Research your project, find out if it's something you can do, and plan properly. Most of the time, these projects fall apart because of poor planning. Most of the projects aren't terribly complex, they just become so because they don't know what all's involved, and when they get hit by something they aren't expecting, they just fall apart. I mean, putting up your own deck isn't that hard, you just need proper planning. (and a wife that isn't a total bitch.)
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#13

Bungalow Joy

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Posted Jan 3, 2009 @ 1:07 AM

Did they search out the most horrible wives possible for a couple of them?

Totally. The woman who couldn't be bothered with a sensible 6:30AM plan, and even worse had to take valuable time to put on her make-up? Hoo, man. Oh, boy. Turned out she was a good worker when it came to the crunch, but that was some weird internal dynamic going on in the beginning that was a little toxic and ugly.

Good show, for a couple of good tips, actually. Like creating a tray ceiling on the first floor to accommodate pipes, instead of being resigned to dropping the whole ceiling. A pro may have thought, Duh!, but that was a total revelation to me.
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#14

Suz at Large

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Posted Jan 3, 2009 @ 12:23 PM

Two words: building permits.

Two more words: building codes.

Have any of the twits on this show ever heard of them?
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#15

Bungalow Joy

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Posted Jan 3, 2009 @ 2:00 PM

Well, yeah. I sure as hell wouldn't think to make a new second floor bathroom a DIY project. I mean...who does that? But there's definitely some education in other people's.
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#16

blorkiemom

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Posted Jan 3, 2009 @ 6:22 PM

Yeah, although I liked the attic bathroom couple (the makeup delay was annoying, but if I were on TV I'd probably be the same way) it was pretty lame to think they could install complete plumbing and electrical by themselves in 6 days. He did seem to have knowledge (like knowing the drop he needed for the pipes) but that's a HUGE project if you're DIY--I'd think a week full time and then at least another month of eves/weekends to get it done. Plus, as Suz at Large points out, permits! The decks might or might not need it (in my neck of the woods they do) but adding a bed/bath? For sure. But I'm sure they added a lot more than $18K to the value of their house by adding another bath!

The pergo girls yesterday were pretty funny. The rent on that place must be at least $3000--in CA (they were in Southern CA, weren't they?) security deposit can't be more than 2x monthly rent. It sure didn't look that nice. Why not just replace the carpet? I can't imagine sinking $3000 into an apartment.
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#17

daisycat71

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Posted Jan 3, 2009 @ 7:29 PM

What I couldn't understand about the bathroom attic people were:

1) Why were they so gung-ho to remove the antique toilet (which I think was gross) before they needed to install it? and
2) Do they plan to put a modern toilet back in the existing bathroom or will it just remain a hole?

In other words, I would have made sure there was at least one working indoor toilet at all times.
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#18

Marla Singer

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Posted Jan 3, 2009 @ 11:09 PM

The bee-hive wife was supremely irritating but her husband was a fucking idiot. Why did he had her assisting him when he didn't know what the fuck he was doing in the first place? The only job he should have been doing during a project is fetching water for his cousin.

The episode with the nasty ass stupid roommates was down right disgusting. I could almost smell their cat and dog piss apartment. My only consolation came from the fact that their downstairs neighbor had no qualms about calling them for being idiots.

Edited by Marla Singer, Jan 3, 2009 @ 11:10 PM.

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#19

addicted_aardvark

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Posted Jan 3, 2009 @ 11:39 PM

Tonight's pairing at least put the "successful" episode second, which helped lower my blood pressure and yelling (figuratively) at the TV.

It was clear that restaurant guy's counter renovation wouldn't be successful from his first comments about it. No plan, no budget, but a 3-day timeframe. Losing 2 seats, at $200@ per night, sure makes his "improvement" a failure. And his short attention span to non-cooking tasks made me fear for everyone's appendages every time he handled a power tool!

