Are you an HGTV fan? Us too! Who could blame us; HGTV is creative, fun, and entertaining. Like you, we find ourselves inspired, motivated, and sometimes we even learn a thing or two!

All that said, there needs to be a big emphasis on the word “entertainment.” Like anything in the entertainment world, realism is not a high priority, and sometimes what comes across can be misleading.

But that doesn’t mean you should stop watching your favorite HGTV shows! The key is to watch smarter. That means knowing how to distinguish what’s real and what’s embellished for TV. Keep reading for tips on what to take at face value, and what to watch with a dose of skepticism.

What to Learn

It’s no secret, HGTV sets the standard for many binge-worthy home improvement shows. From Flip or Flop to Rehab Addict to Fixer Upper reruns, there’s something for everyone. While there are many unrealistic elements of these shows, there are also some great takeaways. Here’s what you can learn from watching HGTV.

Change is Possible

If you’re shopping for a new home, sometimes it’s hard to see beyond the problems. But taking that outdated kitchen to one with style is a real possibility through the art of remodeling! HGTV is a good reminder that exciting change is possible.

Designers are Valuable

Visualizing what we can’t see is tricky. HGTV homeowners often make this same remark. Then the show will feature a big presentation—samples, computer previews, design boards—and it starts to come into view. This process happens in real life too. Designers are gifted individuals that are valuable to any remodeling project.

What to be Wary Of

Now that you know what to learn from your favorite shows, here are a few things that aren’t realistic for the average remodeling project.

Unrealistic Timelines

The episode you’re watching may only be 30-45 minutes long, but it’s wise to remember that the show likely had staff on-site for weeks, if not months. The truth is, remodeling takes time. Six to eight weeks is not uncommon for a typical kitchen remodeling project. There are lots of hours to be logged by a variety of specialists—the plumber, electrician, tile-layer, cabinet installer, painter, and more.

Unrealistic Budgets

Sure, HGTV is a great inspiration for DIYers, and doing projects inexpensively is part of the appeal. That said, many of the budgets featured don’t include the cost of labor, which is one of the bigger expenses in real life. Using recycled or unique materials is another “creative” idea that can warp the budget. Besides, who has the time to dig through garbage cans or browse flea markets all day?

Sub-Standard Materials

Yet another way to keep costs down (and keep things viewer-friendly) is to use the lowest quality materials available. These sub-standard materials might be cheap, but they won’t withstand the test of time and everyday use. We don’t have to tell you that quality is a valuable asset!

Watch Smarter

Keep watching your favorite shows, but do so with an educated mindset. Remember, one thing that remains true: real-world remodeling is always better because it means the incredible transformation is in your own home!

Have a vision from HGTV you want to see in your space? One of our accessible, talented, and friendly designers here at The Cabinet Store would love to talk with you about it! We can help you visualize that new kitchen or bath with our excellent design software, and in our stunning showroom, you can touch, feel, and see real examples all around you. Stop in or get in touch with us today!

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