Ah, the wonders of television.

There is seemingly no end to the home-makeover television boom, which week after week finds ramshackle hovels and transforms them into posh dream homes.

When planning major home renovations, however, it’s prudent to manage expectations. After all, while home improvement may be the driving concept behind television programs on HGTV, DIY, and other networks, their main purpose – ultimately – is to entertain and to drive ratings.

Here are just four ways that major home renovations look different on TV, and why reality just may be preferable, anyway:

  • Editing can be slightly deceptive: A syndicated home improvement program might clock in at 45 minutes or so, without commercials. Considering this, there’s plenty of drywall and decision-making that gets left on the cutting room floor. There are so many preliminary – and, admittedly, unflashy – steps including research, consultations with engineers and architects, procuring estimates, and so much more that never make it to the screen. On a television show, the stage is set, so to speak, with crew members making certain everything is placed just-so to ensure the best shot.
  • Timelines are tweaked. Through the magic of filmmaking, major home renovations such as bathroom and kitchen remodels that would typically take months (or more) to design and complete are often compressed into a matter of days for storytelling purposes.
  • In real life, real setbacks can occur: Even “reality” television is scripted to a degree. It has to be, otherwise budgets would swiftly fly off the rails. Because of this, certain thematic beats are built into the overall structure of the show. On the other hand, major home renovations in the real world can yield unexpected challenges and obstacles once remodelers start tearing into walls and floors. While homeowners shouldn’t let this dissuade their remodeling decisions – it’s important to know upfront before work on a project begins.
  • Tinseltown budgets can be even more deceptive than the editing: Perhaps one of the biggest areas where home remodeling programs and the real deal differ is project budget. On television, once the dust has settled on construction, cleaning crews are brought in to render everything spotless; countertops are adorned with decorative floral arrangements; and custom furnishings and appliances are shipped in to put the perfect finishing touch on every single nook and cranny of a home. Such finer points are rarely covered in a real-life contractor’s budget for major home renovations. Which isn’t to say such visions are unattainable. However, many reality programs on TV are notorious for low-balling estimates, neglecting to factor in unexpected setbacks, the cost of local labor, and so many other variables.

The good news is that by hiring a contractor who specializes in major home renovations, you will have access to a collaborator who can walk you through the layouts and materials that fit within your budget. By planning ahead and working closely with your contractor, you can forego the Hollywood illusion (sure, you can still watch from time to time), and start working toward the home of your dreams.

The team at Cossentino and Sons Remodeling & Design, Inc. is committed to providing the home improvements necessary to elevate your lifestyle and add true value to your home.

Visit us online or call 410-442-0000 to learn more, and let’s get started on that TV room today.