DIY television shows

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  #1  
Old 02-10-15, 05:16 AM
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DIY television shows

Is DIY on a downward slope? I have noticed the last couple of years that the traditional DIY shows like This Old House and Hometime rarely have the homeowner doing any of the work. Actually, TOH has been this way for quite a few years and it seems their projects now are always in what I can see as the $250k and up range. For the last year or two Hometime has been mostly new home construction.

Even silly shows like House Smarts are mostly just advertising of new products and Today's Homeowner is mostly limited to simple maintenance repairs. House Calls is pretty much like Today's Homeowner although sometimes a very simple project will be done by Hazelton with the homeowner. Hazelton all too often (in my opinion) brings in a contractor to do what I would think to be a good DIY project.

I do have to admit that I don't miss shows like The New Yankee Workshop where Normy had every power tool known to man in a HUGE shop where everything was clean enough to eat off the floor. It had about as much in common with the average DIYer as a NASA space launch has with a Boy Scout campfire. As for the shows on HGTV and DIY network...I haven't had access to those in a couple of years but when I did they were not the least bit realistic.

What I want to see is more flooring projects by DIYers and see them in detail, not just a five minute shot of a contractor with 30 years experience telling he audience it is either really easy or that it MUST be done by a contractor. See some remodels that don't exceed $10,000. See repairs that are more than just putty and paint but not so much that it is beyond the scope of DIY.

Oh, while I am ranting, just what purpose does Kevin O'Conner serve on TOH? He seems to me to be simply a Durward Kirby (remember him?), a pleasant enough person but no more related to the subject of the show than Kirby was to Candid Camera. I think I once read that O'Conner was a homeowner who was lucky enough to have the TOH crew do some work on his house and when Steve Thomas quit they liked O'Conner so much they hired him.

Or am I simply wishing for too much?
 
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Old 02-10-15, 05:26 AM
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Ask This Old House which is the second half of the program has the owners help sometimes. However, the last Ask....that I saw rotated a toilet 90 degrees because it was installed for some handicapped people, wheel chair accessible. I would have left it like that since who knows when it might be needed again? I thought that was really stupid.

Someone tried to make a show called This New House which was terrible because they used "quick cuts". That's when the camera angle changes every few seconds. Quick cuts don't work with that type of show. In fact, quick cuts suck all the time. For some reason, directors think that they are cool.
 
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Old 02-10-15, 05:40 AM
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About the only time I watch the diy type shows anymore is with my wife .... and then she fusses at me for fussing at the show when they do something wrong/stupid What gets me is all the shows where they feature a house bought for $400-$700 k and do a $100 k remodel - who has that kind of money? I think the reason they don't show much of the work is they figure the general viewer is more interested in the finish product than how it got there. I used to like American Restoration when they showed the items getting restored, not it's mostly showing a pile a junk and then the finished product. My all time favorite diy show was the 'wood wright shop' not that I would want to give up my power tools
 
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Old 02-10-15, 05:40 AM
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I rambled too much in that initial post. How do you feel about the scope of work in all of the TOH series of the last few years? My feeling is that if I had a quarter of a million dollars to spend on a house remodel I'd rather move to a different house.
 
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Old 02-10-15, 05:45 AM
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Mark, there was a show called Help Around the House or something close to that and it had an older gentleman named Henry that would show people how to do maintenance jobs that were often not easy to figure out. Henry's favorite tool was a painter's five-in-one tool and he used it like a real craftsman. I suspect that he simply got too old to do the show or died or something but I feel that was perhaps the best DIY show I ever saw.
 
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Old 02-10-15, 05:58 AM
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There was the one where the host used nothing but old fashioned non power tools. Things seemed easy enough but having been raised by a father who with one exception never used power tools the people try do what he did up probably ended up with a healthy dose of frustration and pile of of failures. Until I was old enough to discover the miracle of power tools I was convinced I'd never be good at wood working. Sure dad could rip a board 12' long with a saw or by using a chisel and a block plane but to get a square true edge takes a lot of time and experience and one slip you are starting over. Circular saw and a guide perfect cut in two minuets.

Lets face it nothing magic about old time hand tools. The only reason an old time carpenter who did it for a living used them were they were the best tools available. Do you really thing if a flooring installer would have continued to use an adze to level a floor of boards of varying thickness if he had a horse powered planer which would have given him uniform thickness floor boards. Even then time was money.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 02-10-15 at 06:13 AM.
  #7  
Old 02-10-15, 06:03 AM
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I remember that show or maybe it was one similar to it.
You can do a lot with a putty knife Since I always had one in the side pocket of my painter's whites one of the hardest things I had to learn when I retired was not being able to reach down and get it .... or have one in my hand and when done try to put it in a non existent pocket in my jeans
 
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Old 02-10-15, 06:16 AM
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Furd, one phrase...You Tube! All those other shows are not needed for the DIY'er. Although Hazelton is very good and offers a lot of tips and hints. Some things just are not within the realm of the DIY person and to get a quality job a contractor is needed. Many of today's materials are replaceable vs repairable and not worth repairing. This especially true of electrical and electronics. I'm seeing this trend towards construction and plumbing also though not as much. This is both a good and bad thing. The good is that more people can replace an item instead of repairing it but many people cannot repair things that once were very repairable (and thereby saving money and resources).
 
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