The Best Home Improvement Shows to Inspire Your Own Renovation

Today, there are hundreds of home improvement shows to inspire your home makeover — so where should you start? We watched the most popular ongoing series to help you narrow in on the cream of the crop. We’ll detail the six best home improvement shows to binge, including:

  1. This Old House
  2. The Property Brothers
  3. Fixer Upper
  4. Queer Eye
  5. Good Bones
  6. Ask the Builder
A room that is being renovated on a home improvement show.
Source: (Brett Jordan / Unsplash)

1. This Old House

The granddaddy of home improvement entertainment, This Old House has been on the air since 1979. Originally hosted by Bob Vila and now in its fourth decade, the show features Kevin O’Connor as host, with Richard Trethewey, Jenn Nawada, and Tom Silva highlighting their specialties in plumbing and heating, landscaping, and general contracting, respectively.

Why we love it

Although the show has evolved and features homes beyond its home base in New England, it still retains its instructional format. Serious renovations and meaningful restorations get detailed explanations. Projects may last an entire season, enveloping the viewer in the home’s history and the renovation’s progress.

What you’ll learn

A truly instructional show, This Old House details how to perform repairs and restorations with in-depth instruction often spread over several episodes.

Some key takeaways from This Old House include:

  • It’s often a good investment to restore an old house.
  • You should preserve at least one old feature when remodeling your home.
  • Paint can add a punch for little cost.
  • Improve your DIY chops by observing professionals as they work on your house.
  • Curb appeal makes an impression.
  • Put your personal stamp on your home.
  • Go green by sourcing locally.
  • Quality beats quantity.
  • Preserve your trees during construction.

Where to watch

You can watch This Old House on a variety of streaming services. The latest episodes are available on PBS and

2. Property Brothers 

Twins Drew and Jonathan Scott team up to find and renovate homes for buyers. Primarily filmed in Canada, the brothers transform ho-hum houses into dream homes on a tight timeline and budget.

Why we love it

The friendly sibling rivalry has sparked spin-off competition shows that rival the viewership of the original. The brothers make remodeling look fun — but the laid-back laughter and teasing don’t hide the hard work that goes into finding and fixing homes for their clients. We also appreciate their approachable design style that is practical and stylish without frills.

What you’ll learn

Humor doesn’t distract from the lessons the Scott brothers impart, such as how to:

  • Create a timeless style
  • Make your home comfortable
  • Make the most of what you’ve got
  • Blend old and new
  • Bring out your home’s character
  • Design room for your pets

Where to watch

Watch The Property Brothers on HGTV, Discovery+, Amazon Prime Video, and select streaming services.

A room that was improvement on a show.
Source: (Collov Home Design / Unsplash)

3. Fixer Upper

The husband-and-wife team of Chip and Joanna Gaines brings homespun family affection to home improvement. Based in Waco, Texas, the show prides itself on converting the worst homes in the neighborhood into the nicest. She’s the designer; he’s the contractor. Together, they are transforming their hometown, one run-down house at a time.

Why we love it

We love Chip and Joanna and their family. They’re relaxed and charming, making every episode enjoyable to watch. Joanna’s distinct and oft-repeated style gives you the insight to transform your home with modern farmhouse design.

What you’ll learn

There’s much to learn from Fixer Upper, such as:

  • Character is important (that means using old stuff).
  • Farmhouse chic never goes out of style.
  • Mix materials like industrial metals and worn wood for an authentic look.
  • Less is more, so create some open space in your interior.
  • Focus on the kitchen first.
  • The right tools make all the difference.

Where to watch

Look for Fixer Upper on the Magnolia Network, HGTV, Discovery+, and select streaming services.

4. Queer Eye 

Queer Eye is really a total lifestyle makeover show, with one of the Fab Five focusing on the home environment: interior designer Bobby Berk. His style harkens to mid-century modern design featuring geometric angles, natural elements, and neutral color palettes.

Why we love it

This team of queer men of diverse backgrounds teaches us that we all have value. The show also deals with real design problems, such as wheelchair access and enhancing odd-shaped spaces.

What you’ll learn

Bobby Berk’s design advice is universally applicable:

  • Don’t take a theme too far.
  • Organize to make the most of your space.
  • Make your interior yours by incorporating meaningful objects and imagery.
  • Keep your space clean and decluttered.
  • Let go of the past if it’s not serving you.

Where to watch

Watch this award-winning show on Netflix.

A condemned house that will be improved on a show.
Source: (Mateusz Butkiewicz / Unsplash)

5. Good Bones

Mother-daughter duo Karen Laine and Mina Hawk — known locally from their business Two Chicks and a Hammer — renovate older houses in desperate need of repair on Indianapolis’ historic South Side. These self-taught ladies are passionate about their work and are unafraid to take on the nastiest of houses, including those infested with pests, littered with poo, destroyed by fires, and condemned. Although “mom” has now retired, she makes the occasional appearance to showcase one of her quirky craft projects.

Why we love it

Less about flipping houses than rehabbing neighborhoods, Good Bones showcases older areas of Indianapolis and local tradespeople. We also love the contrast of the daughter’s practicality and the mom’s wild side.

What you’ll learn

The women on the show teach us to look beyond aesthetics to find the “bones” of the house to see its potential. Here are their biggest home improvement tips:

  • Mistakes happen. These Midwestern ladies don’t try to cover up what went wrong, proving that renovations rarely go smoothly. 
  • Use what you have. Convert found items or old relics into functional and decorative new treasures.
  • Work with people you like and trust.

Where to watch

Find Good Bones on HGTV, Discovery+, and Amazon Prime Video.

6. Ask the Builder 

Custom builder and remodeler Tim Carter demonstrates the “how-to” of home remodeling, renovation, and repair in YouTube’s first and longest-running home improvement show. He answers viewers’ questions and offers product recommendations.

Why we love it

For 25 years, the mustachioed custom builder has been sharing his expertise and experience with prospective DIYers online, through social media, and via newsletter. Carter doesn’t just put on the show he thinks his audience will like; he answers the viewers’ questions directly and honestly. His forthright but humble approach is just one reason viewers love him.

What you’ll learn

Beyond the how-to aspect of any repair or remodeling project, Ask the Builder imparts some essential lessons:

  • Take control of your project.
  • Read and watch product reviews to choose the right products for your project.
  • Research multiple techniques and choose the best for your project and skill level.
  • Work with capable, ethical contractors who have your best interest in mind.

Where to watch

Watch Ask the Builder on YouTube.

Header Image Source: (Spacejoy / Unsplash)