We’ve all seen the remodeling shows on TV. They seem to be very transparent about the cost of the work being done, but how truthful are they really? Let’s discuss.
The first thing to think about is where the show is taking place. Labor and material costs vary throughout the United States, just as cost of living varies throughout the States. If you live in Portland, Oregon, and are watching a show like HGTV’s Fixer Upper, that takes place in Texas, don’t expect their costs to be comparable to yours. Portland’s cost of living is 27% higher than the national average, while Waco, Texas, costs 12% lower than the national average. That’s a difference of 39%!
According to Zonda Media’s Cost vs. Value Report for 2022, the national average job cost for a major kitchen remodel with midrange finishes was just over $80,000. The Portland area average was a bit more than $88,000, while the Dallas area (Waco’s nearest metropolitan area) was about $77,000. That’s $11,000 less than Portland, and that’s just one room being remodeled. Imagine what happens to that cost difference if you remodel most of your home. (At least Portland has a better average cost recoup in home value to help make up for the cost difference.)
One of the sneakiest things that often happens on HGTV shows is that the producers can get discounted labor and materials because the companies that provide them are getting the advertising benefit of being on the show. But they don’t tell you that on TV! These discounts often mean the couple starring in the episode get everything on their wish list, plus a special addition or two as a “gift” from the hosts. How unrealistic! The truth of remodeling is that you often can’t get everything you want for your budget.
Another thing they don’t tell you is that the stars of the show often don’t charge the homeowners for their labor because they’re already being paid by HGTV to be on the show. That’s a lot of design, contracting, and supervision labor that goes unaccounted for in the reported costs. Remodelers in the real world have to charge for things like design, supervision, and overhead, otherwise they’d go out of business.
The budgets shared by the homeowners featured on the episode may be their actual budget, but those lucky homeowners have essentially won the remodeling lottery by being featured on TV – they’ll get much more bang for their buck! Our Professional Services Agreement is designed to help you know exactly what you can do with your budget and guarantee you a final price up front with no hidden costs along the way.