I participate in a few forums and blogs and one of the questions posed was if those home improvement shows that depict do-it-yourself weekend projects as being potentially hurtful to the trades and not portraying the real work that goes into the final result. Some actually thought it hurt their business and others thought it devalued their expertise. Still others thought, that ultimately there would be mistakes to correct and in the end good for them. Also that the real work needed to be done behind the scenes wasn't being shown, leaving the impression that it was all too easy to tackle for a weekend project. There were also a few who agreed with me to the extent that education is never a bad thing, as there is a lesson to be learned in all of it - good or bad. Here's my say on it:
I must say that as a homeowner and someone who teaches consumers around the subject of avoiding a home remodeling disaster and choosing their contractor wisely, education is much needed even if it comes in a more sensationalized version from the media. At the very least it opens their minds to the possibilities as well as the potential for problems. Consumers are creating the demand for these shows to satisfy their curiosity and entertainment needs. And I'm seeing more of these shows becoming created through the various media query outlets seeking experts to cast for these shows. They're here to stay so rather than resist it, why not take the opportunity to educate your customer based on this very subject and inject some reality behind it all?
Both my husband and myself are big do-it-yourselfers, but we know our limits. He has a construction background and I took it upon myself to take classes in order to execute certain finishes. We've both been inspired in the past as a result of something we saw on these shows and always farm it out if it's beyond our abilities. So a professional tradesperson gets some work as a result of our exposure to an idea from a show. That's a win-win.
Sure there are those who get in over their heads but then that becomes a lesson learned - especially if it cost them more to correct. Finally, having been in the media myself, yes they are looking to create a big impression upon their audience and entertain them at the same time, which is after all, what people want when they sit down in front of their TV sets. And if there is an educational aspect around it, all the better.