If you're like most people, you love to watch a home makeover TV show. And why wouldn't you? In less than an hour, you get to see the dramatic before/after transformation. It all seems like magic!
I am here to say, however, that the real life experience of living through a renovation is often a roller coaster of emotions. Whatever you expect the timeline and budget to be, I've found that you can usually multiply that by a factor of about 1.5.
On the reality TV makeover shows, you see the scene of the homeowners walking in, overcome with joy, shocked and thrilled, often in tears. What you haven't seen is all the hard work and stress leading up until that big reveal moment. Today, I’m sharing the crucial elements that aren’t often portrayed in our favorite renovation shows.
Detail #1: The Design is Set Long Before Demolition
First, these shows do not depict a realistic time frame for the actual design service to take place. They make it seem as though the designer just walks into the space, has an immediate plan, and then the next day is demo day. Instead, there are actually several months (often 3-6 or even more) of design planning, finish selection and project coordination before demo day even takes place (be sure to take a look at the thorough steps of our design process).
Detail #2: The Timeline is Reasonable & Well-Planned
These design TV shows also often have large crews working around the clock in order to meet unrealistic pressured deadlines for television. This does not happen in real life. Instead, in the land of reality, you will be working with professionals who work hard on your project during normal business hours, and who often have other projects going on at the same time.
Detail #3: The Investment is Inclusive of All Materials & Labor
Not only are the timelines unrealistic, but in addition to this, the budgets are also wildly unrealistic. This is because for these design TV shows, many items and labor are donated or sponsored in exchange for advertising. Items that look good just for the camera but will not ever stand up to real life use are also added.
Basically, in real life, it is highly unlikely you will find volunteer workers or have materials donated to you. And if you do, well, hey-- that seems suspicious!
The Reality of Renovating
In conclusion, it is almost never too early to bring an interior designer into the process to help with the initial planning stage of your renovation. If you are unsure about your project, it would be a good idea to have a conversation with a designer to understand the process, timeline and investment based on the scope of your project. From there, you will be able to make an educated decision about what is right for you and your family!
If you're ready to chat with home pros that have your real-life best interest in mind, please reach out. We can't wait to hear about your project!