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I love watching Home Renovation Shows! They’re great for entertainment, good for inspiration, and more family friendly than much of what’s on TV; BUT they also perpetuate myths that distort the reality of architecture, design, and construction. Most of these shows are produced outside the U.S. or in rural areas where there is little building regulation. The faces you see on screen have multiple assistants off-screen, months of planning goes into each project before shooting, and after that, there’s post-production work. Before you begin a project, you need to know The Top 12 Myths Perpetuated by Home Renovation Shows
12. Demolition does not begin with you being handed a sledge hammer and told to kick through walls.
A General Contractor’s insurance covers his employees, not you; and depending on your location and when your home was built, you may be required to have an asbestos inspection, provide demolition drawings, and disconnect existing utilities prior to the issuance of a demolition permit.
11. The renovation is not done in 30 minutes with commercial breaks.
While schedules vary, a renovation project usually takes a minimum of several months. The process typically includes Contractual Agreement, a Feasibility Study, Design, Construction Document Creation, Bidding & Negotiation with Contractors, Permitting, and Construction. Prepare to exercise patience.
10. A renovation is not done by 2-3 people with perfect grammar and designer clothes.
A renovation involves several trades, such as an electrician, a plumber, a mechanical installer, a wall framer, a painter, etc. If the only butts you see during construction are from the crew’s cigarettes, consider yourself lucky!
9. The area of work is not magically known.
Your architect needs to take exact measurements and create drawings of the existing conditions before creating the proposed design.
8. The visions of your renovation are not instantly rendered with flying objects and swanky animations when the ideas are first discussed.
A quality architect using Building Information Modeling may show you conceptual 3D views, but professional renderings and animations take significant time and cost significant money.
7. There are not voice-overs and edits to what is said.
Your architect will not always have the perfect answer to every question, but a diligent architect will follow-up with answers at a later time if he/ she is unable to give you an immediate answer.
6. Your architect, contractor, interior designer, decorator, and stager are probably not the same person.
Some architects offer interior design and decorating services, and some architects team with contractors to offer design-build services, but these are all separate disciplines with very different liabilities. In fact, your architect is legally prohibited from giving construction direction in the field!
5. Unfortunately, there is no “featured in your home” pricing, covered by sponsors and producers.
If your architect accompanies you to select finishes and furnishings, you pay for this time. In addition to the cost of materials, labor, and delivery fees, there are permit fees, inspection fees, and professional fees.
4. An artist is not creating custom paintings, chandeliers, or headboards for you for free.
You can get custom-fabricated items, and you will pay a premium for the unique pieces.
3. Making changes during construction is not an easy or cheap thing to do.
Usually, professional drawings have to be revised and resubmitted to the City for approval, and your architect, engineers, and contractor will have to charge you for a Change Order.
2. When your project is complete, you will not have 4 items of neatly spaced garments, hanging in your closet.
You will likely have boxes full of your belongings, which you were forced to pack and relocate during construction. Before you have that big house-warming party to showcase your new kitchen, you may want to unpack your dishes.
1. There is not a ‘reveal’ where you say, “Wow,” and cry.
A quality architect will keep you involved and up-to-date throughout the design and construction process, and you should have a pretty good idea of what you will be getting when construction is complete… because you paid for it!
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