The REALITY of Reality TV

The reality of Reality TV….

Home renovation looks so easy on TV.   A complete kitchen or bath remodel move quickly and smoothly from start to finish, and the results are always beautiful. But somewhere between “before” and “after” there are always at least a few speed humps and lots of “I wish I had known that’s.  Budgets skyrocket, tempers flare, deadlines are pushed back, everything in a sense ‘comes crashing down’.  This is what happens when you do not have a sound and proven process in place.

Who doesn’t love to watch home repair shows and do-it-yourself projects?  They give you endless ideas on how to ‘jazz’ up any room or take a sub-par room and make it grand.  And to make it even better, they do it in 2 days!  Can you imagine who wouldn’t want to redesign a room or their whole home if it only took a weekend or a week?  Sound familiar?  Let’s debug some of these reality shows and understand exactly what is going on….



Take a simple room re-design show, we have 2 days and a $2500 budget.  BY the end of the weekend we don’t recognize the room, it is painted beautifully, furniture built or purchased (usually from a 2nd hand store and then refinished), artwork and window treatments purchased and hung.  Now I hate to be a picker but let’s pick this apart.  Unless you have 10 men ready to invest their time in your project for free this just isn’t a reality.  Hiring a painter costs money and time.  One coat is doable in a day, but what about 3?  How many days and men will it take to paint your room to perfection?  You need shoppers, refinishers, painters, builders and someone to put it all together.  Does anyone sleep on this show?  Is everything donated to get their brand name out there?

What about the shows that not only build a new home but also have time to tear it down in a week?  Endless dumpsters, machines and trucks are needed for this.  What about building permits or Electrical or Plumbing Permits?  Those are never mentioned.  How about home inspections and approvals along the way?  Has anyone ever gone to the town zoning board and spoken to a planner?  What about asbestos and lead paint?  But who wants those on a show, booooring.  Have you ever notice most of the homes ‘constructed in a week’ are modular and we never get zoom ins or details views of the final project (roofing, cabinet, painting or tile)?

I am not saying that a handy person could not lay their own tile or wood floor, design their own backsplash and set it, or pick their own paint colors and paint.  In fact, to save on money those are great ideas.  Time wise, you will take longer than the pros – I mean they do this for a living you know.

The reality of reality TV shows it that they are great for DIY simple projects.  They help awaken the creative juices.  Heck, if you want to do a remodeling job, they provide great starting ideas for materials, color schemes, themes and fixture types.  But what they don’t show you is what is underneath the walls you want to change.

Under every painting/poster/wall covering is paint, under every painted wall is drywall, under every drywall is framing and what is inside the framing is your best guess and mine… until that is we take a peek inside.  Water damage, termite damage, missing insulation, missing water/vapor barriers, missing structure and lead paint are just a few of the things on and in your walls that could cause potential renovation problems and cost you more money – but that is the reality and the reality is not pretty for TV.

If you are desperately seeking a design show you can tune in to and see the reality of the remodel, renovation and addition industry tune in to Holmes on Homes.  No he is not paying us to write this.  Plain and simple the disasters and realities he faces on each show are very realistic.  I had to take this excerpt from his show description because I just loved it:

“It’s “buyer beware” when a homeowner contracts a home repair or renovation. The world is full of shady contractors who take shortcuts, use shoddy building practices or employ a band-aid approach to repair work, often leaving homeowners in dangerous situations or out a ton of money. Renovation expert Mike Holmes believes in doing a job right the first time and is making it his mission to expose poor, substandard workmanship in the building industry with his internationally successful show Holmes on Homes. In each episode, Mike rescues homeowners from repair and renovation disasters. Uncovering problems from plumbing and electrical to carpentry and roofing, he shows how the botched job should have been completed, fixing each project properly and helping homeowners make more informed decisions in the future.”

Foster Remodeling can show you before and after pictures and give you endless ideas and options, but if you walk in with the mindset that reality is what you see on TV, your project will never be completed.  With our process we can ensure you the ease you see on TV can be your reality, it just won’t take 2 days and $2500 to get there.  There is a showroom at our office as well, which means you can come ‘shop’ for your favorite materials, cabinets and stone – all just by signing a design agreement.  There is a licensed interior design at your fingertips too.  You can get the remodel of your dreams just by ‘signing on the dotted line’.

We have 27 years of proven experience and over 100 references for you to call.  Those 100 are individual customers and 28 of those customers have come back for more than one project.  Is there anywhere else that gives you that many people to call?  Looks like everyone can do their homework before we begin a project – we do preliminary budgets and designs while you make calls to ensure your comfort and that we are exactly who we claim to be.  All employees are background checked and drug tested, which means the lead assigned to your job that will be in your home managing the project from 2weeks-4 months is a trustworthy individual and you can be comfortable.  We give you a set start date and end date- yes there is a light at the end of the ‘construction’ tunnel.  And to top it off, we give you a 5 year written warranty on all of our workmanship!

Most people say “It was easier than I thought it would be” – now isn’t that music to your ears?  Have you ever heard that phrase on reality TV?

article by Jessica Henderson – Design Consultant

For over 30 years, Foster Remodeling Solutions, Inc. has been offering kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodelingin-law suites and home additions improvement services. Our service area extends to Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA. Request for a FREE CONSULTATION at 703-550-1371 or visit us at 7211 Telegraph Square Dr, Lorton, VA 22079 today!