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Renovation realityIf you have cable, you know there is no shortage of reality television on T.V. today, including numerous real estate and home improvement programs. While these shows are entertaining and engaging, they unfortunately create a group of misinformed consumers that contractors are left to deal with in real life.

The consumer’s mindset is now warped by the influx of renovation and remodeling shows that fail to display the true “reality” of home construction. The expectations these shows have created for working contractors are apparent right from the consultation.

For example, a basement or a kitchen renovation with a timeline of 6-8 weeks completion is fit into an hour program on T.V. and sometimes cut to look like it happens in days, so consumers are always caught off guard by longer (accurate) timelines.

When it comes to cost of the project, people fail to consider that the shows have materials and labour donated to them by companies in return for publicity. Do we ever hear about the contractor’s profit, overhead, and labour and material costs? What about permit and architectural costs?

The last misconception these shows produce is the thought that the consumers can do it themselves, because it looks so easy. The reality of the situation is, it usually costs the consumer more in the long run when they have to call a contractor to fix what they’ve done, and even before that they may have to wait for a designer to prepare drawings to be submitted to the city for a permit.

In the end, these shows are here to stay, but it is up to the viewer to understand the difference between them, and real life home construction projects.