HGTV is powerful. I cannot even begin to tell you how many homeowners I speak to who got an idea to attempt a do-it-yourself project as a result of watching a home makeover show. If you are chuckling on the inside, it may be because you are one of them. I use the word ‘attempt’, because while these shows inspire and educate, they also tend to make projects seem simpler than they are.
Reality TV Shows vs. Remodeling in the Real World
Remember, it’s an 10 hour project shown in 30 minutes. TV shows have the power to edit and often have a team completing the handiwork behind the scenes. It’s a reality show, just like any other. I laugh on the inside and try not to show my angst on the outside when I go on a listing appointment with those who lost their drive on a remodel. The results range from unfinished faux painted walls, tile put in place that was never grouted and crown molding that doesn’t completely go around the ceiling. All of these unfinished projects are going to affect the sales price of your home.
It is easier to sell a dated home that is fully functioning and completed, than a home that seems to stop mid sentence. To a buyer, the project needs to be finished. I often have to change the perception of the seller, to see these things with buyers’ eyes, because after a while the seller doesn’t see the projects anymore. They have been living with them for so long; they just tend to blend into the background.
Many home supply stores offer classes on do-it-yourself projects. I often recommend someone take one before making a decision to start a project. We are all good at something, but certainly not good at everything. Have a reality check with yourself when you are watching those reality shows. Get a real education on what’s involved with a do-it-yourself project, before you begin one.