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Lisin

Rehab Addict

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Does anyone else watch this show on DIY Network? It's a lady (Nichole Curtis) who goes into old run down houses and completely redoes them. Usually it's a house she bought from the city to save it from being torn down, they're always old houses and she always finds these awesome details in them like tile from the 20's that's been covered up or great hard wood in the kitchen hidden under 20 layers of Linoleum or something. It's an addicting show. She's also doing something really great by saving these old houses in kind of bad neighbourhoods and trying to start turning the neighbourhood around. The season airing right now takes place in Detroit and she's fixing up a duplex house that was damaged in a fire. The things she's able to fix are amazing. Last season (or two seasons ago) she bought a house for $1 and ended up having to have a team come in and lift it with hydraulics and totally re-do the foundation. I didn't even know that was possible!

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I saw this show in the channel guide today and assumed it was about people addicted to drug rehab, in some sort of meta commentary on addiction. This makes more sense.

Also, I would totally watch this. My dad always watched This Old House on PBS, and I always thought if they could squeeze a single old house into a week, it would be a ton of fun.

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Yeah, this is much more like This Old House. If you liked that you'll like this. It's faster paced, but they don't do a whole house in one episode mostly... though sometimes they do. It really depends but each episode is able to stand alone however if you catch a marathon on the weekend that's how I got hooked.

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I love this show. Partly because I live in Minneapolis, and I like tracking down the houses she fixes up based on clues from the streets and Google maps. But the main reason is that this is my kind of real estate porn. I love watching Nicole refinish floors, windows, woodwork, fireplaces. It's so satisfying and always makes me look around my 100 year old house, like, "Huh, I bet I could do that buffet by myself..." In general, I just really like Nicole, and I like the simplicity of the show, and her sincere love for what she's doing. A few weeks ago she landed in the Minneapolis newspaper after running into a house to stall the wrecking ball. They tore it down anyway.

We don't get DIY, so I only see reruns on HGTV, so we're not up to the Detroit house yet. She just finished the North Minneapolis house, which was incredible, but is listed for $165K and probably won't get that. (http://www.trulia.com/property/1076898399-2914-N-4th-St-Minneapolis-MN-55411) A new roof, garage foundation, windows, walls moved and removed... I just can't imagine she's making any money on some of these places! I suppose the show makes it so that doesn't really matter.

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@Carrie Anne I'm glad I'm not alone in the fact that this show makes me just feel good. I live in a town house built in 1998 so it's always annoying to watch her get to discover great hardwood under the carpets or whatever when I know I've got literally no treasures to find in my house (especially since I'm the only person who's ever lived here. Aaaand I just realized I've been in this house for 15 years. Eeek!). It makes me want to go into the wood floor refinishing business because watching them sand and refinish those floors is like the most relaxing thing ever. So satisfying!

My parents live in a 100 year old farm house and when they bought it in 1994 we did get to have a lot of those "Oh My Gahwd! Why would they cover this up!" type of discoveries. Goodbye yellow shag carpet, hello full house of hardwood.

I follow Nichole on Facebook so I remember her talking about the wrecking ball incident. They actually showed that (not her running in though) in the latest episode, she's just standing there sobbing. It's so sad.

They just finished the Detroit house and now have moved onto a 1920s craftsman in Minneapolis I believe. It's beautiful and won't take more than a couple of episodes because the inside was well taken care of. In one episode she has already done the outside.

I'm pretty sure the houses make her *some* money based on how little she pays for them. Like I said there was one she only paid a buck for, and I think often she buys them from the city on a contingency basis that she has a punch list of things that must be done or else it gets torn down.

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Yeah, I think she got the N. Mpls one for like $5, but still. The amount of money that goes into them, I just can't imagine that she gets much back out. The Case Ave house from a few seasons ago (in East St Paul) was listed for like $85K, and I'm not sure what it sold for, but probably less than that. When you do that much work, top to bottom, you're not coming out with a lot of dollars.

My house is a 1916 Craftsman, so I look forward to seeing the work she does on that '20s house. And figuring out where it is!

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Shoot. I tried to find pictures of the current one on her facebook but there are just too many to go through.

I'm super jealous of your Craftsman. They're my absolute favourite house type.

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@Carrie Ann, you may find this article interesting http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/240868091.html I haven't finished it yet, but the picture of her sitting on the couch (below) in the "North Minneapolis Bungalow" is the Craftsman she's currently doing on the show. For some reason the pictures aren't showing up in that link for me so I posted one here...)

With all that wood. I'm in love. (The outside the house picture in the article is NOT the same house btw.)

ows_138998770594537.jpg

Edited by David T. Cole

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I love this show! To Dave's point, my kid got me in trouble because her teacher thought I was letting her watch a show about drug addicts in rehab. Yay mom of the year!

My brother lives in Minneapolis and when we visit we try to check out her houses.

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We have binged on the reruns of Rehab Addict over the last couple of months. I read somewhere that Nicole lived in the Minnehaha House now, but then that it was still caught up in a lawsuit. Do any of y'all who have watched this longer than me know the deal?

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None of this has actually made it to the show. The only on the show reference to any of the drama surrounding the house was in one of the episodes she mentions that when she bought it and started the renovation (which wasn't filmed) she was planning on moving into it but then she and her boyfriend broke up so she had to sell it. That's all that actually aired on the show.  

I've been curious because of your post so I was searching around the internet for more info... basically it's a personal issue, she's posted a couple of times on Facebook that she's still in court over Minnihaha and can't talk about it so she asked people to stop asking her about it.

From various other hearsay sources it looks like what happened was she and her boyfriend bought the house together, they broke up so she had to finish doing the reno and sell it so they could split the money, then according to what I've read on other forums she started dating someone else while doing the reno, he decided to buy the house (maybe with her help? Maybe he only bought out her first boyfriend? I don't know) and then THEY broke up so she's filed a lawsuit to prevent him from selling it or something because she still has some financial stake in it and he's renting it out now but I think her goal is to get it back and move in.

I think probably back when this started she couldn't afford to buy out the original boyfriend but now she has the money to buy out the current owner who is also an ex? It's super confusing but from Facebook posts of hers along with second hand speculation that's what I've got. 

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Say it with me "the city will tear it down!" With extensions (please no & stop or we will have to call Tara Ariano: Wig Cop) and popped collars (also stop that) Nicole is still awesome and handy with a table saw. I was hooked in this show pretty quick because of how much I like Nicole. I can't help it, I'm a sucker for a gal who knows how to build.

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Yes! Thank you for doing this detective work. I do hope she ends up with that house, because it is so incredibly gorgeous (even prettier in person, really), and she was so in love with it. You could tell it was killing her to sell it.

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I hope so too, it's such a lovely house and she clearly put a lot of her personal taste into it, especially in the master suite, it would be so sad to see that have to go to someone else. 

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I'm here from TWoP, and it's nice to see a tread for something I watch.
I read somewhere that she's doing another house in Detroit.

I'm also a Mike Holmes fan, and as such, I'm sometimes aghast at her work, as when she avoided taking down a wall, because "you don't know what you'll find, and it could be expensive."
I wish she'd pay more attention to wiring than to period authenticity.

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Hi everyone.  Just came over from TWoP and am a big fan of this show.  I absolutel LOVE the last craftsman that she did - the one with all the woodwork!!  I live in a 1940's traditional and have used many of her ideas in my home.  Looking forward to next season when she'll be back in Detroit. 

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It's like This Old House in that it features old houses and tries to save or salvage old finishes.  It's not like This Old House in that it manufactures drama (how many times does she run out of gas, drop a ring down a vent or drain etc).  It's also not like This Old House in that most of the work is shoddy.  Unless it's a house Nicole is planning on living in, everything is slap dash. 

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I love her premise, and I really enjoyed the early season of the show. But lately, she's doing less restoration, and more cobbling together solutions that leaves me a bit cold. She used leftover beadboard as a bathroom countertop, and all I could think about is "well, that's gonna swell, chip, and get entirely filthy". Her most recent kitchen renos look virtually non-functional - no counter space, no storage space, not enough electrical outlets for use in the 21st century. And, where she used to use cabinets salvaged out of homes of the era, now she's using stock (often 2nd hand stock) cabinets. Where's the charm in that? 

