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
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
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.
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.
On 30 Oct 2005 10:51:40 -0800, email@example.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.
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.
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.
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
The "This old house" show is not based on reality. Anyone that CAN
afford to do what they do, will BUILD A NEW HOUSE.
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.
Rich Greenberg Marietta, GA, USA richgr atsign panix.com + 1 770 321 6507
Eastern time. N6LRT I speak for myself & my dogs only. VM\'er since CP-67
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.
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!
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... :)
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
Ah but TOH was never really for intricate detail of how a DIY could do
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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