The list of rehab shows is endless. On one hand, clients can become more familiar with products and styles. However, such programming can also present some challenges. Designers need to reconcile the reality of budgets and timing with what clients see in a one-hour start to finish made-for-TV home renovation. Here are four tips on what to consider and expect during a bona fide remodeling project – and a few of the details television producers leave out of the design/execution dialog.
1) Go pro or DIY: Where do you even start? Troubleshooting unexpected problems, taking time out of your (already) busy schedule to find a reputable laborer, managing different bids … These are only a few of the tasks if you decide to be your own general contractor. Marjorie Gage of This Old House magazine, the print publication of the popular Emmy-winning home improvement series that first aired in the 1970s, goes into length about why consumers should resist taking on the remodeling process themselves in her article, “The (Don’t Get Burned) Kitchen Remodeling Guide.”
“This is one job you don’t want to undertake,” explains Gage. “A kitchen remodel is one of the most costly, complicated, and time-consuming projects imaginable, and the input of qualified professionals is not only valuable, in most parts of the country it’s mandated by law.”
2) Timeline: A full kitchen renovation won’t be a weekend project and certainly can’t be executed in a 60-minute time frame. Permits, inspections, lead-time for custom cabinetry, client consultation, design time, demo … Producers have the bonus of magically editing projects, while the honest time line of kitchen renovation is typically months.
3) Cost: Sponsors and advertisers often “chip in” and many times contractors donate labor costs for the exposure on a worldwide broadcasted television channel. In his best-selling book, Remodel! Without Going Bonkers or Broke, Architect Jim Molinelli addresses the disenchantment of cost during home renovation on reality television shows:
“In reality, with regard to project costs, the hosts that perform physical labor on TV projects are typically paid by their TV contract, and NOT by the homeowner,” explains Molinelli. “Many times, the subcontractors on TV shows do not charge at all, or they deeply discount their fees in exchange for being featured on TV.”
Molinelli goes on to explain that often the manufacturers featured donate or considerably shrink the cost of their products.
“So even if these TV shows total up the “bills,” the total can be very misleading, and it’s almost always on the low side,” writes Molinelli.
4) If you decide to DIY, consider that you’re not privy to all the perks: There are so many facets and features to kitchen design today, and even if you are a “rehab addict,” there’s nothing compared to a seasoned (and certified) designer in the know of what is up-and-coming, is knowledgeable in various legal/safety requirements, and is trending in the kitchen design industry.
The National Kitchen & Bath Association’s (NKBA) certification process is a top-notch path that offers continuing education in all areas including: electrical and lighting, understanding systems in home construction, an in-depth study of counter surfaces, and proper ventilation in kitchen spaces.
Hiring a professionally certified kitchen designer to guide you through the process gives homeowners a peace of mind that they do not have to be familiar with the detailed requirements. That’s what the professionals are for:
“Because the magnitude and complexity of these projects are well beyond the typical weekend do-it-yourself job, a higher level of expertise on product, design and installation is needed,” states an NKBA press release. “Certified NKBA professionals provide insight into design options and technical necessities that clients wouldn’t necessarily think of on their own.”
Remodeling shows are fantastic for design inspiration and while we know the bright lights of reality television programming may not reflect the complexities and true costs of a renovation, we can’t help but acknowledge the fact that channels like HGTV do positively bring enthusiasm for those seeking home improvement.
Ready to talk about your dream kitchen? Our goal is to create a kitchen design that reflects you! Our deep experience allows us to deliver upon any kitchen or living space that can be imagined. And our craftsmanship transcends focusing only on a handful of styles. For any level of design complexity, or, of course, simplicity, we can adeptly capture a client’s vision and impeccably bring it to life.
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