An Englishman’s home is his castle

It was the first decade of the new millennium and TV gifted us the property based show and sparked a new generation of budding property developers. Property Ladder and DIY: SOS  gave us a sneak peek into the world of property development and just how much money can be made from buying, doing up and selling on. Shows like this suffered a drop in popularity following the collapse in the mortgage market in America and the subsequent recession that affected all markets.

As the markets recover, so do the property programmes and their aim has shifted away from profit and is more geared towards making improvements to properties whilst on a budget. These shows offer good advice and words of warning to reflect the state of the market and the outlook for property owners.

Homes Under The Hammer has been on air since 2003 and follows house auctions and the subsequent improvements made to the property. A mixture of properties are featured including residential, rural and commercial. A local estate agent is invited to value the property and then the result of the auction is revealed with the final selling price. For Gloucester Estate Agents, visit


Image credit

DIY: SOS was launched in 1999 after success with a similar show called Changing Rooms. This show featured a complete redesign and renovation of a viewer’s home after the original work had gone badly, not been finished or was the result of a cowboy builder. An extremely popular and successful show and has been running for 17 years. The show has a real feel good factor as it helps out some vulnerable people who have really been through the mill.

Changing Rooms was a fun do-it-yourself style show in which couples swapped houses and each pair decorated one room each of their friend’s or neighbours home. This format had the potential to cause some serious upset and that was part of the appeal. Famous disasters include a room designed by Linda Barker to accommodate a large collection of teapots, in which all the shelves collapsed overnight and smashed the teapots to pieces. Another clanger occurred after Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen had covered a living room in animal prints much to the disgust of the couple who lived there, calling it a ‘tart’s boudoir’. Sabotage was suspected as the neighbours knew the couple disliked animal prints and so suggested it to Bowen as a joke. Would you be brave enough to let your neighbours decorate your house?