Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

TV review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition TV Poster Image
Interesting and dramatic ... for a reality show.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 19 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 24 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The idea behind this show is to help people in need by rebuilding their homes. Most of the recipients of the home makeovers have special needs. All are unable to afford changes that take place. Overall the show has strong messages about community and family. Additional themes include compassion, empathy, and gratitude.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most of the featured home recipients have very compelling, emotional stories. Pennington and his crew seem genuinely motivated by helping people (rather than more selfish reasons).


Brand names/sponsors like Sears are often featured.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is an emotionally intense reality show featuring families with special needs whose lives are completely changed when the crew's bus rolls into town. The series' messages about community and helping others are strong enough that its occasional detours into the land of materialism can be forgiven.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7, 7, 8, 11, and 14 year old Written byChrist-Lover May 15, 2011

Really sweet

The people you work in this show are extremely nice. I will most certainly let my children watch this. Maybe my kids will learn a thing or two from these adults... Continue reading
Parent of a 5 and 9 year old Written byAuntie1051 December 16, 2009

perfict for the whole family

It shows kids and adults of all ages that just helping out one person can change lives and it makes you feel great when you do it because there are a lot of peo... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byabbacus September 8, 2012
Teen, 14 years old Written byelmo1997 April 25, 2012

This is AMAZING!

Im 14 and I still watch it! This show is showing kids how to give people the things that they need.Plus they dont want anything back. I think that it shows kids... Continue reading

What's the story?

After his successful stint on Trading Spaces, Ty Pennington, the enigmatic team leader of EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION, has become a virtual rock star of home redesign. His good looks, can-do attitude, and rather easygoing demeanor make him the perfect person to get the impossible job done -- and impossible it seems. Every week, thousands of families send tapes to the show's producers, pleading their case as to why their family needs a home remodel. The crew reviews the tapes, finding one that really touches them, and then they take action. When the crew's bus rolls into town, the entire neighborhood rallies around the project and a remodeling task is undertaken and completed in one week's time. The family is taken to a hotel for the time being, with no idea how their house will look when they return.

Is it any good?

To demolish, disinfect, uproot, restructure, and decorate a home is a task that usually takes months, so the fact that this crew can do it in less than a week is unbelievable. What drives them to succeed, apparently, is the belief that they are doing something good for the people who need the remodel. And consequently the viewer often hears the reference to the good deed, which can be a little bit of a bore.

At best, this show raises awareness about people who truly struggle from day to day. (Many times these families have special needs -- like a child who is deathly allergic to molds living in a mold-infested house, for example.) But at worst, this series emphasizes the materialistic nature of our society -- that the glamour and gloss that big money can buy makes everything all right. Still, for a reality show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition makes for interesting, dramatic viewing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the makeover process and compare life before and after the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition crew leaves.

  • Was the community coming together for the family in need before the cameras began rolling? What kinds of changes will these people's lives undergo when all is said and done?

  • How do the people on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition demonstrate compassion, empathy, and gratitude? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

For kids who love reality TV

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate