It may not come as a surprise to you that "reality" TV shows aren’t as "real" as they purport to be. In an hour, a decrepit old house with moldy bathroom tile and rotting rafters is transformed into a beautiful model home complete with beautiful oak cupboards, pristine, fluffy carpet, and a smiling happy family. In truth, remodels are messy and time-consuming and have been known to drive contented couples to the brink of divorce.
Reality TV creates unrealistic expectations
Michael DiFabion is the president of the Charlotte chapter of NARI ( National Association of the Remodeling Industry), said, "One of the things that we’ve been battling recently is the realistic time it takes. On television, they do it in an episode. In a weekly episode. No, it takes a lot longer than that."
Contrary to popular belief, a new home is not remodeled and filmed each week. If you pay attention, some shows mention that the renovation can take 5 weeks or 6 weeks when it’s extensive, but that’s with a full-time crew of contractors working consistently. Many renovations start out as DIY projects that stretch into months and even years of work.
Finish each step before commencing the next
One tip DiFabion had for people interested in remodeling was for them to complete each step before moving on to the next one. "If you’re going to do the things the right way, each phase of the project drives the next," he said. For example, you can’t lay the carpet until you lay the padding, you can’t hang the drywall until you’ve framed the walls, and you can’t install the fixtures until you run the wiring. Permits have to be obtained for some projects and just the process of waiting for the permits to go through can take weeks.
Renovation business is booming
Despite homeowners’ unrealistic expectations, DiFabion said the remodeling industry is doing well. It helps that faith in the country and the economy is slowly being restored. In the last few years, big renovations were put on hold as people saved money for more necessary items. DiFabion explained, "Even if they could afford it [a few years ago], they wouldn’t remodel because of the uncertainty. They stopped, or scaled back. Now, certainty has returned, and the size of projects has definitely gone up."
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