UK homeowners are infatuated with home improvement shows. Between Channel 4 and BBC One, the stations feature over 16 different popular home improvement shows. The likes of which include hit shows such as Grand Designs, DIY SOS, Homes Under the Hammer and 60 Minute Makeover. Basically, us Brits canít get enough when it comes to learning about the lives of the people who are undertaking renovations, tearing their homes apart, and seeing how much they like (or dislike) the final product.
However, is carrying out a home renovation yourself on par with what the TV shows go through?
Most of us arenít fortunate enough to have a ginormous team on the project all day every day, nor the ability to generate contingency money when needed.
Indeed, one of the biggest obstacles for an average homeowner is money. Naturally, due to the workforce scale employed on home improvement shows, they work to get everything done in one go. Regardless of that, itís not always physically possible to do this for your own home improvement due to expenses Ė remember, youíve still got to live alongside renovating your home. As an avid watcher, itís clear to see that these shows are often aimed at an audience with money, even though most of the audience will be living off a standard working wage.
On top of this, shows such as 60 Minute Makeover bring in their own team or hire local trade companies, with the promise of advertisement through the show to work on the renovation. Unfortunately, free labour isnít often something you can haggle as a standard homeowner and is another expense that these shows donít encounter or mention.
With all this in mind, Grand Designs and Homes Under the Hammer are very transparent about costs and often this is the reason why renovations run over schedule. More specifically, they either run out of budget or are confronted with an expense that hasnít been accounted for.
The time frames set to complete renovations contribute to unrealistic goals. For example, 60 Minute Makeover and DIY SOS suggest that transforming an entire home is a straightforward exercise. Undoubtedly, most people watching these shows will understand that an ordinary renovation would never be completed in the same time, but they still manage to mask how long it realistically would take to do the same job yourself. Grand Designs, on the other hand, portrays a much more practical timeframe for renovation jobs, with only a handful of the projects that feature in series getting completed by the end of the episode.
Lastly, a lot of the conversation in home improvement episodes revolve around money, time, materials and issues that theyíve ran into. Whilst simple equipment and compulsory things to remember in any home improvement Ė the wait for contractors, skip hire for the disposal of materials and plasterboard, or an insight into how home renovators live whilst their home is literally under the hammer - are often overlooked. Understandably, theyíre not the most exciting topics to discuss, but if they were mentioned even once in an episode it would help to give the full picture to viewers who are considering their own renovation project.
Whilst they make for prime viewing, itís good to keep in mind that most home improvement shows donít have the time in their one-hour slot to show every aspect of renovating a home. Of course, itís good to have a deadline as this helps to keep things on schedule and highlights when you will need money for certain things, but plan a time frame that allows you to get the job done without rushing and with capacity for any issues that may crop up along the way.