The Renovation Revolution … on TV

January 28, 2013

Did you know that Bronson Pinchot has a show on the DIY Network? That’s right, folks — Balki renovates houses!

It turns out that Pinchot, best known as the co-star of the 1980s sitcom “Perfect Strangers,” has a passion for remodeling old homes with salvaged materials. I’ve only seen one episode, but the guy does seem to know something about classical architecture. After rhapsodizing about pilasters and pediments while sketching graceful Ionic columns on paper, Pinchot trekked to a ramshackle country house, where his crew removed windows, trim, siding, the front door and an entire room that still had the original bead board panels and flooring. I believe he paid the owner about $4,000 for the salvage rights. Seems to me he got a good deal.

Another DIY Network show, “Rehab Addict,” stars rehab specialist Nicole Curtis, who is based in the Twin Cities. Apparently there’s no project too daunting for Curtis. She purchased a dilapidated, century-old house for $1 from the city and is in the midst of a gut remodel that included raising the structure to shore up the foundation and build a full-height basement. That particular task was done by professionals, though Curtis pitches in on quite a bit of the work, especially demolition. She actually makes wielding a sledgehammer look like fun. I’m not sure I would have gotten down on my hands and knees to paint 500 hexagonal floor tiles, but that’s a perfectionist for you.

I can usually pick up a knowledge nugget or two from these TV shows. If nothing else, it makes for a good weekend geek-out. That reminds me: I’d better set my DVR for “Bath Crashers” and “The Vanilla Ice Project.”

Senior Editor

Susan Bady has been writing about the housing industry for 30 years. She is senior editor of Professional Builder and Custom Builder magazines, and produces the Design Innovation e-newsletter.  Bady has also written for such consumer magazines as Cabin Life and Better Homes and Gardens’ Home Plan Ideas. You can reach her at sbady@sgcmail.com

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