Go behind the scenes on a remodeling makeover show

Go behind the scenes on a remodeling makeover show

Photo courtesy of Ply Gem

Ever wonder what really happens on those extreme home remodeling shows? One contractor gives you the behind-the-scenes scoop on what it takes to rebuild a house in front of the cameras.

Here's one hint: it doesn't all really happen in one week.

Writing on the Ply Gem Pro Talk Blog, Dino Tudisca, a second-generation contractor with more than 25 years of experience in both new construction and remodeling in Eastern Connecticut, talks about his experiences with the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” show.

Here are some excerpts from his blog. Read the full story here.

So, how it possible that these TV projects get done so quickly? Bottom line, it takes a village. In general, home improvement television shows have very tight shooting schedules, so it’s imperative that all participants meet the producers’ deadlines in order to keep everything moving.

To handle this, there is a lot of preparation work that goes on behind the scenes. In the case of my first project with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, we had a six-week lead time going into our 104-hour build.

Much like on a standard build, materials need to arrive on time to ensure the project runs smoothly, so my team first did whatever we could do off-site ahead of time. While on-site, being able to think on our feet was critical – Mother Nature threw many curve balls.

Behind the scenes, there is a team of designers that usually has access to the space beforehand to help design and specify what is needed for the build. These designers call out all the color choices for siding, roofing, fabrics, tile, furniture pieces, carpet, trim details, and even the plant and landscape design. They truly make the house a home. Having their eye on the project is crucial to completing the entire look and feel.

You also have the community aspect of renovation television. On Extreme Makeover, hundreds and sometimes thousands of volunteers donated their time and labor to support families in need. Without these volunteers – and round-the-clock labor – it would have been impossible to finish construction in a week’s time.

Even with all that, the TV camera eye misses a lot and the cut the viewer sees may have a bit of “magic” applied to it. For instance, after we finished our first Extreme Makeover build, we spent the next two weeks to fix the drywall and repaint the inside of the home. It looked great for TV, but didn’t meet our finish standard. So we did the right thing and made it look good. When you look at all the elements involved in planning a renovation reality series, it’s easier to comprehend how such a large project is completed in a short time frame. While the shows are valuable for information design ideas, keep an open mind when planning your own renovation and set realistic expectations for project timelines. 

Read more about home remodeling.


Topics: Cost of Ownership, Home Design & Plans, Remodeling


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