Skip to content



What TV Gets Wrong About Home Inspections

So you’ve binge watched some reality TV home renovation shows and think you know all about home inspections. Well, think again, because not everything you see on TV reflects the reality of home inspections. 

Shows like “Holmes on Homes” feature action-packed demolition montages with contractors sledgehammering through drywall and cranes knocking down brick facades; however, the reality of home inspection is quite different. 

Here’s how you can separate fact from fiction when it comes to home inspections on TV versus the reality of everyday inspecting.

Home Inspectors Promote Saving Money

The reality is that a home inspector’s primary goal is informing home owners about repair issues and how they can save money on those repairs. In contrast, the goal of TV show home inspectors and renovators is to get higher ratings. 

Unlike the expensive and extreme home makeovers you see on shows like “Holmes on Homes,” home inspections usually result in practical, cost-saving repair advice that home owners can do themselves. For example, during one episode of “Holmes on Homes,” a homeowner was concerned about a water stain on a ceiling directly below a bathroom. In order to address the issue, Holmes removed the entire ceiling assembly to reveal the root of the problem—uncaulked joints in the bath tub above. Removing the ceiling assembly was an expensive strategy, when in reality, all the homeowner had to do was caulk the bathtub joints and problem solved! 

A knowledgeable home inspector could easily identify the source of the water stain and recommend a less expensive and less intrusive way to repair it; but, of course, knocking out a ceiling makes for better TV. After all, more drama equals higher ratings! 

The Cons of Reality TV

While it may be fun to binge watch reality TV home renovation shows, too much binge watching without developing proper knowledge and experience about home inspection can lead everyday home buyers to believe they know more than an expert home inspector. 

As these shows become more popular, so too have lawsuits against home inspectors. Emboldened by what they see on TV, some homebuyers take home inspectors to court to dispute minor defects that were missed during an inspection. Most of these suits miss the mark of professional negligence and are eventually thrown out. But, given the highly litigious society we live in, that doesn’t stop people from filing a suit in the first place. 

To keep the reality TV wheel turning, producers create plot lines involving inscrutable home inspectors or contractors trying to make a quick buck. However, the fact is that professional home inspectors understand the risks involved with conducting inspections and do everything in their power to avoid negligence of any kind. 

A Final Word

What you see on TV is the result of weeks of production and editing. The storylines are often determined before shooting even begins, so the finished product is more similar to a scripted TV drama than “reality.” In the process of editing, producers filter out dialogue and action that slows down the pace of the storyline; but, those slower moments we don’t see are where the real work of home inspection happens. 

The nitty-gritty and sometimes tedious work of home inspection may not make for the most compelling TV, but it is important for money saving ventures and to better understand the complete condition of your home. 

If you’re ready to swap manufactured TV drama for reality, schedule an appointment with South Sound Inspections today!

Skip to content