HGTV would have you believe you can renovate an entire home for a penny and do it in just a few weeks. But can you?
We've all watched HGTV and marveled at the work done on shows like Fixer Upper, Property Brothers and Income Property, just to name a few. We watch as someone buys a dump of a home, the beautiful host(s) tell them what it will cost to make it as beautiful as them, and tells them it will take a whopping 4-7 weeks to turn that ugly duckling home into a swan. It makes for great TV, but it's all a big fat lie.
Usually these shows do an ENORMOUS amount of work on the home. They gut it to the studs! They're also typically tackling the two most expensive rooms in a home - the kitchen and the bath (especially the master bath). Well friends, if you remember, we recently remodeled our master bath. And I'm here to call HGTV out on their crap. No; you cannot renovate that ugly house for $45,000 and have it done in 6 weeks. It's not possible. Why? Because my master bath came out "HGTV pretty" and we blew those stats out of the water!
And it's not just me. It's everyone I know who's ever done work to their home.
Here's the REAL deal with a home renovation: It's going to take three times as long as your contractor promises you and cost 25-100% more than what they quote you. I'll use myself as the example. We were quoted $18,000 and two months to take our bathroom down to the studs. We weren't changing the foot print at all. No jack-hammering into our foundation for new plumbing or anything drastic! Just opening the shower up, new drywall, new fixtures and new paint.
Quick and easy, right? Nope.
I remember hubs balked at the quote we were given. See, he believed the load of crap he saw on HGTV. He thought our master could be done for about $10,000. I grew up with home renovations so I was well aware this was more like a $20,000 job. What I DID believe was that it would take about two months to get it done. Silly me.
|Custom his and hers vanities that threw off our timeline... By MONTHS|
In fact, even with a $20,000 budget I constantly had to adjust what I was picking out because what I wanted would have cost so much, hubs would have kicked me out of the house! I could have easily, EASILY spent $50,000 on that bathroom. Now I do have expensive taste, but c'mon! Who are these schmucks on HGTV getting beautiful fixtures for a measly few thousand bucks?
The tub you've seen on Instagram was a huge let down for me. Crazy, I know, because it turned out beautiful! But I wanted a free standing soaking tub. It's in the center of the bathroom and would function as the focal point, so I wanted something really beautiful. These kinds of tubs are all over Joanna Gaines fantastic renovations, so I thought it would be easy to find one in budget. I actually found the exact tub for my vision, buuuuuuut it was $10,000. Just the tub. No delivery, no installation, just the tub.
|The "compromise" tub turned out lovely anyway!|
So that was ruled out immediately. In fact, I couldn't find a free standing tub with my measurements (for tall people - I wanted to be able to stretch my legs out in that tub!) and with quality construction (not made of cheap plastic/acrylic) for less than $5,000. You can't spend 25% of your budget on one fixture, so we opted for a less expensive drop-in tub instead. I'm so glad I didn't compromise on the dimensions of the tub because I take a bath 4-5 times a week and I smile every time I stretch my 38 in inseam legs out in that thing. It's not as pretty as a free standing tub, but now that I'm older I'll take function over fashion any day of the week.
I know my mom is smiling as she reads that, and thinking, "Finally, Paige!"
Anyway, back to the lies.
Our two month timeline? Well, that got extended because our cabinets took longer than expected to be made. And the counter tops couldn't be measured and installed without the vanities in place. So we sat with a busted up bathroom for about three weeks just waiting on cabinets and being frustrated with the mandatory order of operations of construction. Order of operations messed me up in high school math classes and low and behold! It was messing me up in real life, too. Suck it, order of operations. Suck it.
|The hardware that blew our budget; his and hers walk in closets|
If you're facing a renovation sometime soon and are feverishly watching HGVT to "get ideas" I'd stop if I were you. Real life construction is nothing like you see on that network. It's far more expensive and takes far longer to get the work done. The sheer cost of materials will blow your budget out of the water, not to mention labor! Let's bring expectations back down to reality and stop living in an HGTV dreamland. And no; Chip and JoJo don't want to hang out with you.