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TV Review: Carter Can

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Have a nagging suspicion your home isn’t living up to its full potential? Perhaps you’ve pondered what someone with a bit of technical expertise might be able to do with your remodeling ideas, the ones you thought were just pipe dreams.

New HGTV series Carter Can sets out to breathe life into ideas whose authors lack the construction skills necessary to carry them out on their own.

In the series premiere, host Carter Oosterhouse meets Linda and Charlie Miller, grandparents who dream of having more open space in which to entertain their 11-member family. The Millers would like to create a large common room from three smaller ones, but are hesitant to take down the load-bearing walls standing between them and having enough free space to corral everyone into the same room at meal time.

Carter’s plan for overhauling the Miller house is presented to home viewers via 3-D computer model. The image makes it a lot it easier to follow the action once the hammers start flying.

Though Carter is the man with the plan, he puts the Miller crew to work in every step of the remodeling process, beginning with the opening demolition whacks doled out by Miller grandkids armed with plastic tools.

Besides knocking down walls, the Miller family aids Carter in laying down laminate flooring, refinishing a large dining room table, updating ceiling treatments, and building a “kitchen peninsula” to extend counter space and seating in the kitchen. At some point in the process, Charlie and Linda are sent away, so that the finished product can be a surprise. They return to find an updated common area big enough to accommodate the current brood and more, whenever more come along.

Carter explains the steps, as well as his techniques and the reasons he uses them, in a way that is simple to understand. He is good with the kids, and very personable. It doesn’t exactly hurt, either, that he is easy on the eyes. But even if you don’t care about his appearance, Carter is easy to relate to.

It would be nice, though, if the show provided ballpark estimates for project costs, for those of us for whom a lack of expertise is not the only factor in our not breaking out the circular saws and revamping our abodes.

The show’s website offers step-by-step instructions for completing some of the simpler projects featured on the show. Amateurs may not be comfortable knocking out a load-bearing wall (and they probably shouldn’t be), but they can create the “kitchen peninsula” Carter uses to extend the Millers’ kitchen counter. The site also details some of the environmentally friendly options Carter uses when rejuvenating peoples’ pads.

Carter Can airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. e/p on HGTV.

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