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  • Stephanie Nolan

The Reality of Televised DESIGN TV Shows..

As designers, we are addicted to HGTV, DYI and other network Design TV Shows. Who doesn't love a show where you meet clients, have a preliminary client meeting, design and install a full home all in a 30 minute time block? We all love to view the "Befores" and "Afters" and of course the "Magic Reveal"! However, the reality is - it takes A LOT of time to actually meet, design, order, ship and install the picture perfect design. To do a full home design typically takes about 4 months for design, and then another 12 up to 35 weeks for products to arrive (in this current supply chain world). Another issue is cost...... you need to look at your particular area of the country and what are your construction labor costs in addition to product costs.


Most of the shows televised show the magic reveal but what they don't tell you is - all that beautiful furniture, bedding, area rugs, artwork and gorgeous accessories are staged and not part of the construction costs listed.


A few years ago at Highpoint Market we attended, a Design Show Host had a Question/Answer Session; a designer from the audience inquired how they could do their televised projects so inexpensively......The Design show host stated that many times they do not pay for product costs (think countertops, cabinetry, etc.) and instead give those companies a national platform (so those businesses either provide free products and services for the opportunity to be showcased nationally) or they are heavily discounted.


Additionally, these projects are designed for "free"; so with no design costs, and discounted (or free) products the cost is definitely not reality. So when you see a gorgeous kitchen redesign, marble master bathroom renovation along with fully renovated interiors including beautifully styled furnished bedrrooms, dining and living spaces, with everything perfectly placed all for under $100,000 ...... unfortunately that is just not reality.


The best way to know your local construction costs is to speak with a local, licensed General Contractor and if you truly want to know what interior furniture will cost you ..... visit your local furniture store(s) with a caluculator and tally up the pieces (and price tags). That will give you a better sense of what a renovation and fully furnished space will cost.


Some additional interesting articles on this topic:

https://www.insider.com/hgtv-shows-give-viewers-unrealistic-idea-of-renovations-cost-report-2021-3

https://remodelreality.com/remodel-renovation/why-are-renovations-so-cheap-on-hgtv/


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