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TV Review: Professional Grade on HGTV

Kathy's Remodeling BlogI’m sitting here watching Professional Grade on HGTV and I must say, it’s painful. I’m watching a mother and daughter work on their kitchen and there’s a big chance they will hurt themselves. They’ve never done any kind of remodeling work before and they’re taking down a wall, adding new counters, moving appliances, tiling a backsplash, and other difficult things.

In case you haven’t seen the show, here’s how it works: A homeowner tackles a big remodeling project and sees if they can make it look “professional grade,” thus the name of the show.

Before they start, a few kindly contractors come in and look at the “before” space. Those same contractors come back when the project is done and estimate how much it cost to do. If the homeowners spent less than that, they get the difference in cash.

For instance, if the contractors say the kitchen remodel cost $15,000 and the homeowners only spent $10,000, they get $5,000 in cash.

I’ve tried to watch this show so many times and I never enjoy it. Why? It’s hard to watch people stumbling around not knowing what they are doing. Some homeowners have better skills, but in general it’s painful to watch. Luckily they have a compassionate contractor, Sean Smith, popping in on occasion to offer guidance.

<<< AARGH: The mother just said she’s never used a clamp before >>>

One big problem with this show is that the homeowners never factor the value of their own time and labor into the cost of the remodel. Let’s say a couple takes two weeks of 16-hour days to pull off their “professional grade” kitchen. Well, the time they lost from work and life is not counted.

Again, I’m cringing while watching this mother and daughter, even though they are adorable. The kitchen will probably look good when they’re done. But we won’t really know the quality. Many of these reality show jobs are shoddy and the motto is: The camera won’t see it.

<<< Yep, the work is shoddy. Of course. The cabinets look pretty bad. Maybe the homeowners won’t care >>>

Am I off base being so cranky about this show? What is it I’m missing here?

In my opinion, this show should be retired and contractor Sean Smith reassigned to a new show.


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