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Too-Great Expectations Follow-Up

Reality TV Family

Go down this list and check off everything that's true.

  • I'm looking for an experienced and responsible contractor - check!
  • I want my home to be worked on with a realistic time frame and cost - check!
  • I am ready to make hard decisions about what I can or cannot cope with (and will not dwell on these decisions) - check!
  • I will know the value of where my money will get me (contractor-wise, quality-wise, AND material-wise) - check!
  • I'm not on a reality TV show - check!

Alright, now that we have all our ducks in a row, let's get down to what's really important. We took away valuable lessons just now, but there's still more to learn. The next question should naturally be what should you expect from your contractor? How far, is too far? Now that your head is no longer stuck in the clouds, what IS in the realm of reality?

Rags to Riches

As we've always heard, you can and will get more bang for your buck. It's a given that more leads to more, but there are ways to get more from less. Start off by really prioritizing your remodel. Do you really need that specific type of tile? Figure out what is most important to you and especially what will be the most functional. You don't want your kitchen to be missing a faucet because you couldn't part with a specific, expensive one. Essential things go first on the list, then you can afford to get into the details. And don't be afraid to get creative! Do a little research and you are bound to find a less expensive material that does practically the same thing for you. And if you find yourself a little lost, ask your contractor! Your contractor may already have an idea or two. You may see on TV contractors going out and buying the best of the best, but that is because the problem with reality shows, the amount of money is endless and is not being supplied by the client.

A Contractor By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet?

A lot of times HGTV shows bring in the same contractors over and over again. In the real world, not all contractors are the same, even if they provide similar services. Some contractors may have different skills to bring to the table. The one you chose might be able to help you make decisions on what would work well in your home. Don't expect contractors to do all the creative work for you! Have some ideas already that you can explain to the contractor you chose. Communication is key because it not only protects your idea of what you want done, it protects the contractor in that they will know what is expected and will not have to redo aspects of their work.

Time's The Ticket

Reality home makeover shows most always have a very limited time frame to finish everything in and yet somehow, they always get it all done in time! Don't expect the same from a real life home project. When the cameras stop rolling on the show, there is A LOT of work that is done around the clock that you don't see and probably some things "swept under the rug" too. As you wouldn't want your contractor doing their job in your house at midnight, remember that normal waking hours are all they have to work with. The more time someone can put into a job, the more effort they can exert to make it the best possible. And be lenient if they need some extra time, don't make a fuss (unless they are excessive). In the end it will usually pay off. A little saying can calm any uneasy mind, "Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day"...unless you're on HGTV that is!

At Least They Got Something Right...

Ever wonder how they get a family to go so ga-ga after seeing their home after the remodel? One thing we can hail reality home makeover shows for is their ability to establish a relationship between the client and the contractor. Although not completely necessary, it is important to get to know each other a little bit, at least be friendly and courteous. The more the contractor knows about you and/or what you like or want, the better you will like the product they show you in the end. It works both ways - you will feel like you have a voice and they will feel respected as an artist of what they do. Your contractor may even be able to surprise you with something they've done, but is so perfectly in sync with your idea!

Reality TV States Its Case - "I am, what I am"

Reality shows aren't out there to be exactly realistic and any viewer should be able to understand this. They set out to "mimic" reality in a way that can either entertain, inform, or help others, not to droop the homeowners watching from their couch. Take HGTV shows for what they are. If they are meant to educate you, they probably have some darn good information, if they are meant to entertain, you're going to be entertained. Some shows can even do both! You just have to be smart with what you take away from television these days. Don't worry there is light at the end of the tunnel. You can and will get very useful information for renovating your home on some shows out there!

Posted by: Ahmed Muztaba
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Great renovations start with a great contractor.

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