Attention Josh Temple of House Crashers. Your show is fun and you are very engaging. I am dismayed to see you instructing people to smash up their kitchen cabinets and other building components. You should demonstrate removing them intact and talk about ways to donate them so they can be reused.
Sounds great but reality check time:
1. Used cabinets have very little value. Sure, some are still in decent condition but getting used cabinets to match up to the needed dimensions of a different house is difficult and rare.
2. And if some of the cabinets do work, it could be almost impossible or expensive to match up with a few remaining cabinets needed to complete the new layout.
3. #'s 1 and 2 above make it almost impossible to sell used cabinets - the only option is to donate to places like Habitat of Goodwill.
4. So donating is a good idea...But - there can be a huge time difference in removing cabinets with no regard to damage so they can be thrown away vs removing the same cabinets without any damage. Sad but true that time does equal money. I've found that even the 'greenest' homeowner will baulk at paying hundreds of dollars extra for their kitchen remodel to carefully remove and recycle cabinets. Those same homeowners are quite happy to have the contractor absorb the extra cost though.
I am talking about real-world construction in the above but it also would apply to a How-To TV show. maybe more so since in the shows there is very limited time to get everything done. TV shows remodel kitchens in three days while normally this is a 6 to 8 week long project.
It isn't just the cabinets that get smashed, many usable sinks and countertops and lighting fixtures, etc. I am an avid Habitat Restore shopper, I understand time contraints, but most of these remodel shows are in a near a Restore, and they can come out and remove those cabinets and items(at no charge mind you)while the host is showing the new design to the homeowners. It disgusts me to watch the shows and see all that "waste" that could be reused and not cost the contractors time or money(I've removed quite a few saving on my DVR just for this reason, I used to have hours a week to watch, now I only watch one or two shows). Talk about making a better show, if I watched a remodel show where I saw a 5 second clip of Habitat coming in and removing the items, I would start watching that show over any others. I own and have remodeled my fair share of homes, and there are days the ReStore doesn't have what I want/need, and days it is like Christmas, all anyone who shops there, knows that. The more wasteful and destructive the shows become, the more I change the channel!
Although I really enjoy learning from watching the DIY Network shows, I cringe everytime I see demolition of perfectly good cabinets and counter tops that just happen to be older styles that are no longer desireable by their current owners or by the DIY designers. For me its a little bit personal since I am currently trying to do some updates in my own kitchen. I really need new cabinets and have been watching the inventory at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore since I can't afford to purchase new cabinets. Frankly, I would be happy just taking the doors from the cabinets I saw destroyed today on DIY. They would have been a HUGE improvement over my current set.
While I understand your time issues, I think with a little bit of creativity, you could surely come up with a way to get the salvagable goods out of the house for donation in a workable time frame, maintaining the objective of the show. As previous comments have noted, if you make them available, someone will come and get them. Even putting them up on craigslist under free items for the few days you are there would give others an opportunity to use them. If they arent picked up in that time, then you could still dispose of them if you must.
Have you ever thought about putting a "green" show together reusing the supplies saved from other shows? People would love to see that! Or what about a show with a little more human interest, helping more needy families by recycling items that would have been otherwise considered trash. Now that would be an amazing show. AND what a challenge for a designer to figure a way to use the old materials and update them in the process, with paint, new fixtures, etc, to use in a green and/or charitable project. I think you are missing a huge opportunity here.
Give it some thought DIY! I know you could find a way to make it worth the time and also make a dollar in the process.
Please reconsider destroying usable cabinets and countertops. Any recycling takes a little bit of extra time and work, but it is so worth it.
I'll point out that the 20 minutes of program that you see on your TV is only a small fraction of the many days spent on a TV show project. I know for a fact that many items are donated and recycled, it's just usually not a part of the storyline. Yes, some stuff is destroyed - either for time savings or 'good TV' (whether you like that stuff or not, many do). Just be aware that a lot more goes on then you see.
