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How has TV changed renovations?

With all of the exposure TV has given home renovating, you would think that homeowners would be better equipped and prepared for their own home renovations.  What people have to remember is that TV isn’t complete reality.  Something has to grab your attention and keep you watching the show.  Often the budgets and costs are unrealistic. 

If you live in Canada and are watching an American show, you cannot compare those budgets.  The very idea that you can make over 100 thousand in a few weeks is one of the hooks that keeps viewers coming back for more.  Similarly, the idea that a budget of 15 thousand can get you either a basement renovation, a backyard remodel or a luxurious ensuite is not often the case. 

TV has made people believe that their money goes farther than it does and gives unreal expectations of what renovations may cost as well as unrealistic timelines.  TV shows have to create good viewing.  They may be able to achieve low numbers with the promise of advertising for suppliers or by utilizing trades at a lower cost in exchange for TV exposure.  

Another popular TV gesture is for contractors to ‘throw in’ gifts at the end of a renovation such as backyard play centres for the kids, or entertainment centres for the adults.  While nice ideas, these cannot be part of a normal renovation.  Someone has to pay for these gifts and a contractor would have a hard time staying in business if they were coming out of his pocket. There are many variables that are not part of a regular renovation experience.  While they are entertaining to watch and give some good ideas, renovation shows can skew your perceptions and expectations of renovating.