Her unwillingness to use energy efficient windows really annoys me, too. It's COLD up there! The heating bills on those homes must be enormous. 

Originally, the hub & I watched the show, really appreciating the renos she was doing. Nowadays, we watch and cringe. It's a shame!

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It's a mix bag for me.   I love seeing her restore older homes that I would love to live in but she does it so sloppily.  I think once she just prettied up the sub flooring and was done, who does that?     It's freaking cold up there, man, I would hate to see the heating bill on that house.  Sorry can't recall which one but I think it's the one where she just had to save the sink ( well that is all of them ) and I think it was in the kitchen.     But yeah.   I like to see the restoration of the homes just not how cheap it's being done. 

That said,  I don't think the houses are selling that high so she might have lost money on some of the places.  

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This show is total house porn for me, but lately I haven't respected her work as much. I feel like Nicole cuts too many corners and her "creative" fixes are going to fall apart in a few years or months (I'm still slack jawed over her use of doors as kitchen counter tops). I adore looking at all of the houses, but I cringe over a lot of what Nicole does.

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Yes! I love this show because I love love love looking at those old houses. I wish that I had one. If I ever won a contest and could pick any designer that I wanted. I would pick Nicole in a hearttbeat.

Edited by Taylorh2
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Who else mutes the TV when she bleets "Whhhy would they cover this UPPP!" in the opening credits?

I like the show - but the voice...sometimes it's nails on a chalkboard.

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She might want to skip the boyfriends for awhile - just kidding. That house is something!

I like how scrappy she is and not afraid to try anything.

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I just started watching this show (on HGTV). I'm a total sucker for old houses and their architecture (craftsman style is my favorite). When Nicole finishes a remodel, they LOOK nice, but I wonder about well the work will hold up in the long term.

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I'm not sure the cosmetic stuff will hold up at all, but when she has structural work done, they don't mess around. Those houses are in much better shape than they would be if the average flipper got their hands on them. 

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Do you count re-caulking, when she replaces broken glass?  If not, no.
I've never seen her as quick to rewire, or replace plumbing.
I guess my view is skewed because I loathe that period of house--my great aunts lived in houses like those--because they're dark, and I can't stand claw foot tubs, and that black & white hexagonal tile.
Restoring a nice colonial, federal, or mid-century modern I can appreciate.

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I even watch eps I've seen before because I notice something different each time. I'm a big fan of her staging and paint colors. She's not averse to getting dirty, and takes on little details which are time intensive and make a big difference when completed. I have carpet in my '95 home and seeing her wood floors before-and-after makes me drool. I think her kitchens are on the small side for a modern family but fine for a single/a couple who don't do large scale entertaining. Can't do anything about a small kitchen footprint without knocking down walls, so there's that. But the window thing does bug me. In the article posted above she mentions that adding weatherstripping is important but I don't recall seeing that done on the show, and IMO it's not an adequate solution anyway. Also, I can't get behind beadboard or doors as countertops. Grooves/molding provide nice detail on the vertical but turn into gunk catchers on the horizontal.

 

I like Nicole - she's a hoot! - and I respect and admire her mission. Marathons are tough on the sleeping cats because every 30 minutes I shriek along with Oooh My Gaahdd Why Would Someone Cover That Uuup?

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You can do a virtual tour of Minnehaha

http://www.trulia.com/homes/Minnesota/Minneapolis/sold/24766-620-W-Minnehaha-Pkwy-Minneapolis-MN-55419#photo-1

Nicole has had a bunch of lawsuits over various houses.  This is the only open one I found:

http://pa.courts.state.mn.us/CaseDetail.aspx?CaseID=1615847108

 

Supposedly the Minnehaha scoop is that she had her then BF buy it with the understanding that they were getting married and would live in it together with their blended family.  As Nicole mentions in the last episode, her prince didn't come.  Once they broke up, the BF decided the house was his (since he paid for it) and wanted to resell it.  Nicole made a bunch of claims and they've been duking it out in court.  Not sure if this BF is the dentist that she was dating or another guy.

