It’s pretty rare for a bride to try on only three dresses and find her dream gown. Likewise, potential homebuyers most definitely visit more than three homes prior to putting an offer in. However, if you turn on your television both scenarios are presented on a regular basis on Reality TV programs. The home remodeling industry also has tons of shows that present equally as unlikely situations. While it can be fun to pick up new design trends and learn about innovative products about the home, there are some misnomers we’d like to clear up regarding home improvement Reality TV.
Remodeling Plans: On pretty much every reality remodeling program, the plans will be presented to the homeowners on camera, as if they are seeing them for the first time. Rarely is this true! Think about it…would YOU allow someone you’d never met to plop down plans for your remodel on camera and tell you the game plan with minimal input from you and your spouse? Highly unlikely! In most cases, homeowners have seen plans prior to production.
The Host: Interestingly enough, the host will be in nearly every shot of the episode, appearing as if they are toiling away to make your project perfect. In actuality, the host may be at the jobsite only for a couple of hours throughout the entire duration of the project.
The Construction Crew: The people performing the work are typically local construction crews hired by the network.
Price: The primary form of payment for the local construction crews is publicity, so they are rarely paid their full rate. This benefits the show because they’re able to advertise that the project was done for an unrealistically low price. Manufacturers are typically willing to donate items such as appliances or fixtures. However, they may not fit the homeowners’ personal tastes. In fact, the donated items may be super trendy and out of style in a few years. Not every show lets the homeowner off the hook in terms of money and they can end paying for things they wouldn’t normally pick from manufacturers they normally wouldn’t choose.
Timelines: A point of pride on most reality home improvement shows is how quickly the work is performed. In order to stay true to the timelines presented, it’s not uncommon for there to be multiple crews, representing the same company working around the clock. This disclaimer rarely gets air time. Neither does the chaos that ensues by having multiple subcontractors tripping over each other on the same jobsite. Burning the midnight oil also leaves the jobsite subject to noise violations. It’s also important to note that the process of pulling a permit and getting the project inspected at the needed point(s) takes longer than shown on television. Shows make money with quick turnarounds so you’ll oftentimes see shortcut products such as laminate flooring over hardwoods.
Fine Details: Major remodeling projects can be a great time to knock out rarely done home projects, such as painting the ceilings and cleaning your air ducts. However, these items aren’t exciting and add an extra expense, so it’s unlikely they’ll be addressed.
The Aftermath: We’ve all sat down and had a good cry over the reality construction shows that give an entire home overhaul to a deserving family while they go on a dream vacation. Sadly, even though the improvements are paid for, a staggering number of these families end up selling or losing their home because they can’t afford things such as utilities, taxes and upkeep.
Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at http://lindusconstruction.com.Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.
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