I know you’re shocked to hear this but what you see on TV is not necessarily real life. Here’s why…
I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, I really am, but it takes much longer than an hour to remodel your kitchen.
You need to understand that most remodel projects take months of planning and many more months for the construction phase. Believe me I would love for homeowners to go on a weeklong vacation to St. Bart’s and come home to a completely remodeled home but it just doesn’t work that way. Most large projects take weeks of design and planning to create a master plan, another 2-8 weeks to obtain a building permit, and anywhere from a month to 12 months for construction (depending on the size and scope of your project).
Other factors to consider include the fact that good contractors are usually booked out months before they can schedule the start of a new project. In addition, weather and the time of year will impact schedules. For example…we can’t dig a basement for a room addition when it’s going to rain for a week straight.
The extent of the design process typically shown on TV consists of the architect and his or her assistant having a brief conversation then immediately construction begins without discussing any of it with the folks paying for the project…the homeowners. I’ve never met a homeowner who would hand me a check and say “do whatever you think is best with my house”.
In addition to the quick design process shown they typically gloss over what is involved with changing anything that is structural such as moving walls, moving windows, moving doors, changing the roofline, etc. All of these issues have to be looked at by a structural engineer and approved before obtaining building permits.
The hours and money spent on acquiring the proper permits is definitely not the glamorous part of home remodeling but it’s a necessity. The Ohio building code states that builders/homeowners obtain a permit if they intend to "construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move or change the occupancy of a residential building or structure, or portion thereof."
Clear enough? Yeah not really. Basically any remodel project that requires electrical work, plumbing work, moving walls, or any sort of alteration requires a permit. It’s an important step and not obtaining permits can result in a big delay of the project, fines, etc.
This step goes hand in hand with the planning stages because we need architectural drawings to apply for permits. This process can take anywhere from 2-8 weeks to obtain permits and work cannot start until they are issued.
It happens on remodeling realty shows over and over again: a homeowner has a long list of must-haves and an unbelievably tight budget. Miraculously, somehow, the remodeling team is able to deliver the home of their dreams for less than their unbelievably tight budget.
The TV networks often partner with advertisers that provide free materials and negotiate discounted rates with contractors in exchange for free publicity. These two items can cut the project cost by 50% to 75%...those are huge numbers!
So even though these shows are fun to watch don’t expect remodel projects in real life to mimic those you see on TV. Remodeling is fun, exciting, and a fascinating experience for you and your family if you don’t have unreasonable expectations. If you keep reality in check your home will be beautiful – it’ll just take more than an hour to get there.
For over 35 years Rick Kelley Builders has provided home building and remodeling services in the Central Ohio area. For more information check out our NEW & IMPROVED website by clicking HERE.