Here are just a few of the many ways that “As Seen on TV” is different than what you will see during the course of your Charlotte renovation project.

We’ve all done it. We’ve flipped on HGTV to tune in to the latest home remodeling reality show, looked at our house, and thought, “Sure, I can knock out that deck remodel (or bathroom renovation or kitchen upfit – just pick your favorite Charlotte home renovation project) by myself this weekend for under $1,000.”

But in reality, you can’t. That’s because reality television shows are far from showing the real realities – and the actual costs – of most home renovation projects. Unfortunately, this unrealistic picture sets homeowners up for failure when they set out to tackle their own projects or when they hope to hire a qualified professional remodeler. Why? Here are just a few of the many ways that “As Seen on TV” is different than what you will see during the course of your project.

Jumping Right In.

While some shows do spend a few minutes on design (usually letting a homeowner choose between two possible plans) they shortchange the design process dramatically. In reality, a qualified professional remodeler will examine your existing home, take detailed measurements, talk with you about your goals and budget, draw up plans, work through revisions with you, and contract with professionals to outsource any architectural, engineering or design work needed to bring your plans together.

Upon Closer Inspection.

In most reality shows, homeowners dive right into a project without having to file for and acquire permits or approvals and to wait for inspections as their project progresses. In reality, these processes take time and effort.

Jumping Right In – Again.

Once you are happy with your plans, there’s still much work to be done before demolition and construction begin, such as ordering building materials, fixtures, appliances and more – and coordinating the right trades to arrive on the jobsite in the correct order. On television, all the materials magically appear on filming day, as do all the subcontractors. In reality, your remodeler is choreographing a delicate behind the scenes dance to ensure that every piece is ordered on time so that it arrives just as it is needed. It also must arrive in the precise order it is needed by the tradespeople whose schedules are staggered so that each can properly execute their piece of your project before the next step begins.

Volunteer Labor.

Think of all those folks who show up to assist on a television set in exchange for a chance to promote their company – from the landscapers to the interior designers to the roofers and more. In reality, all of the professionals who contribute to your project will need to be paid – that’s a cost that is often not included in the summaries on TV.

Donated Pieces.

Also not included in the costs shown on television are all the items that are donated or obtained at a steep discount – that’s everything from portable toilets to dumpsters to cleaning and delivery, and in many cases, those cutting-edge fixtures and finishes that are being used.

This just scratches the surface of the differences between a real project and how it’s depicted on TV. The time it takes for completion, whether or not the homeowner has to leave during certain phases of construction, and many more issues are typically glossed over or not even discussed. The best advice we can offer is to form your expectations of a project based on discussions with qualified, experienced professionals and not from what you see on TV.