Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?

 
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:08 AM   #1
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Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


Starting more than 40 years ago with "Mr. Fixit" on a local station, I have seen many "home improvement" shows and "experts" come and go (Norm will never be unseated as the best damn carpenter, IMO) -
What is your opinion on: what the best show is on currently, your favorite show ever and what do you think the effects they have had on your business. Is an "educated consumer" really your best customer?
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:13 AM   #2
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


I really liked the classic TOH. There's no particular show on these days that hold my attention span.

As for educated consumers, I'm not sure how far television has advanced consumer knowledge.

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Old 11-19-2011, 08:26 AM   #3
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


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As for educated consumers, I'm not sure how far television has advanced consumer knowledge
Yup but what it has done is educated the misses, on what she's missing. I think these shows have had a profound effect on upgrades, and have probably helped the tradesman out a ton.
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:43 AM   #4
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


I think they help the trades by getting ideas into potential customers heads. On the other hand, they make things look easy, clean, fast, and cheap (sometimes). They see an entire kitchen remodel in 30 minute blocks and expect similar with there project. We replaced our counter tops with granite through HD last year and the whole process took probably 2 months from purchase to install. I used to watch a lot of the HGTV shows til we got rid of cable. I enjoy watching stuff about residential stuff since I do almost all commercial.
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:54 AM   #5
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


Good points above. Getting ideas into peoples heads, only to have them wonder why it takes more than 30 minutes to fulfill their dreams is not a quality education, IMO.

Thinking about the OP though, the Vanilla Ice Project is pretty entertaining. V.I.P.!!!!
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:00 AM   #6
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


http://www.contractortalk.com/f11/hgtv-effect-95775/

http://www.contractortalk.com/f12/tv...gtv-etc-32327/

It's been discussed a bit here before.
While it can be debated forever, the bottom line is networks/shows about remodeling keep our business on peoples minds. Whether they tackle a project by themselves and eventually need our rescue or just hire us in the first place, these channels are always reminding folks that home upgrades are out there.

Yeay for us!
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:04 AM   #7
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


The purpose of those shows is to sell product. Of course they make it look simple, otherwise it would be a much harder sell. As for it's affects our trades, and the educated customer thing? It's all good. I don't know if the educated customer is a good customer.

Really, an educated customer is like an adolescent that all of a sudden knows more than everybody else. You just have to roll with it.

Best diy show for me, I don't know if this qualifies, but I would have to say Car Talk on the radio.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:07 AM   #8
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


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The purpose of those shows is to sell product. Of course they make it look simple, otherwise it would be a much harder sell. As for it's affects our trades, and the educated customer thing? It's all good. I don't know if the educated customer is a good customer.

Really, an educated customer is like an adolescent that all of a sudden knows more than everybody else. You just have to roll with it.

Best diy show for me, I don't know if this qualifies, but I would have to say Car Talk on the radio.
I love Car Talk - those guys crack me up!
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:20 AM   #9
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


diy disaster with brian baumler, he goes into someones house where they have started a renovation and made a complete mess. he shows up pulls them aside gets them motivated to finish the project . shows them what they did wrong explains it then shows them how to do it correct.

which leads to showing why you hire a proffessional for things that you dont know how to do
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:36 AM   #10
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


Hometime was a pretty good series.

In the 90's they had quite a few worthwhile projects that were done professionally and without an attempt to economize to the point of serious compromise.

They are designed as entertainment shows primarily. They rarely educate the consumer on how to buy higher end improvements.
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:47 AM   #11
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


Norm is King. I don't mind the shows. Helps people realize how difficult some stuff is.

I had the HO on one of our current projects helping as a labourer. Sure woke him up as to how hard things are and how long it takes to do something sometimes.

He kept sneaking back into the house when the temp. dropped below zero though.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:22 PM   #12
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


10 grand in your hand can kiss my ass. There is a reason we as contractors charge what we do. People think that your hourly rate is all profit. I wish it was that way.
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EXACTLY! Being cheap can get pretty expensive.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:40 PM   #13
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


10 grand in your hand is a bloody joke... the way they go about doing things on that show is scary at times...
ive watched it 3 maybe 4 times. and they were either doing something flat out wrong in my opinion or things looked like crap
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:09 PM   #14
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


I think they are great for us. Particularly the ones that show the DIY projects going insanely wrong. (Which is reality when a DIY er tries to save a couple bucks and ends up paying twice as much to get it fixed correctly)

My favorite is Property Ladder (with Kirsten-who gives these flippers crap and calls them on all their bad decisions)

In sum, the smart consumers that WE want to do business with have enough smarts to see through the garbage and these shows help to show the "behind the scenes" work we all deal with to complete these projects.

