One of the best things about watching HGTV is seeing the “before” shots become “after.”
Each series is a little different, but the one thing they all have in common is that big reveal at the end. Upper fixator, Hometown, Like it or list it, Property Brothers…they all have a satisfying conclusion that fans love to see.
But carefully edited images don’t always tell the whole story. Reddit users have shared more than a few horror stories about their experiences on HGTV’s home improvement shows. It turns out not everyone has a happy ending.
Some Reddit users questioned the quality of work on HGTV shows
One of the most common complaints about home improvement shows was the overall quality of work done.
“My family was on a home improvement show when I was a kid in the late 90s/early 2000s,” one Redditor recalled. “It was one of those shows where they do three rooms in the house and mine was one of the rooms they decorated. It looked so pretty they decorated it to look like a fairy forest with huge murals of trees on the walls and a night sky of stars hanging from the ceiling. But it held up really badly, all the murals on the wall peeled off and it deteriorated fast enough.
Another person had a similar experience. “Friends were on a show a few years ago. It was a super intense three weeks of filming and the redesign looked stunning on camera,” they wrote. “In reality, it was literally stuff stuck together with staples and tape. After the show, my friend took two weeks off to rebuild everything properly.
A third commenter agreed, saying her stepfather was hired to work on an HGTV show and was told to work “fast and cheap,” which “throws quality out the window.”
Some participants of ‘Home Makeover: Home Edition’ regret it
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Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is an uplifting series that shows deserving families being offered free dream homes. But even free things sometimes have a price.
While there didn’t seem to be as many quality issues with this show, there was another big issue behind the scenes. Most of the show’s contestants struggled financially after moving into their new homes.
” I did an internship Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in the early 2000s,” one Reddit user shared. “Yes, their taxes are skyrocketing. Tons of families living there end up selling everything that was put in the house (computers, appliances, etc.) to help pay the property taxes.
It’s similar to what happens when HGTV fans win the Dream Home. The new financial responsibilities are almost always too much to handle and they end up selling their “free” house.
Many HGTV Home Improvement Shows Really Change Lives
While there are tons of examples of home renovations gone wrong, there are also plenty of happy homeowners who are glad they chose to participate in HGTV shows.
Even when they pay for upgrades, they still get free design services and sometimes custom furniture. Plus, who wouldn’t want their 15 minutes of fame?
“My friend was on Like it or list it. She said they did a high quality job at a fraction of what it normally would have cost,” a Redditor said.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of perspective. Appearing on a home improvement show might not be as perfect as it looks on TV, but it’s nice to meet celebrities and get free stuff.