• December 19, 2004

House Get Ready…

The Real Restoration Realities

Restoration Diary

It’s time for your close up!

It started a several months ago with an email from our realtor asking if we wanted to be on the DIY network? I wrote back telling him maybe, depending on what we would have to do.

This led to discussions with the show’s producer and an in-home visit. Last Friday we learned that our house has been selected to be on a new show for the DIY network called Restoration Realities. We’ll also be on the show doing a project on our house.

I found this description from a “Do It Yourself Network Fact Sheet” posted online:

Restoration Realities
Follow homeowners as they face the step-by-step challenges of restoration and share the beauty and history that make restoring old homes so rewarding.

Our enthusiastic host and our able carpenter team up to offer help, encouragement and knowledge as homeowners tackle projects such as restoring a wooden baluster on a Federal-style staircase; repairing damaged ornamental plaster in an Italianate home; and reconditioning the gingerbread trim of a Queen Anne Victorian.

Restoration Realities travels across the country in search of restore-minded homeowners and their great old homes. One home is featured in each half-hour episode.

I have to confess that we don’t get the DIY network so I’ve never seen the show. Has anyone out there seen it?

Now, if I was going to do a show called Restoration Realities it would be a little different:
1. Show the homeowner leaving to go shower at the gym because that easy do-it-yourself plumbing project wasn’t so easy after all.

2. See the crazy homeowner breakdown sobbing on the phone to a plumber, begging them to come after showering at the gym four days in a row because every plumber called was either too busy or never showed for their scheduled appointment.

3. Watch as your befuddled homeowner realizes that her 92 year old front door lock is broken and that no amount of key turning or praying is going to open that door. Watch her almost have a heart attack and cry out “Absolutely NOT!” when a locksmith pulls out a hammer and chisel to use on the 92 year old door handle.

Capture the stress on the homeowner’s face when she realizes that she is going to have to make a decision of ‘Sophie’s Choice’ like proportions. Should she enter from the back door and ruin the still wet finish put down on the wood floor only two hours earlier, after days of sanding and prep work, or should she sacrifice the front door or at least it’s original hardware?

Stay tuned because after the commercial break your crafty homeowner and her locksmith sidekick will break into the house through a window causing much dog barking and an ear shatteringly loud house alarm to go off. To make it even more special, make sure it happens to be the homeowner’s birthday.

4. Have an animal trainer on set to direct the cat to run up the stairs the second after the homeowner finishes shellacking them. Allow the homeowner to think the cat is quarantined and that her spouse is watching him to make certain the little escape artist doesn’t make a run for it.

Zoom in on the homeowner with paint brush in hand, standing there with her mouth agape trying to form the words…hear her scream (insert spouse name here, for our purposes lets just use Dave), “Dave! I THOUGHT you were watching him!”

Edit out the ensuing swear words for primetime viewing.

5. Have your home owner start a “little project” and watch how quickly that “little project” grows into a HUGE project resulting in taking a room down to the studs, ripping out a floor and basically rebuilding that room from the ground up.

6. How about a restoration fashion show? Have your homeowners sashay down the catwalk modeling the latest in tool belts, hammers in hand, clad in paint splotched tee-shirts and sooty, ground in dirt and grease stained jeans. The voice over can proudly say that no amount of washing, bleaching or use of stain removers will ever get these clothes clean again!

7. Feature the best fast food restaurants in a 30 mile radius around the homestead. Your homeowners aren’t going to be cooking any time soon because, chances are, on any given day they won’t have running water, electricity in the kitchen or everything in the house, including their dishes, will be covered in dust. Sealing rooms off with plastic helps but dust won’t be contained. It’s “The Invasion of the Dust Mites…”

8. Set up hidden cameras to capture the expression on the homeowner’s face when she looks in the mirror after an important business meeting and realizes she just gave a presentation to a room full of people with green latex paint in her hair.

9. Today on Restoration Realities watch as our homeowners come to grips with the Golden 3x Rule: Projects cost 3 times more than you had estimated and take 3 times longer to finish.

See our homeowner pick her spouse (insert spouse name here, for our purposes lets just use Dave) Dave up off the floor after he adds up exactly how much money they have spent on the house. Listen in while they try to figure out line item by line item how this project got SO FAR off budget. This episode is a fun one!

10. Ok folks, get ready for Restoration Survivors. Our new spin-off pits young couples against the most challenging circumstances, the most perplexing restoration problems, and the most annoying tasks. Will they be able to work together to overcome the stress, day after day, week after week while they are hit with unforeseen and unexpected difficulties?

Who will run out of money? Who will decide to sell? Who’s marriage will survive, who will split up? Who will be the last couple standing? Who has the strength and cunning to be our next Restoration Survivor?

All winners will receive a 30 year mortgage, plus their home’s resale value.

Comments { 8 }
  1. merideth

    I KNEW iT! I knew it would only be a matter of time before we saw someone we know on one of these shows!!

    havent seen this particular show (i tend to be disappointed in DIY channel shows) but i’m sure going to go hunt it down for tivo-ing now.

    I REALLY hope we get to see your version of the show.


  2. Lauren

    Last week, I was sitting in an executive meeting absent mindedly scraping the peelaway/varnish gunk off my nails when I realized the VP of Sales was staring at me with horrified facination, “What is that?!” said she of the perfectly manicured nails. “Oh, I’ve been stripping the woodwork during the evenings.” I might as well have said I’d been stripping during the evenings by the shocked look on her face. I put my hands under the table (still picking at them though, it’s so hard to get it all off when you’re doing it every day….”

    I bought a sample of Shelburne Buff. Hopefully it will look good in our dining room too!

  3. Lisa

    Finally, a reality show I would watch! I haven’t seen the show, but I’m sure your version is much better. I especially like the survivors spin-off.

  4. Jill

    Please be sure to post when it’s going to be broadcast. I’d love to see it. I like DIY network a lot.

  5. John

    That’s so cool! We’re going to Tivo that one!

  6. Sue

    I laughed out loud at #3. My locksmith (notice the use of the familiar pocessive)is on speed dial on my cell phone. Why the cell phone? Because it makes it handy to call him from the car or front door step (depending on weather) when my front door won’t open. I can empathise :-)

  7. Kurt

    Your website is a lot of fun. I just can’t believe the condition you said yes to this house in. It makes mine look like a palace when we bought it. Wish I could see the DIY network too. I also wish I had your skills to create something like this to record everything I’ve done. Way to inspire the rest of us bungalow lovers out there!

  8. Lisa

    Oh my goodness! You crack me up.

    And if I’m laughing to slightly hysterical too-close-to-home laughter, who cares, right? Right?

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