The clueless ones who watch the likes of "10 grand in your hand" will always be cheapwads and we don't need them as customers anyway.
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:22 PM   #15
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


I wish that those "Property Brothers" had been switched at birth They are the most condescending jerks - They always take the poor future buyers to a house that costs $400,000 more than their budget "just to show them that their expectations are way too high".. then they wind up at a bad house full of cat urine and crap everywhere and tell them to look past the feces and imagine their dream home..
--plus they are just creepy looking.
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:23 PM   #16
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


I find the shows to be helpful, both the good and the bad. Smart consumers either watch the more realistic shows and have a better appreciation for the process, or understand that the DIY shows are largely bogus. If they're on the fence about how realistic the shows are I can tell them that a production shop I used to work for was employed, almost full time, by Design on a Dime which never shows professionals working on the project.

If potential customers talk about HGTV at all during the initial conversations I ask them about the shows they watch and try to gauge their opinion on how realistic they are. If they think it's the real deal I either qualify them fast or decline. It's one of the only times I'll use ballpark numbers, usually by referring to other projects I've done.

I certainly don't think any of those shows has had the negative effect that HD and Lowe's have had on my design and proposal process. When materials are 30-70% of a job and the customer has, confidently, estimated them far lower than reality it's just an uphill battle.
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:53 PM   #17
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


I've helped more than a couple of people that saw a DIY show, thought it would be easy, got in over their heads, then called me to help. Often times they don't want you to take apart what they've done to make it right. They want you to pick up where they left off and end up with a professional result. Sometimes it's hard to convince a customer that you have to tear out what they did with their own hands. It's even more difficult to find ways to tell them without offending them!

Of course, I've got calls like "I really screwed this up - HELP!!!" and they are just fine with tearing out their work.

Sure, it may be that it encourages people to try it themselves, but that can only be a good thing - they find out firsthand how difficult it can be, and appreciate your skill.
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:59 PM   #18
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


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I find the shows to be helpful, both the good and the bad. Smart consumers either watch the more realistic shows and have a better appreciation for the process, or understand that the DIY shows are largely bogus. If they're on the fence about how realistic the shows are I can tell them that a production shop I used to work for was employed, almost full time, by Design on a Dime which never shows professionals working on the project.

If potential customers talk about HGTV at all during the initial conversations I ask them about the shows they watch and try to gauge their opinion on how realistic they are. If they think it's the real deal I either qualify them fast or decline. It's one of the only times I'll use ballpark numbers, usually by referring to other projects I've done.

I certainly don't think any of those shows has had the negative effect that HD and Lowe's have had on my design and proposal process. When materials are 30-70% of a job and the customer has, confidently, estimated them far lower than reality it's just an uphill battle.
Agree'd. When a customer starts talking about "but the tile only cost X, your material costs are way higher!" is when you start the education process.

Mrs Jones, did you take into account the thinset? Did you take into account using good quality thinset? did you price out the backer board? If so - did you price all the accessories for installation? On your last project (usually a small one) how many unscheduled trips to Lowes did you have to make because something wasn't accounted for, and how much did that effect the budget?

I know exactly how much of what to buy, and rarely have return trips for more than marginal items, Mrs Jones. The things you returned for are included in my bid.

Often times, they have gone to Lowes, bought "everything they needed", only to have to return multiple times and spend more than twice what they originally planned.
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:07 PM   #19
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


The best that's still on TV are New Yankee Workshop reruns, followed by TOH wit Norm reruns.

Also, I like Ice Ice Baby! He doesn't act like there is no budget, or that everything is perfect and he's entertaining. He had that decorator in trying to pick something - I think granite - and he shot her down "Yeah, it's nice but it's too expensive - NEXT!" Kind of demonstrates that no, you CAN'T have everything you want for a grand and be done in 30 minutes.

They even took the shower valve??? then later - I priced that valve, and DANG! that was a $3k shower valve! No wonder they cut it out!

I also like that instead of being done in 30 minutes, he still had lots of stuff to do for next week, and the week after ... and instead of keeping to a dollar amount, he just did it, and would say things like "50 grand on that one room ... a little more than I wanted to spend, but it looks good!"

It's been a while, so the details are fuzzy :P
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:26 PM   #20
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Re: Home Improvement Shows On TV- Good For The Business Or Bad?


I only watch skin flicks.

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