For more than two decades, home makeover shows have been a hugely popular TV genre. We have strong feelings about the best, worst, and everything in between when it comes to these shows.
“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” comes in dead last due to its tainted reputation and dubious financial dealings.
The original home-improvement show from the early aughts, “Trading Spaces,” is at the top of our list and is getting a makeover this year.
Even though many of us millennials have no plans to buy our own homes anytime soon, that doesn’t mean we can’t spend an afternoon on the couch binge-watching home improvement shows.
Reality shows about houses are everywhere these days, so how do you know which ones are good?
This list of popular home improvement shows from the past and present has been compiled by INSIDER. Take a look at these things: (and what you can probably skip).
12. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
The popularity of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” has soared. The show raked in high ratings and landed a prime Sunday night network slot after nine seasons and 200 episodes. However, despite the fact that some of the episodes can still move viewers to tears, the show’s legacy is anything but positive.
“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” has a bad rap thanks to stories about rampant foreclosure and scandalous family dynamics.
11. Flip or Flop
The central premise of “Flip or Flop” is appealing to those of us who love a good Cinderella-style upgrade story: an Orange County couple completely redesigns an unattractive Orange County home and increases its value.
However, it’s difficult to watch now that Tarek and Christina El Moussa are no longer together because of their bitter divorce. Watching the house-flipping process becomes boring because of the personality clash.
10. Flipping Out
He did a great job flipping houses in the Los Angeles area on Bravo’s “Flipping Out,” which aired from 2004 to 2007. In spite of his success remodeling projects, Lewis was notoriously hard to work for and could appear particularly cruel to his long-time assistant, Jenni Pulos on the show.
There is no doubt that Bravo made the most of the dramatic moments by turning them into highly entertaining television.
9. Property Brothers
“Property Brothers” is one of HGTV’s most popular shows, and for good reason.
The Scott brothers, Drew and Jonathan, are formidable adversaries. Drew’s experience in the real estate industry and Jonathan’s knowledge of construction put them in a unique position for the job at hand, and their home renovations rank among the most impressive seen on television.
8. Love It or List it
Hilary Farr and David Visentin, the hosts of HGTV’s “Love It or List It,” can get on each other’s nerves on occasion. Nevertheless, that’s part of the show’s structure: two home experts (a decorator and a property expert) compete for the attention and business of homeowners with vastly divergent viewpoints.
Given that it’s a competition show, “Love It or List It” can get away with having two hosts who don’t get along, and with Hilary’s keen eye for style and David’s insider market knowledge, home owners often find themselves in a tough spot, which is why we’re still watching.
7. Design on a Dime
HGTV’s “Design on a Dime” provides much-needed accessibility to the home-improvement genre, even though many of the shows feature lavish budgets and extravagant design choices. Show host Casey Noble and her crew spend $1,000-$2,500 on each room’s makeover. They have to become very resourceful with their sourcing because they don’t have unlimited resources.
Design on a Dime is the perfect show for broke 20-somethings with ambitious decorative tastes due to their dedication to thrift-store finds, DIY projects, and saving high-dollar purchases for long-lasting items.
6. Million Dollar Decorators
Contrary to popular belief, Bravo’s “Million Dollar Decorators” focused on wealthy homeowners and interior designers. They catered to celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and shoe designer Tamara Mellon as well as the rich and famous in the series, which followed four Los Angeles decorators.
You’ll get a lot of property porn from this show, and it’s a great guilty pleasure.
5. Queer Eye
In spite of our love for Netflix’s “Queer Eye” relaunch, we find Bobby Berk’s aesthetic to be a bit too bland for our tastes. As a result, viewers hoping for a major design overhaul may be disappointed because Berk is only one of five makeover experts featured on the show.
To sum it up, the show is great for binge-watching — and it’s a much-needed reboot.
4. Fixer Upper
Fans of “Fixer Upper,” which concluded its first season this week, are keeping their vigil candles lit in anticipation of the show’s conclusion. In addition to the warm dynamic and easy rapport we want to see from a collaborative couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines’ impressive track record of renovating Waco, Texas, homes has turned them into household names with their own home goods empire. The show is a phenomenon for these reasons.
Even though the show will be missed, Chip and Joanna’s public profile should last for years to come.
3. Grand Designs
The Los Angeles Times dubbed “Grand Designs,” a UK-based home design show currently streaming on Netflix, as the “best home design show in the world.”
Despite our reservations, “Grand Designs” is well worth a look.
With Kevin McCloud as the host, the show’s premise involves a wide range of truly unique homes, with a clear focus on excellent design that is also livable and practical.
Even though the show has its share of hiccups, McCloud is a steady presence that gives viewers the impression they — and the participants in the show — are in good hands.
2. This Old House
PBS’ “This Old House,” which debuted 30 years ago before the home-improvement show boom of the early 2000s, is still going strong. In addition to launching Bob Vila’s career, the show also whetted TV viewers’ appetite for shows about home renovations. The other shows on this list would not exist without Bob Vila.
This Old House, as the name suggests, focuses on renovation projects involving old houses and relies on a crew of carpenters, electricians, and contractors. Home-based reality shows have a long history, and this one has stood the test of time, earning top honors in our list.
1. Trading Spaces
Although “This Old House” may be the show that started it all, a massive boom in home-improvement shows has occurred in the 21st century thanks to one unforgettable show: “Trading Spaces.” A little bit of everything was present in this episode: eccentric designers, interpersonal conflicts between neighbors, beautiful makeovers, and not so beautiful makeovers.
For long-awaited fans, The Real Housewives of New York City will return to TLC on Saturday.