Dining Kitchen

Are HGTV Remodeling Shows Realistic?

We Discuss Whether or Not HGTV Remodeling Shows Are Realistic

If you ask almost any kitchen design professional, they will immediately shout NO!

In fact, on Linkedin kitchen forums and at industry events nearly all kitchen designers and remodelers routinely complain about how misleading HGTV renovation shows are.  Professionals believe that these shows make our lives harder.

Removing a load bearing wall

PBS shows like This Old House or Hometime are factual and try to give accurate and interesting glimpses into renovations.

Conversely, HGTV cares very little if anything about accuracy. Their renovation shows are reality television created to garner ratings. It frustrates real professionals when our customers bring up things they have seen on HGTV. For example, customers will often believe they know the correct way to do something, what a realistic timeline might be, the cost of a project, and the possible calamities that might befall a project all from the over dramatic and fact free shows they have enjoyed on HGTV.

Demolition. Removing flooring

Nearly every HGTV remodeling show will have a “construction surprise” during the remodeling project.

The TV personality (show hosts are not real renovation professionals who remodel homes when not on TV) will tell the homeowners something like “I’m so sorry Bob and Jean, but this turns out to be a load bearing wall and it will cost $10,000 extra to remove it.” Real professionals must determine what is load bearing and what is not before even giving an estimate. When contractors and design professionals know what they are doing surprises almost never happen and if they do, they are small ones and inexpensive.

Unfortunately, seeing these unprofessional surprises routinely on HGTV frightens homeowners into believing that their projects might have similar surprises.

Unscrupulous contractors can use this misconception to overcharge homeowners and under bid honest professionals. This is especially frustrating to the knowledgeable pros that bid jobs accurately and stand behind their bids.

Celebrity renovators like Alison Victoria from HGTV’s show Kitchen Crashers are not real. You cannot become an expert designer and renovator 2 years after leaving The University of Nevada Las Vegas with a degree in psychology. Professionals know that it takes at least a decade of experience along with talent to become a competent kitchen designer and to direct remodeling projects. The information obtained from HGTV is less real than its hosts.

Photo of kitchen from 211 second kitchen renovation
Watch a complete renovation in 211 seconds

If you enjoy HGTV reality remodels think of them as simply entertainment. Your kitchen designer and general contractor will breathe a sigh of relief. If you hire competent professionals for your kitchen renovation you can expect no HGTV type surprises.

Designers discuss the topic on LinkedIn

As my favorite TV chef would say at the end of her show …

Bon Appetit!