Are Your Favorite Home Renovation Shows Telling the Whole Truth?
Are Your Favorite Home Renovation Shows Telling the Whole Truth?


Home renovation shows on the wildly popular network, HGTV, are often described as “addictive”. Viewers across the world can’t seem to get enough. We never seem to tire from watching a couple take their kitchen from dated and cramped to spacious and vibrant over the course of an hour long episode, while staying under budget. It’s exciting, and it makes us feel good. 


But is there any underlying problem here? Are these shows leading us to believe that we, too, can entirely renovate our master bath and kitchen, complete with hardwood flooring, state of the art appliances, a custom walk-in shower, and quartz countertops for just $45,000? 


Building and renovating a home is a big deal, and one that can transform your life for the better. This is why we want you to understand the reality of project costs and building timelines. Let’s dive into what these feel-good home renovation shows are portraying vs. what is reality. 

You’ve Seen How Those Home Makeover Shows Go…

You’ve probably seen something a little like this. There’s a family with a budget of $60,000 that wants to change the entire floor plan of their home, remodel the kitchen and install a new outdoor entertaining area. The episode starts with the homeowners meeting with the TV show host to talk about their dreams. Then, fast-forward a few minutes, and the homeowner is being presented with a gorgeous 3D rendering of the plans, that is supposedly all within their budget.


After a few “demo days”, which are certainly fun to watch, a few setbacks, and clips from construction, the renovation is complete. By the way, those setbacks, like the discovery of mold, are always resolved. In the end, is the big reveal, where the family re-renters their home and are in shock and awe of its beauty. The home is filled with perfectly placed furniture, accents, and artwork. They thank the designers and the construction team, and the episode ends on a high note. 


The problem here is that this scenario (repeated over and over) makes some homeowners feel that a massive project like that is attainable. It very well may be, but likely not for $60,000. Senior HGTV Executive, Loren Ruch said: “HGTV has succeeded on cable because it is aspirations and attainable at the same time”. But is it really attainable to get the top-quality finishes and furnishes that homeowners on the show get, with small budgets? 


The Real Cost of an HGTV Home Renovation

A question HGTV gets asked frequently: “Does HGTV foot the bill for these home makeovers?” The common assumption is yes, but the answer is no. For every show you see, the property owner is required to bring a minimum budget to the table. They can bring more than the minimum, but across the board minimums are between $40,000-$150,000. HGTV doesn’t pay for the entire project, but does the design work, and helps the homeowner stay within their budget. 


So how does the homeowner seem to get so much for their money? There are typically several “hidden costs” in these projects that aren’t discussed. According to a report by The New Yorker, products and services used to complete renovations are often discounted by the supplier. This could be in exchange for product placement, or cheaper advertising. Therefore, the homeowners may not be paying full price for their flooring, paint, appliances, lighting, landscaping, etc. 


In addition, HGTV will sometimes pay a portion of labor or other costs to help speed the building process along. This could be for the sake of show production and TV deadlines, but in real-life, building companies cannot foot the bill for the sake of a faster build. And even then, a faster build rarely equals better build.  


The fact that discounts, possible freebies, taxes, and some financial help from HGTV isn’t accounted for on these shows, accounts for confusion as to what our budgets can actually buy. 


How a Reputable Home Builder Can Help Meet Your Needs, Within Your Budget 

We agree that having your home featured on an internationally broadcasted show is pretty cool. And getting to work with famous designers is cool, too! But we’re here to tell you that working with a local, professional home builder can get you what you’re looking for, with a personal touch, all within a realistic budget. And it’s all done with honest, open communication about when you can expect your build to be completed, and how much you can expect it to cost. No hidden figures. 

When you meet with us for an initial building consultation, we take time to listen to your needs. Although we won’t present you with an official floor plan and rendering at the first meeting, like those shows make seem possible, we do take the details of our conversation back to our design professionals to design your new home build or renovation with thought and care. 


When we provide you with a project quote, it includes everything. Land/lot, land prep, permit fees, utility setup, building materials, labor, and finishes.  Again, we never hide the true cost of anything, so there’s never any surprises. 


During the product and finish selection process, we guide you to the best and most beautiful products that suit your lifestyle, the look you’re going for,  and that are within your realistic budget. You can get the home you’ve always dreamed of. Accomplishing that goal through honest communication between the customer and builder is incredibly important. 


How a Real-Life New Home Build or Renovation Timeline Compares to One on TV

In just one hour, you’ll see the hosts of the show meet the homeowners for the first time, discuss their needs, present a digital rendering of the house plans, start construction, manage any pit-falls, stage the home, and surprise the homeowners with an absolute dream of a home makeover. According to an HGTV expert, one episode of a show can take between 3-8 months to film, depending on the scope of the project. What we see is just a snippet of what actually has to go into it. 


With a real life building project, you’ll find that great things take time. No, we aren’t talking about decades, but we are talking about several months to a year. When you work with a building company like Modern Structure, we take time to get to know you first, we answer your questions, help you make selections within your budget, walk you throughout the building process, and deliver on our promises. Quality like that takes time. A speedy process, most of the time, isn’t going to result in a quality home renovation. 


Top Quality Custom Homes are Worth the Wait

We are an Evansville, Indiana based new home construction company that is built on values and respect. We pride ourselves in creating strong builder and customer relationships. We believe that no matter the size and scope of your homebuilding project, you should never be left in the dark. You should know how much everything costs, how long everything takes, and how possible issues can be handled. Although home renovation shows are entertaining, they aren’t real life. The end results you see on TV are, in fact, achievable, but we take it upon ourselves to stay honest with you about pricing and timelines, at all times. Our customers feel comfortable working with us, and we know you will too.


Contact us for a free, and honest, home building consultation!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *