How Reality TV Is Ruining The Construction Industry

Expecting your home renovation to mirror TV shows is just not reality

Don’t get us wrong, home renovation shows are very entertaining, and they can show you great designs, innovative solutions and creative ideas. However, there is one glaring problem with most of these shows: they tend to give home owners an incredibly unrealistic view of both renovations and home construction.

 Budgets

Since these are television shows, timelines and budgets are not applicable to a renovation that you can expect for your home. Renovations can be completed with lower budgets due to labour costs for the trades people being paid through advertisements and company plugs and not by the homeowner.

As a result, when a budget for a bathroom renovation is revealed to be $5,000, for example, it does not include the cost of the labourers’ extensive work or even sometimes, the product(s) used.

Additionally, the majority of home renovation shows are filmed in the United States, where materials and labour costs are lower than in Canada. Labour cost is around half the amount that it is in Canada at around an $8/hour minimum wage versus the GTA, where skilled labourers will not work for less than $20/hour.

For an average-sized bathroom, costs for a renovation will range between $15,000 and $25,000 depending on the materials used and the quality and intricacy of the work.

Timelines A home renovation that is done correctly takes time. An average bathroom renovation, for example, should take around 8-15 work days to complete properly. Compare that to a reality home improvement show, and those timelines will shrink considerably to around three days.

Optics When you’re producing a reality tv show, you’re in control of the camera. The viewer can only see what the producer wants them to see, which means you’re not going to see parts of a bathroom renovation that are incomplete. You’ll only see the finished shower and bathtub, and not the unfinished flooring, drywall or paint. The viewer is also only going to see the best angles and camera shots that optimize the appearance of both the home and the renovation.

So while it’s great that home improvement reality tv shows can and have provided many inspirational design and construction ideas for both contractors and homeowners, it is important to temper your expectations when it comes to your renovation and choosing the right contractor for your project.

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