In the kitchen remodel, I was impressed that the guy not only planned to but successfully built his own cabinets. I wonder how long the whole remodel actually took; if they said, I missed it. And am curious how the wife's cabinet project went.
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#20

Suz at Large

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Posted Jan 4, 2009 @ 10:03 AM

It was clear that restaurant guy's counter renovation wouldn't be successful from his first comments about it. No plan, no budget, but a 3-day timeframe. Losing 2 seats, at $200@ per night, sure makes his "improvement" a failure. And his short attention span to non-cooking tasks made me fear for everyone's appendages every time he handled a power tool!

Thanks for posting this. I tuned in to this ep a couple of minutes after it started and stayed with it through at least one commercial break. But all that was happening was total clueless chaos. I couldn't believe they had closed the business and ripped out a counter and had no effing idea what the hell they were going to replace it with. It was just a big unkempt man griping at everybody and parading his stupidity for the camera. I couldn't stand any more and didn't watch to the end.

Now, if I understand addicted_aardvark, that slob is the COOK? Yum.

So far the few episodes of this series I've seen would be better titled "Renovation Delusions." And yes, I know, the title refers to what hits these amateurs in the face sometime between demolition and their projected completion day.
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#21

Marla Singer

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Posted Jan 9, 2009 @ 4:12 PM

I just saw the episode with the lesbian couple which I think might have been the most cringe worthy by far.

Why not just hire a female contractor instead of going through all of that?
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#22

Sandstar

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Posted Jan 9, 2009 @ 10:59 PM

I just saw the episode with the lesbian couple which I think might have been the most cringe worthy by far.

Why not just hire a female contractor instead of going through all of that?


I can only guess that she was needled a bit by the male contracters. Also, she runs her own business. She probably thought (and said as much) that if she could run a business, she could remodel her home.

And it doesn't get anymore cringe worthy then the boston guy and his mom. YIKES.

Edited by Sandstar, Jan 9, 2009 @ 11:00 PM.

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#23

Marla Singer

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Posted Jan 10, 2009 @ 4:20 PM

See the Boston guy didn't make me cringe, I rather enjoyed laughing at him.

With the women it was the fact that they were so clueless yet still wanted to prove something to the "boys" and had to go back to them over and over again for help. I was embarrassed for them.
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#24

Sandstar

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Posted Jan 10, 2009 @ 5:01 PM

See the Boston guy didn't make me cringe, I rather enjoyed laughing at him.

With the women it was the fact that they were so clueless yet still wanted to prove something to the "boys" and had to go back to them over and over again for help. I was embarrassed for them.


Hmm. I couldn't help but cringe at the boston guy. But that was my first show, so maybe I wasn't used to the format. Still, that poor schmuck.
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#25

123herewego

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Posted Jan 11, 2009 @ 5:43 PM

My favorite episode was the two women from Texas who tore off the front of their brick house with bicycle helmuts on, and built an art studio. They were funny, entertaining and seemed to have a really hilarious time figuring their way from demo to tape & bed. Hilarious. They deserve their own show. Between the rum in the coffee, jigsaws and alcohol comment and seeing the face of Jesus I have to admit I hated when the episode ended.
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#26

maggy

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Posted Jan 21, 2009 @ 1:43 PM

This is my favorite show! I've actually learned things on it - as in - what to think about *before* starting a project.

Last night my hubby and I watched the attic couple - I couldn't figure out why they didn't buy a $100 to replace the antique one they are moving to the attic. MrMaggy thought it was because the septic tank couldn't handle two toilets. If that was the case - why would they put the only toilet up the stairs and in the master bedroom - that would turn me off to buying a house.

I honestly don't understand why people don't think realistically about the time it will take to do a DIY project. I have a small bathroom and I'm planning on it taking 4-5 days at least to complete.

The other couple that annoyed the snot out of me was the loft/home tour couple. I hated the woman. I hated the fact that she complained to her husband about him being lazy when she obviously agreed to being filmed four days before the home tour in ADVANCE. It was her fault as much as his. I also got mad at her when she blamed him for the theft. These things happen - sometimes we do stupid things or don't think of all the things that could happen.

Phew - I'm glad I got that off my chest LOL.
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#27

Marla Singer

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Posted Jan 21, 2009 @ 3:44 PM

I couldn't figure out why they didn't buy a $100 to replace the antique one they are moving to the attic. MrMaggy thought it was because the septic tank couldn't handle two toilets. If that was the case - why would they put the only toilet up the stairs and in the master bedroom - that would turn me off to buying a house.


