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TV Renovation vs. Reality

By November 26, 2018No Comments

TV renovations versus reality. Don’t you love watching those TV renovations shows? They are a great source to get inspired. Watching a lot of times I think, we could do that to this house, that didn’t cost that much. Then reality sets in. The costs they state you think, I can do this renovation for that price but in reality no such luck!

The reality of reno TV is not really reality according to a report in When they checked with contractors to break down the cost of one of the episodes that aired featuring a renovation of a 1200 square foot basements into a fully furnished three- bedroom suite including stainless steel appliance, the cost differed quite a bit from the estimated $55,000.

The details of the renovation

Here are the costs by line item that the contractors estimated were true to their market:true renovation costs

This shows the cost by the square foot. The reality of renovations is that unless you do a lot of the labor yourself it will cost more than you expect. Little incidentals such as removal of the debris and the cost of furnishings are usually left out.

As you can see the cost is almost double of the estimated $55,000. When you call for an estimate of a project and balk that the price is too high realize you are not on a TV show. Can you save some of the cost yourself? Of course, you can if you do yourself. You should consider doing some of the items you know you are able to do well, by yourself to maintain a reasonable budget if that is your concern. But if you have no idea, or know that it will not turn out as a professional can do, then it is well worth the money to invest in having someone help you complete the project.

It is similar to asking yourself if you can put a band-aid on a cut, or can you do the stitches yourself. Look at the project and be honest with yourself. Realize the time and the challenges that can occur when doing a project.  It is worth every penny to hire a professional when doing a project beyond your own scope.

This discussion occurs in my house all the time. Is my husband capable of making cabinets, or laying brick for the patio? Absolutely! But working a full-time job outside the home means every weekend taken up. It means it may take six months versus having a pro do it in two weeks. So consider those factors also before diving into a renovation.

Recapping realize that everything you watch on TV is not reality– wow! When a professional gives you a quote think about the work that goes into the project. Honestly ask yourself, can I do it better and for less. Most likely the answer will be spend the money and hire the professional.



Karen GP

Author Karen GP

Karen GrayPlaisted is the principle owner of Design Solutions KGP. She is a graduate from Pace University and The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. Her marketing background and design sense are a perfect combination for home sellers. In the first year she began her staging business, she won the ‘Rising Star’ accolade from RESA, selected from all North American stagers, USA and Canada. In 2016 she won top Occupied Stager in the USA. Karen’s ability to educate and empower clients using simple solutions allows homeowners to transform their spaces with desirable affordable decadence.

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