Rehab Addict – please stop the madness!

I know I’ll get a lot of flack for this post – but I just can’t help myself. I was pushed over the edge watching last night’s rerun.

Being an old carpenter and having quite a few renovations under my tool belt – and the Misadventures currently in progress – I watch a lot of home renovating shows and most are entertaining but really not that helpful in the actual nuts and bolts of renovation. The exception is This Old House – it’s really a good show and gives good advice on repairs that will not need to be redone in a couple of years. Holmes is pretty good too. Are most of their projects expensive fixes? Yep pretty much they use expensive products – but it depends on what you’re fixing. Is it a flip or do you want to do it right?

The other renovation shows on DIY and HGTV are not so great and Rehab Addict is one of my least favorite. She’s fun to watch, but not someone I would seek for advice.

This show should have a disclaimer – she is a flipper of houses, not a restorer of old homes. I watch the show but in every episode I find myself yelling at the TV – don’t do that!

And here’s why.

If you are fixing up a house to ‘flip’ then by all means use a lot of ‘elbow grease’ clean it up and call it a day. Bad cast iron bathtub? Spray paint it with a can or finish with a reglaze kit – it’ll look good for a couple of years. It will be way cheaper than a new tub, that’s for sure. But if you decide build a brand new tiled bathroom around your ‘refreshed’ alcove tub and a few years later the rust is eating through the drain flange – you are going to have a problem that no ‘elbow grease’ will remedy.

Sure most of us are on a budget and aren’t going to plop out a couple of grand for a new cast iron tub and  that’s fine – just understand the difference of  fixing something for a couple of years or for your lifetime.

A TV promo running now in our market has Nicole Curtis telling viewers ‘Don’t like the layout of your home? – Just move a wall’ What? I have renovated several 1930’s homes and I can tell you from experience – it’s not that easy to move a wall in an old house. You’ll need a structural engineer for certain. Load bearing walls will need point loads that go all the way the down to the foundation. You’ll need inspections and engineer seals to do this legally. Non load bearing walls can be a problem if you have a floor above them – many old houses have 2X8 floor joists that might be a trampoline if you take out the wall below.Talk about costs – and safety issues too – not to mention you may not be covered by insurance if you try to ‘just move a wall’ by yourself.

And the last straw was last night – and why I’ve finally snapped. It was a rebroadcast of ‘Burned Out Bathroom’ and I was yelling at the TV again!

Here’s the transcript and time of the dastardly deed.

00:04:04    [ Drill whirring ] Justin has been busy upstairs getting the bathroom drywalled and the tub area fitted with 6-inch subway tiles.

What is depicted is some drywall ‘green board’ (Moisture resistant) being attached around the alcove tub and some subway tiles being installed – no waterproofing, no membrane. I don’t know what to say. It’s not to code in our area and I don’t know any professional that would do such a thing. I’m no fortuneteller, but I see mold, rot and big problems in this bathroom’s future.

Will it last? Depends – if you want to deceive the next home buyer and sell it pretty quick – sure.

Shame on you Nicole Curtis.