Let's get to the point here: "as seen on TV" may apply with Chia Pets and Shake Weights but there is very little "reality" in many of the reality home improvement shows. This is a particular sore point with those of us working in the construction and renovation world. No, a spa like bathroom is not designed and completed in three days. No, you can't gut the kitchen and replace it with a magazine quality masterpiece for $10,000. No, your contractor cannot start the project tomorrow and he won't arrive with a team of 60 staff and subtrades.
Glad I got that off my chest. Thanks for listening.
For the curious among us, I did a little digging into the dark corners of the home improvement show industry and can proudly say that many of our assumptions are correct. The secrets are about to be revealed!
Here's how to get a whole-home renovation completed in two weeks for under $100,000... television style:
Do not pay for labour. That was easy, we just knocked half the cost off the project! All you have to do is sell advertising to cover that part of the budget. Maybe a billboard on the roof? You can also charge the neighbours each time they look at your house or perhaps sell the rights to any photographs you post on social media.
Ask suppliers for free materials in exchange for "exposure". I'm sure they'll be all over that opportunity! Tell them your kids will be more likely to buy those products for their own homes in 20 years if they get used to using them as toddlers. You have three kids so that could be a lucrative move for the local hardware store.
Start your own line of branded clothing. Every hip and happening teen in the town will fork out big bucks for t-shirts and tool-belts emblazoned with "Smith Renovation 2016". The income from this little side business will offset building costs and you may convince some trades to work for swag instead of cash.
Create a builder certification program. Why shouldn't there be an industry standard based on what happens in your home? There should. And you should get some sort of royalty. There may be hundreds of such programs in place already but there must be room for one more.
The home improvement shows are entertaining and can even spark design or layout ideas for your own renovation. Just remember, Mom was right; you shouldn't believe everything you see on TV!