How Makeover TV Shows Give Us Unrealistic Expectations

Home remodeling TV shows are like fairy tales: the homeowner finds a perfect contractor who is handsome and wealthy with an entourage made up of producers, workers, sponsors with free stuff, designers, and a makeup artist; the remodel job takes a week and costs $ 30,000, and the owner lives happily ever after in a dream castle.
But like fairy tales, makeover shows have background writers creating imaginary stories.

The truth is that the owner has very little idea of ​​what he wants and changes the design a few times, which increases the time and cost of the project; materials and labor cost money; And because we live in the real world, remodeling work takes time.

There is no doubt that home improvement programs can stimulate the creative process, give us good ideas, and help us keep up with the latest trends, but they also paint a picture (no pun intended) that is unrealistic.

Here are some key points to consider:

A distorted view of time

1. When interviewed, some home improvement producers admitted that they adjust schedules and use creative licensing to make the show entertaining. In other words, a week-long remodel project only happens on television. Don’t forget that this is show business. The time span is not real. Framing the concrete that was poured just an hour ago didn’t actually happen. The concrete was given adequate time to cure before building on it, 1 to 3 days, a fact conveniently omitted from the story line. This is just one example of how the length of a remodel project shown on television belongs to a story with Prince Charming. The real life schedule is more like a frog that remains a frog even when kissed.

2. The team presented by the chamber is usually only a fraction of the total number of people working on the project. For every person the viewer sees, another 5 are working 24 hours. It is not uncommon for 15 hours of work to translate into a five minute segment giving the viewer the misconception that the remodel is going too fast.

3. A meeting between the homeowner and the television contractor, presented as a 15 second scene, is shot in 30 takes to get it right. In real life, those meetings take time and especially if the owner does not have a clear vision of what the final product is supposed to look like.

4. TV shows don’t have the time to obtain permits, conduct inspections, and the time to purchase specialty materials and build custom items like kitchen cabinets.

TV budgets are not real life budgets

1. To make work faster, it is common to use cheaper materials. For example, hardwood floors will sacrifice for laminate. But when remodeling one’s home, the quality of the materials used must be carefully considered, especially if the homeowner plans to make the remodel last.

2. Sponsors will provide free or discounted materials and some contractors will lower their fee, or even work for nothing, to get free publicity. This alone gives an unrealistic idea of ​​the actual budget required for a remodel.

In short, home improvement television shows such as fairy tales are fun and entertaining, but when remodeling your home it is highly recommended to approach the subject with realistic expectations. Entering the project thinking that they are all songbirds and gentle dwarfs could end up in the clutches of the Evil Queen, also known as the Great Disappointment.

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