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A genre composed of several different varieties of show revolving around buying, remodeling or rebuilding homes, and/or the yards around them. The genre is so popular that a fair amount of the Discovery Channel can be found dedicated to it, and at least two cable networks (HGTV and DIY) specialize in it. It's also a staple of PBS in the United States.

Some are straightforward "Do It Yourself" guides and instruction. A few are akin to game shows. Others are simply off the wall, and of course a subversion or two have popped up. In all cases, the appeal revolves around a voyeuristic appreciation of the improvements, playing on the viewer's desire to have or make those improvements to his or her own home.

Expect many, many of these shows to feature Every Episode Ending with The Reveal, followed by a Big "OMG!"


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  • This Old House: The earliest episodes resemble DIY, but it quickly turned into something of a "showcase" program that presented high-end renovations of expensive properties using resources out of the reach of most homeowners.
    • Ask This Old House: A spinoff of the above, featuring small scale home repair and landscaping projects.
  • Hometime, hosted by Dean Johnson and a series of female co-hosts, which was intended to be a reaction against the content drift of This Old House, but which by season 10 or so had run out of new ways to show you how to hang drywall yourself and followed suit, pretty quickly scaling up to building custom homes on vacant lots: something well beyond the skills of most DIYers. Acknowledged on the show as being do-it-yourself general contracting.
  • Home Improvement's Show Within a Show, Tool Time, is of this kind.
  • P Allen Smiths Garden Home; Smith also hosts short spots on the Weather Channel.
  • Clean Sweep, a show mostly about organizing.
  • The New Yankee Workshop, hosted by Norm Abram focusing on woodworking with power tools.
  • Furniture On The Mend, Furniture To Go, and Men In Toolbelts: A trifecta of shows that started on PBS before heading to TLC hosted by Joe L'Erario and Ed Feldman. Furniture repair mixed with Rapid-Fire Comedy.
  • The Woodwrights Shop, hosted by Roy Underhill focusing on traditional woodworking (generally speaking, no power tools).
  • Home Again, hosted by Bob Vila after leaving This Old House.
  • The Victory Garden, running since 1975.
  • A rare non-televised example is Gardeners Question Time on BBC Radio 4, which is pretty much Exactly What It Says on the Tin: A Q&A session with a panel of horticulture experts taking questions from the general public. Recorded in a different part of the UK every week.

     Game Show-esque  

  • While You Were Out
  • Extreme Home
  • Rock The Block — an HGTV show in which teams of designers and renovators from other HGTV shows compete against each other to remodel identical houses with the goal of adding the most value.


  • Changing Rooms - British show where two couples each redecorate one room in the other couple's house with the help of design experts.
  • Extreme Makeover: Home Edition - Families in need have their houses completely rebuilt with the help of their neighborhoods to suit their living situations.
  • Fixer Upper - Couples buy run-down homes in affluent neighborhoods, which are then renovated under the direction of couple Chip and Joanna Gaines.
  • Holmes on Homes - The adventures of Mike Holmes as he rescues homeowners from poor renovations done by third party contractors.
  • Home Town - A husband-and-wife duo renovate homes in a small Mississippi town.
  • Property Brothers - Twin brothers help families renovate run-down homes into dream homes.


  • House Hunters — Prospective homebuyers are shown three properties and choose one to buy at the end of the episode. Has a Spinoff, House Hunters International, which features people looking to buy or rent a residence in a foreign country.
  • My Lottery Dream Home — Lottery winners get help buying a house with their newfound wealth.


  • Flip Or Flop — The duo of Tarek and Christina, who started the show as a married couple but are now divorced, buy rundown homes in Southern California for their "flipping" business — they renovate and resell the houses with the goal of making a profit on the sale.


  • Ground Force: Best described as "Extreme Makeover: Garden Edition" except British.
  • Love It Or List It - Families shop for new homes while their current one is being renovated, and must decide at the end of the episode whether to buy a new house or stay in their renovated home.
  • Trading Spaces - The American equivalent of Changing Rooms; it could occasionally border on "off the wall" itself depending on which designer a couple was stuck with.

     Off the wall  

  • Monster House - a Spin-Off of Monster Garage where parts of a house are very violently demolished and transformed into an extreme setting, such as a kitchen into a medieval mead hall.
  • Homewrecker - a subversion courtesy of MTV in which a teenager gets revenge on a friend by having his or her bedroom transformed into an unlivable space resembling the original prank pulled (for example, a prankster who shaved all the body hair off of a sleeping buddy getting his room turned into a pulsing, throbbing cave covered floor to ceiling in hair).
  • A Very Brady Renovation - Some hosts of several HGTV original series team up with The Brady Bunch cast members to build a real version of the Brady house.

  • House Flipper is an homage to this sort of show. The game is all about flipping houses (and gardens with the Garden Flipper DLC) but especially the HGTV House Flipper DLC adds new missions that give even more of the feel of this type of show, complete with the dramatic reveal at the end.

     Parodies and homages 
  • Parodied in the That Mitchell and Webb Look sketch "Coverage Of People Buying A House And Then Living In It". The titular show is clearly supposed to be in the vein of British versions like Location Location Location, with all the Mundane Made Awesome that is usually involved... except that everyone involved in the show has clearly realised just how teeth-grindingly mundane the process actually is and so cannot be bothered to actually inject the awesome. The result is two clearly rather bored men who cannot hide their disinterest and mild resentment at having to make a television on the process of buying a house and fixing it up a bit, and so rush through everything in as quick a dull monotone as can be gotten away with.