I wondered about that too, it just didn't make sense.
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#28

Bungalow Joy

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Posted Jan 21, 2009 @ 4:27 PM

I was under the impression that they just liked the look of the antique toilet, to match the cottage-y feel of the bathroom with its clawfoot tub. Which is all kinds of wrong. I was ticking off a mental list, and the last thing I want to be antique in my house is the toilet. I want to take that particular piece of equipment for granted, the most up-to-date and efficient one I can afford, looks secondary. BTW, I didn't realize how expensive they are until I got curious about replacing ours.
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#29

Jeaux35

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Posted Jan 29, 2009 @ 11:59 PM

Ok y'all, having read all these posts, I had to watch. I've set the DVR to catch as many as possible. So far, I've seen two.

First one was the couple adding the bedroom/bathroom in the attic. I have to give them props for at least knowing when they ran into a problem to call for help. It could have been a lot worse. I still don't understand why they would have disconnected their toilet early. As others have said, why would they move it? And if you are going to move it, why not wait until it could be reconnected upstairs? And what did they put in the downstairs bath? I just do not understand that whole thing.

Now, I LOVED the look that she gave him when she wanted to delay the drywall guy. Boy, if looks could kill. I had to roll that back and watch it again.

But I do have to say that the upstairs bathroom was underwhelming once it was done. For all the work they did, and all the money they spent, it was not much more than a strictly utilitarian space. Not much style.

The second one was the two girls who haven't learned to housebreak their pets. Good lord, some people just should not be allowed to own pets. It's really not that hard to housebreak a pet. It just takes consistency.

They were actually a ton of fun to watch. All you have to do when removing carpet is cut it into 2-3 foot wide strips, roll each strip up and tie them with rope or strips of cloth, like an old sheet. That way they are easy to carry. Trying to remove that whole carpet would be nearly impossible...and watching them drag it to the street was a hoot.

I was ASTOUNDED at what they had to put down as a deposit. Good god, in Ohio that is a house downpayment. Here we just had to put down one month's rent. I don't think I'll be moving to CA anytime soon. I'd have to sell a kidney.

The rest of the ep was fun, but what killed me was the tag at the end when the card said they spent $3000 to save $6000. And then informed us that they could have had carpet laid for $500. Installed. I laughed so hard my sides hurt. Because when they said that they had spent $2500 on the laminate flooring, I looked at my SO and said, "Why not just have new carpet laid? Wouldn't that be a lot cheaper?". So when the show put that card up, I died.

I still have one recorded, The Lee Project, where a couple guts and remodels their kitchen. This one looks like a good time. I need to see the rest of these. They are fun!

Edited by Jeaux35, Jan 30, 2009 @ 3:20 PM.

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#30

Suz at Large

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Posted Jan 30, 2009 @ 8:23 AM

The second one was the two girls who haven't learned to housebreak their pets.

Jeaux35, word to everything you wrote about that one. I just sighed when I saw the puddle of pet pee on the new laminate flooring. Do these clueless chicks realize that some of the pee will run down between the cracks of all those laminate boards and create plenty of stink? What a pointless exercise. They should have just plunked down 500 bucks for new carpet, INSTALLED, and also plan to do that again just before they finally move out, to save their deposit at that time.

Of course, they could housetrain the pets. In theory. I suspect they live in such constant chaos that they are just not capable of that. I'm surprised they manage to feed themselves and take the occasional shower and get dressed every day.

About that restaurant redo. I didn't watch the whole episode; after seeing part of it and posting upthread, I've wondered if the proprietor(s) even gave a thought to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. They are just opening the door, literally, to a costly lawsuit if they remodel the place without complying with the - often detailed - accessibility guidelines imposed *by law* on places of public accommodation. I don't know if the counter remodeling they did would be relatively large enough to trigger ADA requirements, but somehow I think that nobody gave it a thought. With that general lack of planning and intelligence, restaurant going bust in three, two . . .
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