Remodeling: TV vs. Reality

We’ve all been sucked into an episode of Fixer Upper, Flip or Flop, or Property Brothers. What’s not to like about these shows? The design, the clients (love them or hate them), the hosts, and the transformation from old and ugly to new and glamorous make for a great thirty-minute block of television. After a particularly good episode of Property Brothers, you may have walked away from your couch thinking, Hey, maybe I should remodel my kitchen, too!

And we agree—you should remodel your kitchen! We discussed the benefits in a previous blog post here . However, we want you to move forward with a realistic idea of how an interior remodel may go for you. The shows on HGTV or DIY Network seem glossy and simple, but we want to talk about three ways shows like Fixer Upper maybe don’t exactly portray the remodeling process correctly.

What the Remodeling Process Actually Looks Like


When we embark on a remodeling journey, we know that there is a sequence of events that must happen before and during a project.

  • You come up with an idea you want to see put into place in your home.
  • You meet with us to discuss your idea and we get an estimate written up.
  • A period of expansion and contraction is next. Often, clients must whittle down features to fit within a set budget, and sometimes they realize they have more wiggle room than originally planned for.
  • Setting a realistic budget may sometimes include allowing for more money to be spent so you can get all the features you believe are necessary for your home.
  • Last, we choose and order materials . Each step of this process can take several weeks (or longer) to complete, which sometimes leaves clients disillusioned with the entire process.

Once we have begun your project, a new timeline has to be put in place. Each portion of a job typically requires the work of a specialist, and each step in the process often has to be done individually. For instance, to do sheetrock work alone, you have to mud it and wait for it to dry. We often also get frustrated customers who don’t understand that you cannot immediately grout tile—and once it’s been grouted, it must be sealed. This sequence of events is often the portion of the project that leaves customers disappointed.


We get a lot of customers who want to remodel and expect our price point to be the same as a price point from a TV show. It is important to realize that many of those shows have donated or discounted rates for material. When we show up to bid a job, clients are frequently shocked by the unavoidable price tag.


Last, while a lot of the projects on HGTV or DIY are aesthetically pleasing, they won’t work long-term. So, while these shows can offer you some great inspiration, be prepared for your remodeler to point out some issues or improvements that would need to be made for your project to be successfully completed.

Remodeling shows are great for ideas on color schemes, design layouts, and products. They also do a good job making the viewer aware that there is almost always an issue once demolition begins. Frequently, electrical has to be re-worked to bring it up to code at an additional cost, or we find plumbing leaks that haven’t been addressed for years.

Home remodeling is hugely rewarding and you can reap some awesome benefits from undergoing the process—and it is a process—but we want our clients to be prepared and educated along the way.

For a free estimate for your interior remodel, give us a call at 573.442.7292 or fill out our online contact form!

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