Bob Villa Question

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Does anyone know why Bob Villa left This Old House? I heard that he was involved in some nefarious deeds with subs and others, such as kickbacks and palm greasing. Is this true or was there some other reason?
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Al Moran wrote:

I believe the real reason was that he engaged in the endorsement of products off the sow and the producers felt it compromised the shows integrity.
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I heard it was because he wanted to endorse building products and tools, and at the time PBS wouldn't allow it, so he left.
Amazingly, he's gone on to endorse every P.O.S. contraption or "better mousetrap" no professional worth his/ her salt would even consider buying.
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There's rumors on the web but who knows. The original show was great, they'd show you how to fix a toilet, etc. Now they have million-dollar refurbs of million-dollar properties, just a big money-making scheme for the show and pbs, they could not care less whether the average shmuck learns how to change out a light fixture.
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That is why I stopped watching it. Think it is called Inside This Old House where the 4 guys go on trips to solve simple problems around the house that I watch now. One or two shows on the million + dollar houses is ok but not all the time. Especially the series that is on now or is just finishing off that seems to be dragging on for months.
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On 30 Oct 2005 10:51:40 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

You got that right.... I rarely watch it anymore. All they do now is find he most costly method to fix anything, and actually do not "fix" things, just replace everything. (If the toilet dont flush, replace the whole bathroom with the most expensive materials available, and be sure everything requires electricity, even the toilet). After all, they are not paying the electric bill....
If Bob Villa was endorsing products, what the heck are they doing now? They must have a whole team of people that go out to find the most costly building materials avaialble, and then they get kickbacks from showing them used.
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A customer of mine makes insulating concrete forms. They offered to give TOH enough to build a small house or addition using them. Sorry, not good enough. Give us $18,000 in addition to the free product too.
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As far as "This Old House", I don't really care too much about the show in which they spend a fortune fixing up an old house, but I enjoy watching "Ask This Old House", in which they respond to veiwers problems that they need fixed. I think of all the DIY shows out there, ATOH is the best and the most realistic. I really learned a lot from those 4 guys.
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wrote:

So I guess the concensus is that bob left the show so he could hawk others wares then?
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wrote:

He left for Sears Tim Allen should have got points on that deal since he started the Sears connection in his standup act.
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wrote:

Yes, I agree that ATOH is better.
This old house, dont even fit their name anymore. Yeah, they start with an old house, but by the time they are finished, little remains of the "old house" except a little framing. I have re-done several old houses, and when I am done, it's still the same house. It might have new siding and windows, and parts of the interior may have new sheetrock, plus some electric and plumbing upgrades, but I dont tear down most of the house, and build a $500,000 addition that is 6 times bigger than the original house.
In one of their shows, they literally tore down half the original house, tore down the garage, removed all the enclosed porches, and gutted the entire house, both inside and out. Then they built a gigantic addition, a new garage, new porches, etc.
What's the point? For the cost of another truckload of framing lumber, they could have built a whole new house, (elsewhere), and spared the old house for someone that could use it with minor repairs (since it was not bad to start with). When you consider the amount of teardown they did, and all the heavy equipment they had to rip down the old structures, they could have bought several truckloads of new lumber. and probably built a second house.
The other thing that bugs me about that show is the way they waste materials. For example, why did they have costly heavy machinery come to rip down the garage? With a little effort and a lot less cost, they could have recycled all the lumber from the garage. Garages generally provide a large amount of good lumber at minimal work to tear them down. If they are trying to promote the "OLD HOUSE" title of their program, then they should do things like most of us (who are not wealthy) do it. We reuse whatever we can, and do our best to keep costs down.
The "This old house" show is not based on reality. Anyone that CAN afford to do what they do, will BUILD A NEW HOUSE.
Mark
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So true. It should be called "This Old Shithole". And someone needs to tell them there's nothing noble about clinging to a bunch of rotted lumber.
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In many juristictions, there is a major financial consideration for leaving part of the old building and incorporating it into the new parts. If there is a minimum portion of the old it will be treated as a renovation and will not trigger a property tax boost, Completely new can add thousands to the annual property tax.
I saw many houses done this way in Los Angeles when I lived there.
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Rich Greenberg Marietta, GA, USA richgr atsign panix.com + 1 770 321 6507
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Nah, not in Massachusetts. There isn't much undeveloped, available land in the desirable towns near Boston, so there is a lot of renovation here. And you don't want to completely tear it down, because you'll likely have zoning issues (setbacks, etc) when you try to build from scratch.
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When you are paying a crew $20 an hour, per person, it does not pay to recycle. They would take a few days to strip it all down to usable lumber, where a excavator can have it out in a hour or two. By the time you have it all stripped clean the new building would be on the way up. Then the mess of dealing with random lengths of used lumber just adds to the time it takes to build. Even when I have done my own remodeling I save very little. The time it takes to strip a 2X4 of nails is not worth the $2 for a new one. Some people's time and patience level must be quiet different from mine! Greg
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My main gripe with "This Old House" is the size and budget of the projects. The houses have just gotten bigger and bigger, and the cost of rebuilding them has grown bigger and bigger as well. Last seasons "barn" renovation was a prime example.
I realize prices are different in the NE than in my area, but they routinely go $100,000 over budget and say "oh well, we're doing OK"... They're obviously richer than I am... :)
I'd prefer to see small old houses where they have a realistic budget. Yeah, the floor is out of level, but jacking it up would just be out of the budget. So, they would work with what they have to stay on budget. Approach the renovation like an average person would. Sure, the show may end up becoming "This Old Room", but I would enjoy that much better than a limitless price tag...
I'd rather see multiple projects throughout a season, than have one enormous house consume an entire season. If I didn't like a project they were working on, I might like the one they do next week. But as it is now, if they start a project I don't care for, I have to wait and hope next season will be better. :)