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I watched a bit this afternoon.  It was the beginning of the St Paul house.
Has she ever come across asbestos in the tile, or anywhere?
I don't recall it, yet others seem to find it fairly frequently.

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I'm not sure the cosmetic stuff will hold up at all, but when she has structural work done, they don't mess around. Those houses are in much better shape than they would be if the average flipper got their hands on them. 

Unless Nicole is fixing up a house for herself, most of what she does is slap dash.  The finishes are crap, she is the worst stainer ever, and her patching of tile is just wrong.  She never replaces windows with energy efficient ones (only did once and that was because the house already had vinyl clad), nor does she insulate.  When she does floors, she often strips down to the sub floor and refinishes that.  Which in chilly MN or MI is just cruel.

 

What I think Nicole does well is pick out paint colors.

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Agree 95%, @Lola16 !

 

What I think Nicole does well is pick out paint colors.

 

The 5% is because, well, she doesn't exactly go far outside the box on her colors. :D It's pretty much always white, cream, creamy-white, grayish-white, etc. The exception was the pink details on that one house, and really, the way she did those made me cringe. Very slapdash - it deserved better. 

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Yeah, that pink detail on that beautiful old Victorian was horrid!  The only exterior that I have really LOVED on her homes was the one she did with those 2 guys, and I think it was their input that gave that home such a wonderful Painted Lady look.  

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I watched a bit this afternoon.  It was the beginning of the St Paul house.

Has she ever come across asbestos in the tile, or anywhere?

I don't recall it, yet others seem to find it fairly frequently.

Nicole doesn't look for stuff like that.  In her own home, she had the pipe wrap in the basement checked for asbestos and removed it.  I think she checked for lead paint once that I recall in another house --- probably Minnehaha, the one she planned on living in.

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Having recently moved to the Detroit area, I really have grown to like this show. I don't think I'd ever purchase one of her flips, as she does cut corners (she is looking for a profit, after all). But I like her in general. Maybe I've got the rose colored glasses of someone who is new to the area and lives in the suburbs, but I really think that Detroit can make a comeback. I think people like Nicole are what the city needs!

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I may have groaned out loud when watching her exterior work/painting of another house, which was large and all white. Sorry, I don't remember what it was called. [Edited: It was the one on 4th Street.] She got all yakkity about how she was breaking some barrier by choosing green shingles for the roof. And then just left ALL of the painted exterior white. There was some nice Victorian/Edwardian era trim features which would have just popped if she'd painted them another color. But she just gabbled on and on, unconvincingly IMO, about keeping the house all white. That was a missed opportunity. She put a lot of work into rehabbing the exterior and then missed a chance to highlight some nice features because she just slapped white paint all over everything. Meh.

 

That episode had me & the hub groaning. First, yes, green shingles, as if they're the most unusual thing ever!! Second, the paint job over the white shingles. We had to pause it because, really, she used paint to camouflage how bad of a shape those shingles were in. They were cracked, rotted, awful. There is no way those things were doing anything good for that house. She replaced a few here and there where a shingle had actually broken in half, but this is another case of a house I wouldn't want to live in.

 

Having recently moved to the Detroit area, I really have grown to like this show. I don't think I'd ever purchase one of her flips, as she does cut corners (she is looking for a profit, after all).

 

There are better ways to make a profit than cutting corners. That's false economy and it's unfair to buyers who will have to live with the consequences of it. 

 

I admire the desire to have Detroit come back, but fixing one house in a bad neighborhood isn't going to do that. 

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Good catch! I missed that, just saw that she was replacing some of the shingles. So keeping that stuff white made more sense. I still wonder if she could have used accent colors on some of the trim though, even if not the shingles. On the outside, it was just so big and white and blah of a house when she was done.

 

And then I caught a rerun of another show she did this week, where she complained about a house being painted white. She just can't keep track of the things she says!

