Home Improvement TV Shows

These home improvement TV shows are so useless, and tend to piss me off. Almost everything I own I built, and built it using recycled lumber, and other building materials. Then I see these shows on tv. It seems that their main goal is to waste as many materials as possible, wreck as much as they can, and then use the most expensive materials that can be bought. They act as is resources are unlimited and every home owner has unlimited money to spend. First, they start with a nice looking smaller home, that I'd die to own. Then they pretty much destroy the place, being sure to waste and wreck as much as they can. They bring in huge dumpsters to dispose of perfectly good, used lumber. They toss out metal items that could be sold to a recycler and/or reused. They take older but well made cabinets and rather than remove a few screws or nails from the wall, so someone else can enjoy these used cabinets, they bust the hell out of them with sledge hammers and sawsalls, and toss them all in the dumpster. Finally they start to rebuild. They make the small house into a hube mansion that only a politician could afford to heat and keep clean, and they cant put in a common formica cabinet, but have to use imported and expensive marble, and install multi-thousand dollar sinks, and spend a fortune on everything.
I dont know about you, but I am perfectly happy with my formica counter top, recycled stainless sink, and my $50 Moen faucet. My vinyl floor tiles are just fine, and my electrical switches and outlets are common ivory colored and dont cost $50 each because they are ultra fancy. After all, most of them are hidden behind furniture anyhow. To me, fancy is putting up a little wallpaper instead of painting, and yah, I did spend a few extra bucks to get some extra fancy trim in my living room, but didn't go into debt for the rest of my life to do it.
Heck, it's a house. I sleep there, eat there, and most of the rest of my life is spent either working or socializing outside my home. Everyone needs a roof over their head, and caves are sort of outdated and hard to find. We dont need to live in caves, but then there are the other extremes. Why do most people need such huge homes and why do they go into debt for life to build them, when that debt means they will have to spend more time on the job and less time in that house. It just dont make sense. Of course, most people dont live or build places like that, but there are some that do. Yet, if you watch these Home Improvement shows, you'd thing everyone needs to own a 40 room home at a cost of 5.5 million dollars. And of course, to build them, we must waste and wreck as much as we can, so that those who could use them, will never get them. Yah, it's just TV, but it still pisses me off.
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On Sat, 04 Aug 2007 06:20:05 -0500, jj60204 wrote:

Im with you all the way.
I dont have as much experience with homes as we just bought ours last august. But I have learned alot and I didnt learn any of it from watching these shows.
You know they dont even consider that when they get done with the house the cost of doing it puts the house out of the price range of others in the neighborhood. How will they sell and recoup any of the money they spend when other homes are valued way below what they spent on the remodel plus the origional value of the house???
Some of these shows even use crap material and poor installation techniques. The "Improvements" they made will probably last only 5 years tops and then it will have to be regutted and rebuilt. I bet the next owner uses formica when they do!
I know property values are different in the west but Im never gonna pay 400,000 bucks for a 1200 square foot house!
What I really laugh about is when they buy a place and never even spend the 500 bucks to have a home inspection. They would rather save the 500 and spend 10,000 later when they find out about rotten wood or termites!
These shows are truly crap and for the totally clueless.
coffee
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coffee
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Somewhere in between lies the truth. You do make some excellent points about waste and excess, but it is my home, I do spend quite a bit of time in it and I do want nice stuff. My kitchen has Formica counter tops and a Moen faucet also. But most of my appliances are top of the line or near to it. I like the ice and water dispenser even though the ice maker had to be replaced. I'm willing to pay for that convenience.
Comes down to priorities. Last December I had the choice of spending my Christmas bonus on a kitchen remodel, or new furniture, or a down payment on a new car. I chose to rent a villa in Tuscany and sped a couple of weeks in Italy again. If you took a survey of people here, some percentage will say I did the smart thing, others will say I'm nuts spending that much money on a vacation that lasted only 2 weeks. Twenty years ago, my priorities were different and I probably would have put the money into the house. Meantime, I'm saving for another vacation, just now sure where yet.
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All good points. What I find useless is that these programmes flip back and forth so quickly that one doesn't gather as much info. One moment they are finishing the front step, although the new porch (following a logical sequence hasn't been erected yet), 30 seconds later they are back to tearing out the kitchen cabinets. And then switch to putting up a new light in the hall. Very confusing. 'This old house' takes it more logically? We are, most of us here? very lucky to be able to make choices, living in societies that are reasonably stable and also allow us some reasonable freedoms to own or rent and/or do our own fix-ups. Along with that comes responsibility. If I put up a shelf and it's crooked and my wife's best vase falls off and breaks, or shelf falls down and cuts open my child's head, I am responsible, eh? When it comes down to it, at least to many of us in 'Western Societies' it is a matter of 'The hierarchy of human needs'. Our first need is to stay alive, we need to eat, be clothed and be warm (or cool), we need to be appreciated (loved) and acknowledged by others etc. Further down the list of needs are 'self actualization' also such things as how fancy and how much can we afford to pay to have nice things around us. An original manuscript may be the choice of a scholar, a comfortable old sofa or chair might be the prized possession of someone who listens to music/radio/TV etc. Mine is a WWII radio shortwave radio that I owned as teenager around 1950! Possession can become a demonstration of presumed affluence/ prosperity. A need to impress others; by having the fanciest car, the nicest garden on the street or the biggest fanciest swimming pool on the block! Like several other here our housing is very 'ordinary' but very practical. Very pleased with the decsions we made 37 years ago (for this our second house) when myself and two carpenters built it. And finished over next few years. And therefore 'No mortgage'. So if the roof over you head meets your needs let's save up for that holiday! Gotta go and run the vacuum; as a widower I have to 'do' for myself. Many thanks to a generally very helpful and practical group of posters on this news group. Even some of the snide comments can be helpful! Terry
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You do verily suck, Edwin! Where exactly in Tuscany were you? Would you recommend the villa?
BTW, if you did take that poll I think you'd find that some people would think you're nuts _and_ you did the right thing. ;)
R
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says...

