Is Jasmine Roth's HGTV Show Help! I Wrecked My House Staged?

Fans of reality TV shows know that every series has its fair share of manufactured drama and disingenuous editing. The same can be said for even the best HGTV shows, with audiences long wondering if Jasmine Roth's "Help! I Wrecked My House" is a true representation of its clients' renovation experience.

"Most if not all of our flipping shows are staged," Betsy Ayala, HGTV's senior vice president of production & development, said during a Q&A interview. This means that clients don't necessarily get to keep the furniture and decor featured in reveals, though they often have the opportunity to purchase the items on their own dime.

There do seem to be exceptions to this rule, with Drew Scott revealing that furniture cost is typically factored in on "Property Brothers" shows. Still, given what we know about other behind-the-scenes aspects of "Help! I Wrecked My House," the failed DIYers featured in the series are likely on their own when it comes to furniture and decor.

The truth about Help! I Wrecked My House's budgets

While the fully-furnished reveals on "Help! I Wrecked My House" might be staged, host Jasmine Roth has assured fans that the featured budgets are true to reality with a certain caveat. The Virginia native answered the burning fan question in a blog post on her website back in 2021. "I'm here to tell you, what you see is what you get," she wrote. "That's right, believe it or not, the number you see on the screen is the actual number" (per Southern Living).

The HGTV star went on to note that being on television does come with certain benefits that aren't always clear on camera. For example, some tradespeople are willing to discount their services in exchange for television exposure while HGTV itself sometimes invests its own money to streamline the renovation process. Roth's blog post sentiments correspond with casting calls for the HGTV show that reveals some insight into how much it actually costs to be on "Help! I Wrecked My House."

Among other stipulations, a 2023 casting call said homeowners are required to have "a budget of at least $50K for cosmetic [renovations] or $100K for structural or layout changes." Notably, while cosmetic renovations can refer to everything from cabinet installation and hardware upgrades to paint jobs and floor remodels, there doesn't appear to be a built-in budget for furniture and decor.

Have the clients really wrecked their houses?

Another common question among fans of "Help! I Wrecked My House" is whether or not the featured homeowners have actually damaged their properties attempting DIY renovations. Many viewers doubt the validity of this premise, taking to Reddit to explain that some episodes seem more genuine than others.

"The episodes that are faked are so clearly obvious," one user wrote. "Taking off a few tiles, and punching a hole in your wall (all of which were done the day before) does not mean you 'wrecked your house.'" HGTV host Jasmine Roth hasn't explicitly confirmed that the premise of the "Help! I Wrecked My House" is true to real life, but the stipulations mentioned in the show's 2023 casting call suggest that the network actually looks for homeowners who've wrecked their house.

"Has your home turned into a renovation nightmare?" the form reads. "We are in search of homes in Orange County & Los Angeles County that have 3-4 spaces in need of rescue." We can't know for sure, but we wouldn't be surprised if the premise of "Help! I Wrecked My House" landed somewhere between real and scripted.