Former home makeover show participants share their horror stories

If you’ve ever wondered what happened to home makeover show recipients after the renovation was completed and that bus was moved, you’re not alone.

Reddit user @akumamatata8080 recently took to the site to ask, “People who’ve been on home renovation shows, how’s the house holding up?” in a thread that has since been upvoted over 25,300 times and received over 2,600 comments.

Some former recipients of such “dream” renovations actually claimed they had nightmare experiences with popular home renovation shows once the cameras stopped rolling.

Here are some of the worst offenders.

1. Poor Worksmanship

“[My] friends were on a show a few years ago,” said @12fingertips. “It was super intense 3 weeks of filming and the redesign looked great on camera. In reality it was literally things stuck together with staples and tape. After the show my friend took 2 weeks off work to rebuild everything properly.”

2. An Insider Secret

“[The] plumbing and remodeling company I work for did plumbing for an HGTV show about 10 years ago,” explained Reddit user @Awdra. “We did the hook ups for the new laundry room. The homeowners picked some fancy Moroccan tile for the floors at some upscale NYC boutique and the host of the show decided it would look better without grout … which went about as well as you’d expect.”

“Filming wrapped, and we were called back out a few weeks later to replace the fancy tile that immediately chipped and became dangerous with some boring tile. Had to sign NDAs, etc.”

3. “Fix it Yourself”

“Remember Extreme Makeover? A show where they build or hugely remake a home for a needy person/owner?” asked @shelbyrobinson. “They did one here in my town (won’t say for privacy) and my brother, a builder, was approached to help build a home in the dead of winter. [My brother] couldn’t help but our friends — the neighbors to the home — volunteered and the home was completed in one week.”

“In heavy rain, and cold, they built it, and now the home has any number of problems too. The owner went back [to] Extreme Makeover to fix everything, and was told, ‘You got this for free, fix it yourself.’”

4. A Deteriorating Dream Room

“My family was on a home renovation show when I was a kid, in the late ’90s/early 2000s,” shared user @14RainbowFish. “I think it was Changing Rooms or possibly another show by the same cast and producers. It was one of those shows where they do 3 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 woodland with huge tree murals on the walls and a nights sky of stars hanging from the ceiling. But it held up really badly, all the murals on the wall peeled off and it looked bad pretty quickly. I had fun shooting the show though and it was a cool story to tell my friends at school.”

5. A Good Concept, Poorly Executed

“My sister’s master bedroom got a makeover on a ‘surprise your spouse’ show,” @RealLivePersonInNC wrote. “The designer was going for an ‘Arabian nights’ romantic vibe but it ended up pretty weird looking with all the closets hidden behind yards of draped fabric. They took it all down and painted the room a neutral color within months. They also took the ceiling fan out and replaced it with a giant tree branch wired up with twinkling lights. Not too long afterwards half the lights went out and it was too hot in the room without the fan, so that got put back as well. On the bright side it didn’t cost them anything and was a fun experience, and they got a couple of new furniture pieces out of it but in the end they didn’t keep any of it the same.”

5. A Sharp Tax Increase

“I work for one of the construction companies that was contracted to build the new house on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” said @DryProperty. “This was like 10+ years ago when the show was at the height of its popularity. Anyways, it was a huge nice house built for a widowed mother with several kids (father had recently died, hence why she was on the show…).”

“Even though the house was ‘given’ to her, she couldn’t afford it after a year or so (property tax, electricity, water, upkeep, etc.) and put it on the market. Simply owning a home of that size is very expensive and she couldn’t afford it.”

6. One Happy Ending

Extreme Makeover came to my town in like 2013-14, and did a demolition and new build of a house for my family friends,” shared @largeiced_milk. “Luckily, they had the means to keep the house (property taxes went WAY up). It’s still a really nice house, and a few people I know have even gotten married there. The house held up super well.”

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