Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More on Renovations!

I know I have already written about renovations and choosing whether or not it is for you, but I really need to share a TV show that I have recently discovered. As I have said before, I really love watching HGTV, all the decorating, the remodels, the real estate shows. Some of these shows have been around for quite awhile and they can be great for ideas. However, as a person that has done a lot of decorating and renovating on my own, I have learned to see when a project is "over my head" or "out of my budget". One of my greatest fears for someone, especially a first-time home buyer, is not realizing the amount of work, mess, and money that these projects can become. Even the best laid plans can end up with the unexpected budget buster.

HGTV just recently added a show called "Renovation Realities". It is worth watching if you are considering renovating your home on your own! It is a show of regular people that decided to do their own projects. It is hilarious!!! Granted, sometimes I wonder "what are they thinking", or "nobody would do that"! But it does show how much work the projects can be, how not "everyone" is a carpenter, how the unexpected can kill the budget, etc., During the show, they will "flash" things like "Jill would know how to install the sink if she went to "www.......". They also put up notes about cost. For example: Jill dropped the sink on the floor and broke it....the the sink was $300, and she is 3 hours behind. Joe bought a countertop, but measured wrong -- it is too short. The cost of the new countertop is $.

So far I have only seen three of the shows, one was a guy that decided to put up a deck on a 3-day weekend, a guy that decided to "gut" his kitchen and put in new cabinets with help from his mother (he didn't finish the project), and the last one where two girls decided to rip up the carpet in their apartment and replace it with laminated flooring. The girls did finish their project in 4 days, but they "borrowed" a friend to help carry the flooring to their apartment, exhausted themselves trying to get the carpet out of the apartment. They couldn't understand the directions and the flooring wasn't going in right, so they "borrowed" another friend that reminded them "it is not that hard" and showed them what to do. They finally hired help. At the end of the show (although not entirely finished with the project), the result on the screen was: "They spent $2500 for the flooring, $500 for the helper. They could have installed carpet for $500. (To be fair, the girls had decided on laminate because they had a bunch of pets that "did their business" all over the carpet...so I don't think more carpet was going to solve the problem unless they house trained all those animals first!)

Now, I am not trying to discourage you from taking on projects, but as I said before, I think it is good to know what you are getting into. I think this show is worth watching, it might be exaggerated for some of us, but it sure does give an idea of how things don't always go as planned! It also shows how details, accurate measuring, and sometimes a helper are really important and maybe when the "idea" was better than the result!

I have checked HGTV. com and Hulu.com for the TV episodes, so far I haven't been able to find them. If I do find them on the Internet, I will post them for those without cable TV.


  1. Recently started reading your blog. We are in the process of buying our first house and you have lots of helpful info here. We won't be moving until June, but one of the first projects I want to tackle is the kitchen. I'll be stripping paint off the woodwork and adding paint to the walls!

  2. I am so happy you are finding this information helpful! I saw the photo of your home on your blog. It is beautiful and has great historic architecture. I'm glad to hear you are going to keep the integrity by getting back to the original wood! Go girl!