Recently, I heard on the radio that “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” will be returning to airwaves late 2019. My wife will be so excited! Honestly, we both enjoy watching reality home improvement shows. As a professional in the home design and home building industries, I enjoy seeing the whole house transformations.
But there are some problems with reality home improvement shows…
Reality Home Improvement Shows
It’s all good!
The ease with which reality home improvement shows like “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and “Fixer Upper” complete projects is a bit amusing. Of course, condensing months’ worth of work into 30 minutes, or even an hour, is bound to give a distorted view of the labor it takes to renovate or build a home.
Too often, reality home improvement shows gloss over the difficulties encountered when building. For example, sub-contractors who show up late, incorrect materials that are delivered to a job site, overly-critical city inspectors, rain that never seems to end… And the list goes on.
The sky is falling!
On the other hand, some home improvement shows dramatize every minor issue. The intense music, zooming in on shocked faces, showing problem after problem after problem…
While difficulties should not be ignored, they also shouldn’t be blown out of proportion. Showing building or remodel projects as a total nightmare might get ratings, but it is an unfair characterization.
Reality home improvement shows are just entertainment…
Ultimately, we must realize that reality home improvement shows are just entertainment. Yes, they have a way of making things look real. But, in reality, they are simply a TV show.
I mean, think about your own job. If someone came to your place of employment, observed what you do for six months, and then made a one-hour show about it, would it be accurate? Would they be able to truly capture the ups and downs that you face on a day-to-day basis?
Chances are that the reality TV show would look nothing like your true reality because they would only be able to take snippets from the months they observed. Depending on which snippets they choose, your job could look a lot easier (or a lot more difficult) than it really is.
The reality is…
Be well-informed and well-educated.
So, as with any big decision, make sure you are well-informed and well-educated before beginning a home improvement project. Some people believe they can tackle a home project because it appears rather simple based on the show they watched. Unfortunately, they just might discover that the task is actually quite daunting (once they are in the middle of it!), soon realizing that there’s a reason the professionals (on and off the shows) spend years honing their construction skills.
My humble advice–if you want to tackle a project you’ve seen on your favorite reality home improvement show, at least make sure you have the phone number of a good contractor just in case it doesn’t turn out as planned!