The latest craze in home remodeling television shows reveal about as much reality in them as the Real Housewives of Potomac: very little. The shows are both fun and entertaining, but they project a skewed sense of reality.
After being a designer and licensed contractor for 9 years in the DC metropolitan area, I have noticed a trend. Potential clients who have watched a variety of these renovation shows are often shocked when I provide an estimate for their proposed project. Typically, the renovation fees for these shows are significantly underestimated. Remember, we live in a highly populated and more expensive area than the average homeowner.
I believe there are a few possibilities for the underestimations in both cost and reality:
- Labor costs do not seem to be included in the cost of the TV renovation program. I cannot be certain, but I suspect labor is donated by the TV host or a contractor; in return they receive national television exposure. I also wonder about other professional fees such as architecture, engineering, interior design. Why aren’t those costs revealed?
- Products used in the home renovation program may be provided for free or a drastically reduced cost by the shows’ sponsors.
- Renovations and story lines have to be wrapped up and completed in an hour. This leaves the viewer with the impression that renovations are quick and convenient.
Please continue to be inspired to redecorate and renovate by the renovation TV programs, just set realistic expectations when you decide to act on your inspirations.