Unfortunately, most of the "DIY" shows no longer show you how to "Do It Yourself"... Instead they are HAPAAC shows, "Hire A Pro At Any Cost". I can tour any construction project in my area to see the work other people have done. Why do I need a TV show for that?
"The Woodwrights Shop" is definitely hands-on, but I don't delve into that historic level of construction very often... :)
"The New Yankee Workshop" is still one of my favorites, because Norm actually shows you how to build something. Again, some shortcuts are taken to make the show fit the timeslot, but at least you can learn techniques to use in your own woodworking. Unfortunately, NYW seems to have a LOT of repeats in my area.
"Hometime" used to be enjoyable back when they actually showed you how to do something. I even bought several of their "how-to" videos over the years. But now they've gone the way of TOH, just showing what other people have done. I seldom ever watch it anymore. And their young new host looks too delicate to be anywhere near a construction site. She really doesn't fit the show.
"Ask This Old House" at least shows you how to do something, even though the depth of coverage is usually limited.
"TOH" has really gone down hill, as discussed above.
NYW and TOH both spend too much time on the history of the area, touring museums, other homes, etc. I don't mind tours of manufacturing facilities, because it's neat to see how things are made sometimes, but I want the focus of a DIY show to be Doing It Yourself, not the history channel or lifestyles of the rich and famous... :)
Anthony
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Another complaint to add about TOH... On last week's show about renovating a Cambridge modern-style house:
- They wasted the first 5 minutes making small talk about Cambridge book stores, toy's for the host's son, and buying coffee.
- They then spent the last 15-20 minutes on an extended tour of the Longfellow House which other than being in Cambridge has absolutely nothing to do with the current renoavation and in fact is about as architectually removed as you can get.
- Finally, add in a couple of minutes dedicated to the non-commercial "commercials" that PBS now runs
This leaves about a total of 5 minutes of real Home Improvement show out of a total 30 minute space.
Seems to me that the show is becoming more of a combination talk show and lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous with the hosts all competing to show how clever they are rather than a nuts-and-bolts home improvement show.
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Ah but TOH was never really for intricate detail of how a DIY could do something.
Years ago, pre TOH I think, there was a show that showed a lot of DIY stuff...I think a husband and wife hosted and I vaguely remember that the fellow was someone known from some other show...like maybe a game show host or something. I can't recall the title.
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"Steve Kraus" wrote

http://www.pbs.org/hometime/ ?
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....

Mostly he wanted to make more money doing endorsements. Looks like he has done well with it too.
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