Reality shows can actually make our jobs as designers and renovators more difficult.
Some of their shows on kitchen renovations involve fantastic storylines, ridiculously low construction costs, and bad construction advice. I’ve watched numerous episodes of the kitchen remodeling shows below and rated them from 1 to 5 stars. Overall, the kitchen remodeling TV shows on HGTV are the least authentic and in some cases are more than just misleading. Is your favorite kitchen show on our list?
Kitchen Remodeling TV Shows are rated from 1 to 5 stars.
Flip or Flop 2 stars
Tarek and Christina El Moussa two unsurprisingly photogenic California real estate speculators buy homes to resell. Remodeling costs on this show are ridiculously low even by Pennsylvania standards. Christina’s ‘vocal fry’ makes the show hard to watch.
This Old House 5 Stars
The show that started it all. While all the construction information is accurate the show isn’t intended to be cost effective renovation. Instead, the show has morphed over time into a showcase for new construction techniques and to give some interesting back story to remodeling and design. Because of this, I prefer the early episodes that were more about practical renovations and featured the granddaddy of the genre Bob Villa.
Rehab Addict 2 Stars
Nicole Curtis is an attractive former Hooters waitress with little construction or design experience beyond what she has gained from doing her show. Nichole hosts Rehab Addict a show about restoring historic homes. The show does not give any bad advice as far as I can tell. Historic homes can be so fascinating, it is a shame this show isn’t more engaging and that the designs aren’t more professional.
Property Brothers 3 Stars
Twin brothers, Jonathan and Drew Scott and potential home buyers go through a formulaic process of pretending to select homes and designs. In reality houses and designs are all selected before the homeowners are found, and while everything about this show is staged the renovations and designs are creative and tasteful. Each episode also has unexpected problems arise that a real professional would know about in advance.
Fixer Upper 1 Star
Chip and Joanna Gaines renovate central Texas using a complete lack of realism. The show is as much a fantasy as are the walls that Chip crashes through that never have any studs in them. Finding space aliens would be easier than finding walls without framing. Watching this show if you know anything about remodeling or design is painful.
Kitchen Crashers 4 Stars
While Alison Victoria’s show is completely staged, it at least doesn’t seem to be misleading. I’m guessing that the only time Alison is ever in the kitchen being renovated is when the cameras are rolling. While the design ideas are simplistic and not particularly inspired, they are also not bad, which is refreshing. This show could actually be much better with just a little more input from some real design professionals.
Hometime 5 Stars
Dean Johnson has gone through a series of female co-hosts over the years but since 1986 the show has retained its realism and its simple straight forward explanations for how construction and renovations are done.
Kitchen Cousins 1 Star
HGTV’s cousins Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri are contractors that specialize in renovating kitchens. The show is accurate and is not misleading. However, these two contractors know absolutely nothing about kitchen design nor apparently do any of the show’s advisers. Nearly every kitchen they design breaks fundamental rules for well-designed kitchens.
I hope the reviews above have given everyone some food for thought. Please continue to enjoy these shows but keep in mind that they are entertainment and not reality…
…and of course…