How Your Remodel Isn’t Like TV

We all love watching the home remodeling shows on TV. Throw a cute couple or family that needs an updated house on the screen, and we’re watching. Remodeling shows are heartwarming, dramatic, and inspiring for your own home. However, when you remodel your own home, it’s not like the TV shows. Here’s why:

Remodeling takes time (and permits).

TV producers must fit the whole remodeling process into a 45–60-minute show run-time. The shows make remodeling look like a quick and easy process. In reality, remodeling can take a few weeks to multiple months, depending on the project’s size and complexity. 

TV also doesn’t show much of the permitting process. Getting permits takes time and effort from your contracting team. For example, HazMat (lead and asbestos) testing is required for homes built before 1978. If asbestos needs to be abated, there is a two-week waiting period before abating following the submission of the abatement permit.

It’s not pretty throughout the process.

Obviously, TV likes to make everything look attractive. You see the contractors tearing down spaces and building new ones, all while the area still seems relatively organized and clean. The actual remodeling is dusty and not camera-ready during the process.

While there can be surprises like they have in the tv shows, they’re not always good and can seriously set back a project.

Don’t you love it when TV remodel shows find a surprise fireplace hidden behind a wall or salvageable hardwood floors underneath the carpet? Finding those kinds of discoveries is far and few between, but more often than not, any surprises aren’t good. Surprises from water damage and structural issues may cut into the construction budget.

When they find surprises on TV, they often choose to cut an entire room out of a remodeling plan, such as a whole bathroom or laundry room which changes the clients’ dream and makes the project choppy. In reality, we won’t cut an entire room out of the remodeling plan if we find expensive surprises. We suggest that clients have a contingency budget amount factored into their project. We also recommend that clients not commit to their maximum budget when they sign the construction agreement. If there is an expensive surprise, the client will still be able to move forward.

Materials aren’t always available or cheap.

Since COVID and its effect on the supply chain, remodel materials have become more expensive and harder to obtain. During the lockdown, many people worked on their homes and bought many supplies, such as tile, cabinet hardware, specialty lighting, fixtures, vanities, etc., which are now affecting supplies on hand.

In TV shows, the homeowners have many options for colors, textures, finishes, and fixtures, but you might not have as many choices in real life, or you might have to wait a while for things to be in stock. For example, the wait for cabinets has gone from 4-6 weeks to 3-4 months since COVID affects supply chains.

The people working on your home renovation have lives outside their jobs that keep them from working 24/7.

Contractors work hard to get your project done in real life, but they also have their own lives. It is their job, not their whole life, so they only work regular hours on your project. The TV shows often show the contractors working from before dawn till after dusk to meet the show’s strict time frame for the project.

Your home won’t be a magazine cover photoshoot perfect when your remodel is complete.

When the remodels are completed in the TV shows, they walk you through the space and its “photoshoot” perfection. We finish your project and clean up, but your remodel won’t look ready for a magazine cover until you decorate. It will look empty, and there is no staging everything down to the throw pillows. To make it look ready for a photoshoot, you must put in furniture, curtains, flowers, paintings, rugs, good lighting, etc.
Professional housekeeping is available upon request.

The whole process is like a stressful rollercoaster.

We try our best to make everything as smooth as we possibly can. Despite our efforts, you and your family will still feel stressed because parts of your house won’t be usable. You can stay somewhere during the remodeling process if you have the budget. However, most people don’t have it in their budget to live somewhere else during the remodel, so they have to navigate around the work.

Imagine that you ask us to remodel your kitchen. We will work as hard and as fast as possible to remodel your kitchen, but you won’t have a kitchen to use. You’ll have to eat out more or create a makeshift kitchen while waiting. The process can be difficult and stressful to go through. 

Working from home can also be a challenge. The remodeling process is noisy, even the electrical and painting, so having enough peace and quiet to get your work done can be impossible.

We wish we could make your remodel process like a TV show, but it’s not reality. Yet, we still get excited over your remodels even though they’re not as dramatic or fast-paced as the ones on TV.
As a contractor we are proud of our work, and we think you will agree.
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