Obviously it's not Bob Villa ;-)
Banty
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wrote:

This is where we spent most of our days http://www.villeinitalia.com/houses/TorrediRosano.jsp?regionLetter=TU&pageNumber=1&currentHouseNumber=8
Great place, clean, modern amenities, nice people. They do not have a pool so they charge about 20% less that comparable places with one. It was like living in a castle, 18' ceilings, thick stone walls.
In addition we spent a couple of nights in Venice, one night in Milan since we flew in and out of Milan, we spent the day before there making it easy to fly out in the AM.
The villa was in Rosano, about 10 miles outside of Florence. Off the Autostrade, it was about 10 miles, then off the main road to a secondary, then you turned off the paved road for another 1.8 miles to the villa that sits on a hillside. Fantastic view across the valley. This place was build in the 1100's and has only had a few owners. It was only a short drive to shopping and to a mid sized town with supermarkets, etc. Mostly, we had breakfast in the morning, at our big meal in the afternoon at a restaurant, and then had bread, wine, cheese, salumi, etc at the villa in the evening.
I rented a car and drove about 1400 miles. We visited Pisa, Parma, Bologna, Venice, Milan, and many small towns in between. One night we had dinner with the owners. A fantastic experience. Every day was a minimum of one bottle of wine.
This was our second trip to Italy. We flew Boston direct to Milan and drove from there. The first time was a tour starting in Rome and working up to Milan. Tours are great the first trip to get some idea of the historic places, learn some traditions and customs, but getting of the tourist path and into local shops and restaurants was very rewarding.
If we go again, we'll go south, starting in Naples. If you are thinking about it, go. Don't hesitate and miss out.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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That's the problem with being intelligent, in an idiot world. It's so obvious how much everyone else is messed up. I know people who are so totally messed up they will never be intelligent.
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Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Bottom line is that they are TV shows meant to entertain, not to teach, and TOH coming out of the Peoples Republic of Mass. has it's own socialist bent ;( Frank
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That is what pisses many of us off so much. In the old days, even with that idiot Vila as host, they did projects normal people could relate to and learn from. Norm still did actual real-world carpentry outside the show (before he got his own show), and the owners actually did work themselves on the projects, not just ooh and ahh at what the designers and kitchen centers came up with. I grew up in the business, so it was interesting to see their spin on stuff I had actually done before.
They have heard the bitching- that is why they started the companion show, Ask This Old House. It does stuff the original show did in the old days. TOH itself is nothing but yuppie masturbation any more. I seldom notice when I miss it anymore, and don't go hunting for it.
aem sends...
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They exist not just to teach but also to sell building materials and support a lifestyle of weekly trips to the home improvement store, just as you would buy groceries. There are powerful vested interests that need these trends to continue.
Even the PBS series do this with their heavy duty corporate sponsors.
Upwardly mobile people in similar age groups get whipped into a frenzy as to what they can put into their house to show off to their peers. (Miel Dishwashers, 6 in. thick granite countertops, media rooms... whatever the latest trend is that month). Houses are no longer 'machines for living' or a place to raise family, but just as the family next door that drives the monster SUV, these houses become an 'in your face' statement of who you are.
It used to be just the super-wealthy that did this. But now people will mortgage themselves up to they're eyeballs in debt (as one funny tv ad depicts), just to have all this stuff.
Beachcomber
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snipped-for-privacy@---------.com wrote:

I have to mostly disagree with you. Although I do do think that TOH has projects that are in the budget stratosphere, some others are more realistic. Hometime is not bad, and some of the shows on HGTV and DIY networks are more suitable for the average Joe. I guess that I watch these just to get a snippet of design/build ideas here and there. Even TOH may ocassionally have a single idea or concept that may work. I'm not talking about traveling to Italy to pick out handmade tiles for a closet floor, or chartering the space shuttle to have custom glide roller bearings for kitchen cabinets. My gripe is the Flip This House type of shows that compact 6 months of quality work into 10 days of damn sloppy work. Refinishing floors at 3AM?? A tile job in 6 hours, including underlayment, setting tile AND groutng all in one shot?? Mark
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