6 Things DIY Shows Don’t Tell You About Home Renovations

Watching a house completely transformed during a 30-minute show can be exciting and fun. It is common for people to draw inspiration from these programs and want to carry the ideas into their own homes. While it is great to want to improve your home, you should also know that television shows often leave out crucial details you must address. Before you break out the sledgehammer, consider these six things that DIY shows don’t tell you about home renovations

1. You Must Get the Required Permits

On television, major renovations often happen without any mention of permits, inspections, or the fees associated with them. Unfortunately, this oversight leaves many homeowners unaware of the need to consult with their local building department before beginning a project.

No matter what else you do, do not skip this crucial step. It can cost you a lot of time and money if you have to take down your work for an inspection. Additionally, many municipalities impose fees for work done without a permit. 

2. Getting Rid of Trash Is a Big Job

Even a small renovation will produce a lot of trash. That all has to go somewhere, and there is a good chance it won’t fit in your curbside container. Therefore, you must plan for trash removal before you begin any work.

In addition to the sheer amount of work involved in moving mountains of trash from demolition, you will also need to consider any special materials. Even seemingly ordinary materials often need special care. For example, if your renovation involves concrete or asphalt, you may need a special dumpster for concrete debris that can handle the excessive weight. 

3. There Are Many Hidden Costs in a Large Renovation

From permit fees to the cost of eating out while your kitchen is out of commission, you will soon notice that a large home improvement project is loaded with hidden expenses you didn’t know to anticipate.

For example, many renovations show new home furnishings. However, in many cases, those are not part of the stated project cost. In reality, furniture, artwork, and accessories can easily add tens of thousands of dollars to a finished design. 

4. Renovations Take Time To Get Right

Unlike on TV, a real-life home renovation takes a lot of time and planning to get right. Snap decisions are not the way to go. Remember, you will have to live with your choices for years, so carefully weigh your options before jumping in. 

That isn’t the only area where patience will pay off. Move slowly through each phase of the project to ensure it is done correctly and you are happy with the result before moving on. You can expect a major renovation to take months, not days or weeks, as it does on TV.

5. Contractors Are Often Booked Months Out

Don’t leave your project to the last minute, and then expect to find a qualified contractor who can work on your schedule. Many of the best ones are booked months out, sometimes longer. It is usually best to start talking to contractors as soon as you start planning a remodel. This will let you take your time, get written estimates, and mull over ideas with different professionals. It will also help you secure a spot on your chosen pro’s calendar so the project starts on your desired schedule. 

6. Your Life Will Be Disrupted for Weeks (or Longer)

Finally, be prepared to have your life disrupted for the duration of your project. That may be weeks for a small room remodel or months for a more extensive home renovation. You may have limited access to appliances and probably very little privacy as workers are in and out of your space. 

Home improvement shows make home renovations seem simple, inexpensive, and quick. However, that is not often the case. Instead, it’s a good idea to expect hidden costs, a lot of trash that needs to be taken care of, and a wait for your first choice of contractor. 

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