 

If she'd used accent colors, it would've highlighted the damage that she didn't repair, I think. Being all white camouflaged it. 

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Now, now guys, I just watched Flipping the Block, and one of the judges is Nicole, and one of the things she judges is the "quality of the work."

I kid you not.
And on that show, the houses have to be up to code. 
I know I've seen her bring some wiring up to code, but isn't there some standard for the house's roof and exterior?

And I saw the show you're talking about earlier today, I think.
The one where she replaced a handful of cedar shake shingles, and then hit the rest with white paint?

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But I definitely have seen her drywall over lathe, rather than removing it, and I remember a bathroom where she didn't take  out either a tub or old tile, because "you never know what you might find."

I judge everyone by "would Mike do that?" and she really falls short.

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But I definitely have seen her drywall over lathe, rather than removing it, and I remember a bathroom where she didn't take out either a tub or old tile, because "you never know what you might find."

I judge everyone by "would Mike do that?" and she really falls short.

Being ignorant on plaster and lathe, is there an issue with drywalling over the lathe? I had an older house that had one wall with lathe still on it behind the drywall. I only found out when I cut into it to install a light switch. I didn't want to mess with it, so I patched the hole (over the lathe) and installed the switch on a different wall.

I remember clearly the "never know what you'll find" episode and it didn't sit well with me. That is where she made the leap from "restoration enthusiast" to "shady flipper" in my eyes.

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Well see, I'm a Mike Holmes fan, and he's  for tearing down and bringing everything up to current code.
Many times, if it's old enough to have lathe and plaster, then the wiring is pretty dicey, and sometimes the plumbing too.

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Does anybody know if there has been anything more about the court case on this? I wonder why it's so hard to find any information on what's going on.

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Being ignorant on plaster and lathe, is there an issue with drywalling over the lathe? I had an older house that had one wall with lathe still on it behind the drywall. I only found out when I cut into it to install a light switch. I didn't want to mess with it, so I patched the hole (over the lathe) and installed the switch on a different wall.

It's not the lath that's a problem just that it generally indicates very old construction, which often means old plumbing, electricity, etc. A lot of galvanized plumbing and bad wiring hides behind it.

 

It's tough and expensive to demo, which is one reason I think Nicole leaves it. Now, one that that's particular to it is that plaster-and-lath, over time, disintegrates. Not the actual lath, but the plaster. My hub told me about this. Over time, the plaster between the pieces of lath degrades and falls off the lath. Then it collects at the bottom of the inside of the wall, decreasing insulation value and structural strength. It also can collect on things inside the wall, like pipes and electric stuff, and that can be a hazard.

 

It can be repaired, but again, it's not cheap. And modern drywall has so many virtues to it (fire retardants, green/eco features, soundproofing, etc), that I'd want it in my house. I'd also want to know that my wiring wasn't gonna start a fire, and my plumbing wasn't gonna fail.

 

This past winter, Nicole posted pics on twitter when her plumbing in her own house froze and burst. You could see that when she renoed that bathroom, she didn't gut it - the pipes that burst were ones that were behind plaster-and-lath. Now, granted, weather was VERY cold and maybe they would've frozen anyways - but maybe if they'd been new pipes, they might have been able to withstand the weather, or maybe they'd have been insulated enough to handle it. 

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She's got a new season, y'all.

 

And the new house is lovely, but I'm pretty sure that she spent a half hour tonight painting a small bit of a formal dining room and called it renovated. It really didn't need her to do anything to make it pretty except, possibly, refinish the floor.

 

She said it was "out of date." Huh. 

 

Oh, the other kicker from this episode was the drama with the selling of a previous house. And then she mentioned how she drives past all the houses she's sold to check up on them. I would find that kind of creepy?

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The new house is spectacular, I hope she doesn't ruin it with crap staining & cheap redos like using doors for kitchen counters.

 

When she was talking about the house that sold, she said it was safe because of the restrictions they placed on it. What does that mean? How can you tell people what they can do with something after they buy it?

Edited by GaT
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