If you have an interest in the world of home-building, there’s a good chance you’ve enjoyed a few home-renovation reality shows.
These shows take construction jobs (like a kitchen refurbishment) and speed through the process in a few days. Usually, the results are impressive – leaving onlookers, wondering, “How did they get all that done?”
With that considered, we thought we’d take a look. Here are four things to keep in mind when watching reality home-renovation shows.
1. Construction costs are often much cheaper than usual:
ATN Constructions Director, Thomas Nuzzo, explained that the costs on these shows are often unrealistic.
“[It] seems like pricing doesn’t include contract labour, and basically [allows for] materials only,” he said.
2. The timeframe is wildly unrealistic:
Seeing these teams transform an entire kitchen, or apartment, or store in a matter of days is shocking because it’s not practical.
When teams squeeze six-week jobs into three days, they have to make sacrifices. Tom explained that this would mean corners are cut, like:
“Concrete slabs are poured and not allowed to cure before applying finishes. [The] concrete eventually dries and shrinks, causing cracks or delamination of finishes.”
“Paint is not allowed to dry between coats and doesn’t adhere to the surface causing cracks and peeling.”
“Waterproofing is generally a 3-day process, allowing for priming and 2 coats. Short-cutting this process due to time restraints and not following the manufacture’s instructions are the main reason for failures.”
In short: you’re much better off investing more time into a well-executed plan.
3. There are lots of people behind the scenes:
While production may make it seem as though a team of two facilitated that entire bathroom refurbishment, that’s often untrue. Teams of contractors would need to be employed night and day to complete tasks of this size in such a short period.
4. Some jobs are left incomplete:
According to Insider, who referenced a Reddit thread on this topic, there are times where these shows are unable to complete jobs on time. In cases like these, production teams can make the project look like it’s done, and eventually return to complete it when their schedules allow for it.
So, while these shows might be an entertaining watch, they’re not great examples of how a construction job should go. Keep that in mind the next time you’re watching along.