Jaybee-Sure they may donate some appliances or other small household items, but tubs, cabinets and counter tops are a major expense in a DIY update, and owning a home that is 114 years old there are many people I see during my hunting for era related stuff that are also trying to reuse older pieces like the ones we see smashed up in the shows. I agree with the previous poster, if they did a show that was remodeling a room using mostly reStore or garage sale/craigslist type items I would tune in daily! I try to rework old pieces to make them more functional for 2012, I know there are trash to treasure shows and such, but if these crasher shows had a team of a few people to do the deconstruction work to use in another space, it would be neat to follow! We are a wasteful society and these shows prove that time and time again. Time constraints for a TV show is not a good excuse, and that is all it is, many viewers and crashed families would be happy to see less waste all in the name of "entertainment"!
You know, I really do agree with you that it is best to recycle as much as you can. However, I have been involved with this so much that the reality doesn't make it as easy or as a good idea as you would think.
Spending $100 in labor to salvage a piece that is worth $20 is not a good idea. In reality, the construction company could destroy the piece and donate the $20 to Habitat and would be ahead.
Contrary to what you may want to think, Salvage places like Habitat and Goodwill do not have people who will come in and carefully remove these salvaged items. They are so pressed for manpower that it is all they can do to get a couple of guys with a truck out to your site to load it up.....eventually. Even if some communities have a salvage place that will also uninstall material, the logistics of scheduling and the liability of having another crew on an active jobsite does not come without cost.
Meaning that if we are to salvage some items, we not only have to take more time to remove it carefully but then we need to store it somewhere where it will not get damaged. With a premium of space on an active job site this means that all these cabinets or fixtures will often be in the way - or will get damaged as they are moved around several times. Plus, we have had many times where we have spent the extra time to salvage and store something only to have the salvage places refuse to pick up half of it because they already have an overflow of similar items in their warehouse.
There have been quite a few threads on these boards about recycling materials and my stance on this issue has stayed the same. But, despite what you may think from what you read here, our company does recycle and reuse as much as possible. We recycle aluminum, copper and other metals and between myself and my employees we often know of people in the area who are remodeling themselves on a strict budget. In those cases, it's an easy call to have a family that could really use some used materials come out and pick them up. Unfortunately, most of the time it does not work that way. Most of the time cabinets that look good on the front are water damaged and warped elsewhere. Appliances may be running - but not very well and will cost more to repair than to replace. Yes, there is some good material out there that does go to waste but for me the biggest deterrent remains the real cost of recycling.
I know it's hard to believe if you are not in the construction business, but it is very easy to rack up some serious dollars in the extra time needed to carefully remove and store product for recycling. I certainly cannot go to my employees and ask them to clock out for a few hours and work for free while we do recycling stuff. Perhaps the worst part and the thing that makes me most jaded about the process is that NONE of my clients are willing to pay the costs either. Even those who are ardent recyclers are shocked to think that my company may actually charge them to perform construction work that they themselves request - but they have no problem with me footing the bill. Maybe you would be the exception to this, but in over 20 years I haven't run into anybody willing to pay the extra costs to recycle - yet many will criticize my company for the same thing.
And finally, the above is all about regular remodeling in the real world. If anything, home improvement TV shows recycle far more than we do. With all the hype of a typical show being in a neighborhood, lots of people come around. There are also lots of people working behind the scenes on the crew. Between them, not too many usable items go to waste - it's just something that is not a part of the story of the show so you will never see it happen on your TV screen. As I said above yes, some materials are destroyed just for the TV effect. You may hate this waste but you are not the only viewer out there. Like it or not, some people want a more 'destructive' form of entertainment. And again - lots of what you see destroyed on TV is not reusable. It may look good on camera but in reality it is not in good enough condition to recycle.
Could the Crasher programs let the viewers know they will, or would like to, recycle, and explain why it is not possible to? A few sentences to this topic would suffice. (Do "they" really read "us"?)
I just watched them gleefully smash a bathroom mirror that just needed to have a few screws removed, 2 vanity basins that from experience I know could have been easily removed, yesterday a stained glass hanging lamp tossed into the dumpster...hey they just unhooked the chain from the ceiling where it had been in use by the homeowner! Maybe not today-trendy, but perfectly functional.
I know some built in stuff is harder to remove that it may seem, but I have seen so much wanton destruction of all kinds of stuff it just hurts.
I love the shows and am in the middle of a remodel myself so I love the ideas, but I just can't handle the intentional waste.
Come on, let's be a little more thoughtful here, please?
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