I just want to vent for a bit about all these DIY TV shows.
One thing that makes up about 15%-20% of my business is fixing the screw-ups of DIYers and bad contractors. So many of these TV shows make construction tasks look so damn quick and easy that it gives people a false sense of security. These shows encourage the general, untrained, public to attempt to fix electrical, plumbing and structural problems on their own. Granted, there are people that are capable of doing some of these tasks properly but a vast majority are not capable of properly hammering in a nail.
If a homeowner wants to paint a room, attempt build some bookcases, tile a backsplash or do any other relatively menial task that is 100% visible to anyone that walks by, then all the more power to them. If a homeowner wants to repair an electrical problem, add an outlet, run new water supply pipes to a bathroom, etc, then they should only be allowed to do so if they are going to tear the house down when they decide to move out. If I was going to purchase a house and I found out that a homeowner did any of these things I would tear it apart in the inspection to make sure everything was done up to code and done properly and after that I would still have to seriously consider buying the house pending how much work they did on it.
Jobs such as finishing a basement, which on the DIY shows seem relatively simple, are not nearly as simple as they appear. They forget to put PT plates on the floor, the vapor barrier gets left out, they think that they don’t really need insulation in the walls, the wiring may be properly hooked up but the wires are not properly run and secured, the drywall joints are all bumpy or cracking, the sill plate is not properly secured to the cement floor, they used 6 penny nails instead of 8’s to secure everything and the list goes on and on and on.
These shows have only been on in force for about 10 years or so. The long term effects of the shoddy work that was done can’t even be evaluated yet. I’m sure many of you have seen the show Renovation Realities where they try to show the good and some of the bad. They have actually shown people cutting through live electrical wires and I saw one guy using a chainsaw that kicked back, got caught in his shirt and, luckily, only nicked his shoulder. These instances could have easily resulted in two morons getting themselves killed. Shows like Trading Spaces are a true DIY show made up of tasks like building simple furniture, painting rooms and calling in electricians and plumbers to take care of the important tasks.
I honestly think that some of these new shows are a danger to people attempting to DIY and they give a bad name to quality contractors who had to go to school, buy equipment, buy vehicles, get insurance up the ying yang and build a good name for themselves.
I would love to see a show where a crew with an inspector for a host goes back to these houses that were redone about a year later and do a follow up. He would inspect the quality of the work and see what did and didn’t stand the test of time such as cracked tiles, plumbing that has leaked, cabinets that are falling off the wall, doors that stick or leak, etc.
I feel that I can write a book about this stuff. I want to keep going on and on and on but in being fair to the readers here I don’t want to bore any of you. I've said about 10% of what I want to say but I’ll leave the rest up to you guys.