How HGTV & Home Renovation Shows Have Misled You

How HGTV & Home Renovation Shows Have Misled You

If you own a TV, you're likely aware that there is no shortage of reality television served up in all forms, including numerous real estate and home improvement programs. These shows are entertaining and engaging, and you should enjoy them as much as you like, but they are not great tools for planning your own renovation. As with any highly-produced program, home renovation shows, unfortunately, showcase a selective reality that's only possible with the magic of TV, a huge crew, and the clout of the cameras. When clients come through our door expecting the options, budget, and timeline reflected in their HGTV favourites, contractors are responsible for resetting reality. While we're happy to help any client understand the scope, cost, and timeline for the beautiful new space they've got in mind, starting our relationship with disappointment is never our preference.  We want you to feel excited and empowered to begin an exciting upgrade and investment in your experience. Let's talk about the truth about HGTV & home improvement shows so that you can get realistic about your own home renovation project.

Person Changing Channel of Television on in Background

The mismatched expectations these shows have created for working contractors are apparent right from the consultation. As Markham contractors with decades of experience, we're confident our insight will prepare you for your renovation project. We're pleased to use our knowledge to correct some of the assumptions that home renovation shows have understandably sown.

Timeline Differences

On your screen,  a basement or a kitchen renovation with a construction timeline of 6-8 weeks completion is fit into an hour program on T.V. and sometimes cut to look like it happens in days.  Keeping a large crew on site for weeks is not cost-effective, so many renovation projects come together much faster when they're TV-sponsored. However, one of the main secrets of home renovation shows is speeding up the timeline with volunteer labour.  Adding more people and more unskilled labour is a recipe for miscommunication and sub-par quality that doesn't hold up when the masses are gone. Additionally, the timeline discussed on TV covers only the construction leg of the project. Consultation, design, and planning can take months. We spend extensive time in collaborative design with you so that your renovation includes everything exactly as you desire. Waiting for permit approval alone can take weeks. Many consumers are often caught off-guard by longer, (accurate) timelines and we would hate for you to be one of them.

Modern Dining Room Design Center View of Table

TV Cost vs. Reality

We're sorry to say that HGTV renovation costs aren't often realistic.  One of the things that makes HGTV renovations so cheap is that they are frequently operated on labour donated to them by companies in return for publicity. Of course, HGTV doesn't necessarily scream about this fact unless they're soliciting a donation, so you may not have considered this angle, even if you regularly tune into your watch your favourite team take on another fixer-upper.

Just like the time a project takes to plan, many of the things that go on behind the cameras of home renovation shows aren't discussed. For example, the initial costs like permits and architectural fees are never shared. HGTV may employ an architect to handle the work in-house and before production, but that's not an option for your project. Whether TV renovations happen within a sustainable profit margin is also never discussed. Do we ever hear about the contractor’s profit, overhead, labour, and material costs on screen? We wouldn't because breaking down the cost of the project further would expose the extreme savings these projects are experiencing.

Wondering about the actual costs of the home renovation you've got in mind? We've got you covered. Head here to learn about the cost of common renovation projects in Markham.

Newly Renovated Walk-In Shower and Tub Combo With Built-in Bench and Window

The Siren Song of DIY

Another dangerous misconception HGTV creates is the thought that consumers can do it themselves because it looks so easy. Homeowners and other unskilled folks are routinely shown bellying up to the power tools and creating elements for their bespoke renovation. You could probably replicate the DIY renovation show results, too, if you had a state-of-the-art tool suite delivered, curated materials, and 1-on-1 professional coaching and supervision. The renovation reality is that many homeowners find themselves in over their heads. If they swallow their pride and call for help, they can still set the project right, but it usually costs the consumer more in the long run when they have to call a contractor to finish an overwhelming DIY. A professional remodel rescue might take even longer because they'll likely wait for a designer to prepare drawings to be submitted to the city for a permit and contractor availability. They'll live in chaos in the meantime.

Even worse, many people stubbornly persist with their DIY renovation, even when serious problems arise, or they aren't quite sure what to do. Hmm...that spot looks funny; better spackle over it! Out of sight, out of mind! At best, amateur installation can void a product's warranty. At worst, it will create or invite structural problems that will snowball into bigger concerns. We'd hate for you to have trouble with your new plumbing, electrical, or tile. It's more than disappointing; it can be dangerous! Misplaced moisture from leaks and poor installation is a major culprit of DIY renovations gone wrong. This can lead to mold and rot. Poor installation can cause your tiles to fall from the wall. Amateur electrical work is a potential safety and fire hazard. DIY mistakes with plumbing, electrical, and heavy elements put your family at risk.

electrical wire falling down in front of doorway (2)

Master Edge Homes Creates Quality Home Renovations in Markham, Ontario

In the end, HGTV and home renovation shows are understandably here to stay, but it is up to the viewer to understand the difference between them and real-life home construction projects. If you're ready to connect about your dream home remodel, we're excited to connect with you to create quality results that give any show on the air a run for its money.

Simply Sophisticated Home Renovation in Markham Ontario