In the last decade, the reality-TV show about home remodeling has exploded in popularity. If you enjoy that kind of show, you have plenty to choose from: House Hunters, This Old House, Rehab Addict, American Dream Builders, and the list goes on!
Like any reality-TV show, the word “reality” gets blurred by the need to make the show entertaining and dramatic. So, what are remodeling shows getting wrong?
Real-life home re-modelers from V.C.G. Construction bring you this blog explaining some crucial ways a remodeling Reality-TV show is unrealistic.
1. The Insanely Fast Timeline
Good work by a real remodeling company takes time—more time than the week, or even couple of days, depicted in remodeling reality shows. What the shows don’t tell you is the contractors are working around the clock, sometimes sleeping five hours a night and coming back first thing in the morning. In reality, contractors would not be at your house 19 hours a day.
Plus, shows overlook the revisions, permits, and lead times for special-order items that can slow down the timeline.
2. The Gigantic Crew of Workers
Thirty people working on your house at once? Maybe on a reality-TV show, but not in reality.
In real life, a small business will send a few guys to your house, at most. In addition, multiple teams of contractors wouldn’t usually come at the same time. Your builders wouldn’t be there at the same time as your electricians and plumbers, for example.
Who wants thirty people in their house, anyway?
3. The Idea that the Contractor Should “Surprise You”
This is the worst one of all! In a remodeling reality-TV show, the client will sometimes give the contractor a vague idea of what they want, then disappear until the job is finished. Then the contractor surprises the client with a design they never would have envisioned!
In real life, ducking out of decision-making is a terrible idea for the client. Most people don’t want to be surprised; they want to be involved. This is, after all, the home they’re going to live in for years after the remodeler leaves, so they should probably help pick things out.
4. The Impossibly Low Budget
One of the most dramatic moments of the reality-TV show is always the budget breakdown. Not only did the workers create a stunning transformation in a matter of days; they did it for $300!
What the reality-TV show doesn’t tell you is production companies negotiate lower rates with contractors to make the total cost dramatically low. In fact, some companies even contribute labor for free, just for the exposure.
In real life, it’s good to have realistic expectations about how much things cost—and the lowest price isn’t always going to be the best contractor for the job.