Reality TV Home Makeovers: What Works and What Doesn’t

a beautiful living room

Have you ever decided to take a 10-minute break from whatever you were doing and, 3 hours later, you’re snuggled up on your couch binging your favorite home makeover show? You’re not alone. Seeing how easy these shows make it look to renovate your home might be giving you ideas to do the same, but not so fast.

Before you go and tell your contractor that you want your house remodeled in less than a week, here are some things you might not know about your favorite shows.

These Don’t Happen on a Whim

Reality TV might look simple, but reputable TV production companies put in a lot of time and effort to go over everything involving the show, and we mean everything. While it is called “reality television”, the word “reality” only loosely describes these types of shows. While it is nice to be authentic, it is also important for these shows to be entertaining to do well. This means that they can trim timelines to help with any production or time constraints while tweaking storylines, providing a “what if” experience for viewers.

With most things you see on TV, it’s best to remember that you shouldn’t believe everything you see. Some owners on these shows might are asked to go with a different story angle if the producers of the show think it’s boring or overused.

Time Frames are Rushed

Home remodeling isn’t exactly a quick process, and on TV, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. On-screen, you might see the host talk to the homeowners, figure out their vision and just like that, work begins. But that’s not exactly the case.

In reality home makeover shows, there is a lot of scrambling in the background involved to get everything done on time. On camera, you might see less than 10 men working on a house, but in reality, there could be 2 to 3 times the amount of men working around the clock on it. Aside from this, contractors are usually limited to the materials they can use, so they might end up using materials that only allow for quick installations.

While getting your remodeling job done quickly is possible, it depends on the size of the area you want to be changed, the procedures that need to be done, and the materials you want your contractor to be using. In some cases, if your home will need painting, for example, a primer might need to be applied before your paint, which usually takes a couple of days to completely dry before you can apply the next product

Significant planning is a very important part of home remodeling and this alone would require more than a few days for you to meet and discuss your plans with your contractor and architect. If you want quality work to be done in your house, it’s going to take you some time.

a well kept bedroom

It Costs More Than You Think

The typical formula you might see on a home makeover show is that the homeowner has a list of things they want in their home. The only problem is that they have a tight budget, but somehow the team can make do with the budget and give the owners their dream homes. Before you demand the impossible from your contractor, remember that the budgets that you see on TV are, well, meant for TV. This is because partner companies sponsor these shows or the contractor might be willing to work at discounted rates in exchange for free publicity.

There are also standard procedures for certain homes like inspections, which usually raises the cost of expenses, but there aren’t usually shown on TV. Another thing they might not tell you is that in some of these makeover shows like Extreme Home Makeover, families who participated ended up not being able to afford the remodeled house because of the increase in taxes and utility bills. And since no one sees what happens after an episode, some homeowners even become victims of shoddy craftsmanship and remodeling work, which will definitely add to their already increasing expenses.

We all love a good heartwarming story of families getting their dream homes, and watching the designers find ways to use space, combine different designs, and show their creativity within a certain budget can be a good source of inspiration and ideas for those planning to have their own home renovation or remodeling projects. Just remember to take these shows with a grain of salt, and if you’re set on transforming your home, make sure to go to professionals who can help you take the necessary steps to make your dream home a reality.


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