HGTV vs. Real Life

Any HGTV fans on BlogHer?  Since I'm a professional kitchen and bath designer, prospective clients mention the Home & Garden Television channel all the time, and I often enjoy watching it myself.  There are so many terrific projects shown.  At the same time, the actual process of bringing those projects to life is so fundamentally different than what you see on television, I feel compelled to share some of the differences between real life and HGTV that are helpful to know if you're planning a remodeling project.    HGTV:A full-scale kitchen or bath remodel is completed in 30 minutes.   REAL LIFE:A full-scale, full-service kitchen or bath remodel is completed in 30 days or -- more typically -- longer.  (Yes, I know there are one-week bath firms out there, but their scope is somewhat limited.) HGTV:The happy homeowners see their re-done room for the first time at the 25th minute of the show. REAL LIFE:The homeowners are on site the entire time and see their room at all phases of the project.  These include the scary "there's no sink in here" phase, the dusty construction phase, and the touch-ups at the end phase long before my personal favorite "everybody hugs each other" phase. HGTV:A designer magically appears when you need one and knows all of your wants and needs after a five-minute meeting. REAL LIFE:You spend significant amounts of your free time looking for a designer, interviewing designers and, if you hire a true professional, spend more than an hour sharing your preferences and needs with someone who will factor them into your remodel.  HGTV:Budgets are rarely, if ever, discussed. REAL LIFE:

You're dealing in real dollars -- your hard-earned dollars -- and the professionals you hire need to respect your budget and advise you if a choice you make impacts it.  

 HGTV:Covers the annual Kitchen/Bath Industry Show in a one-hour special and features exotic products you'll probably never consider or really need. REAL LIFE:Check out my Gold Notes blog posting this week at http://jgkitchens.blogspot.com/ for top products from the show that you might actually want to buy.

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