Former Participants From Home Makeover Shows Reveal How Their Homes Are Holding Up Now

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We love watching home design and home makeover shows. It can be truly inspiring seeing a home get redesigned, and it can be almost unbelievable seeing how quickly the house goes from a “before” to an “after.”

On these home makeover shows, often the home owner has to leave for a period of time while the work is being completed. Sometimes it takes a week. Sometimes it takes a month. Sometimes longer.

If you have ever hired someone to do a renovation on your home, you probably know that it can take awhile to get the work done. That’s why seeing amazing transformations happen on TV in just a few days or weeks is mind blowing.

When we watch the happy homeowners return to see the big reveal, they always love the results of the renovation. They praise the choices the designers make. They seem overjoyed with the changes, but are they really?

If you have ever wondered what happens when the cameras stop rolling on a home design show, you’re about to find out. There are probably times when everything works out okay (we hope, anyway), but many times, the homeowners end up having to fix damage to their home caused by the show.

One Reddit user asked, “People who’ve been on home renovation or remake shows, how’s the house holding up?” Many people responded with tales of woe. Scroll down for some of the most shocking revelations about home makeover shows.

  1. Childhood Bedroom

    Reddit user 14RainbowFish wrote:

    My family was on a home renovation show when I was a kid, in the late 90s early 2000s. 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.

  2. Staples and Tape

    12fingertips shared:

    Friends were on a show a few years ago. 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.

  3. “Fix It Yourself”

    shelbyrobinson explained:

    Remember “Extreme Makeover?” A show where they build or hugely remake a home for a needy person/owner?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. Bros 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 on “Extreme Makeover” to fix everything, and was told, “you got this for free, fix it yourself.”

  4. “Pretty Weird”

    RealLivePersonInNC answered:

    My sister’s master bedroom got a makeover on a “surprise your spouse” show. 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 Friend’s House

    RelentlessChicken added:

    I knew a guy who was part of one of these shows back when we were in middle school together. His family was extremely white trash and drug addict types, but they got all cleaned up for the show. Within the first year after the makeover, the house was a pit again.

  6. Turf Wars

    Adatar410 wrote:

    A family member of mine was on a DIY show called Turf Wars. They basically come in and remodel your and a neighbors backyard and then have a “vote” to see who wins the remodel. The show itself was pretty clear cut, they would come in and give a bunch of orders, take some “candid” shots of work being done and then hang around letting the owner and contracting crew do the work. The hosts were pretty friendly but just kind of gave orders. The voting though was kind of a joke. They had people from the neighborhood come and check out the backyards at different times and one of the yards was inspected in perfect conditions to let the decor shine with the other was just quickly given a walkthrough. Both of the yards honestly looked great but the winning house (neighbor, not family member) had been in the neighborhood for a few years while my family had recently moved in so weren’t well known. The problem was the neighbor had a really large centerpiece to their backyard remodel that was a little impractical for the smallish backyard they had, and there was hardly any covered sitting areas so if the weather wasn’t great (and it’s not that great haha) it wasn’t a comfortable area to sit around and either get baked by the sun or rained on.Less than a year later the centerpiece was removed and the pond cemented over as it was too much upkeep and their backyard fell back to just a cement block, while my family still had the whole backyard setup there as it was much more practical. They kept it until they moved out about 3-4 years later, not sure if still around but would be surprised if it was removed at all.

  7. “The Show Never Aired”

    PawPaw06 explained:

    My company took part in a very well known British renovation show.We donated £6,000 worth of equipment. They promised good advertising in return for free equipment and labour. We found out after filming that the producers had asked our 2 largest rival companies to do the work and they said no. We couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t want to get involved in such a good cause. The families story about why they deserved the work was apparently exaggerated and no one had bothered to research this properly. The show never aired.

  8. Another Renovation

    KTFlamingo added:

    My brothers house was on one of these shows. The light fixtures and such that were in the house were hideous and they renovated to their liking but yeah…it wasn’t their taste :)

  9. “Fixer Upper”

    Another Reddit user shared:

    My college roommate and her husband were on Fixer Upper. They were so excited! Until everything started. They could barely give their input for their vision of the house. They had to “accept” whatever style Joanna thought best for their house. It was gorgeous, obviously, but not them. Ya know? They also barely saw Joanna & Chip. Told to act as if they were long time close friends, but in reality she said she spent maybe 1hr total with Joanna.

  10. A Lot of Problem Areas

    willonding wrote:

    My countertop company was hired to fix cabinets and countertops for a house after a property brothers episode. Like I’ve seen others comment, the show filmed around all the problem areas so on the episode looked great. The homeowners were livid after the show just picked up and left and we were stuck dealing with them. Not a fun few weeks

  11. The Work Was “Subpar”

    bamboo-harvester answered:

    I did this ~15 years ago. Condo in LA.Can’t remember the name of the show. They were advertising on Craigslist. The quality of the renovations and furnishings was extremely subpar. They wanted to have everything done within 48 hours. Years later, I’ve come to understand that remodels take months, not days. We had to eventually redo everything.

  12. Halloween

    nightpussy wrote:

    NOT ME: but, my two neighbors who were best family friends and lived across the street from each other went on trading places together. one family got a halloween room…..they didn’t speak to each other for a long time