Reality Television

Big Beach Builds

Aired on: DIY Network

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

                It was a nasty, rainy day and I was looking for something interesting to watch on television when I stumbled on a marathon of a reality television series on the DIY Network called Big Beach Builds.  I like watching home makeovers, but this was a series set in a different area than I was used to – the Delaware beach communities.  I liked the spunky builder as well.  I was hooked after one episode and kept on watching.

                Big Beach Builds stars Marnie Oursler, a fifth generation builder located in Bethany Beach, Delaware.  As she is proud of informing us, her father was a builder, and his father before him and his before him and the homes they built are still standing.  Though she began as a successful real estate agent, she eventually got into home design and opened up Marnie Custom Homes.  The show features owners who are either outgrowing their beach home or are in need of some serious updating.  Marnie and her team come in and redesign the home, making it more functional and modern regardless of the budget.

                What captivated me about this show was that Marnie Oursler gives great attention to detail.  Before she redoes a home, she checks for things that any beach home may go through – water damage, erosion, foundation issues, etc.  In one episode, she made sure to check that the piling foundation under the house she was remodeling could withstand the redesign and made adjustments to beef up the foundation accordingly.  She takes into consideration what happens when water overflows the canals and makes certain that the home and its remodeling can survive such incidents.  And this spunky gal doesn’t shy away from getting her hands dirty – she’s right in there with the rest of her crew, performing demolition, building, mounting cabinets, etc. 

                When she doesn’t know something or isn’t sure about a remodeling feature, Marnie isn’t afraid to consult her brother or her dad and they often give her valuable insight in the remodel.  Another thing I like about this show: Marnie reuses and recycles.  Parts of the original home are often feature points in the remodeled home.  She knows folks bought their homes for a reason and loved them once the way they are.  Now she adds a bit of their own home into the new one as a personal touch.  There are other personal touches she adds based on the personalities or backgrounds of the home owners as well.

                I found myself mesmerized at all of the beach homes and the practical remodels performed on Big Beach Builds.  Sure, there were some luxury features added, like outdoor kitchens, bars, beach games and larger outdoor showers, but for the most part, Marnie is either updating older, weathered homes or she is adding sleep space and storage for folks whose families have outgrown their home.  I loved all of the attention to detail and the beauty of the homes after the remodeling.  I also loved seeing the Delaware beach areas that I never even really paid too much attention to before.  I can’t wait to watch more Big Beach Builds.


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