Do contestants on House Rules really renovate a whole house each week?
Reality TV shows focused on building renovations have become incredibly popular over recent years, inspiring the inner renovator / interior decorator in millions of Australians. While these shows offer great entertainment value and can be a wonderful source of design and styling inspiration, it’s important to remember that they do not reflect reality.
When building or renovating your own home, your experience will be nothing like that of a reality TV show. This is mainly because these homes are essentially glamorised kit homes featuring incomplete paint jobs and poor finishes. The rise in popularity of these shows has been incredibly problematic for everyday builders for a number of reasons.
Three ways House Rules isn’t realistic
Firstly, these shows create unrealistic timeline expectations of builders. After watching a stunning renovation come to life in a matter of days, many clients don’t understand why their home can’t be completed in a similar timeframe – after all, that’s what they’ve seen happen.
The fact is a functional, long-lasting and high-quality home takes time and money to create. In reality, a well-finished kitchen and bathroom will take around 2-3 months to complete and an entire home can take up to 12 months. This factors in things like waterproofing, which alone will take a few days and is integral to a well-functioning wet room, and lead time for ordering and fitting materials.
Too many tradespeople
Another big difference between renovating on television and in real life is the sheer number of tradespeople available to help complete the work. On a building renovation TV show, there is a constant supply of tradespeople on-site working ridiculous hours and, understandably, charging exorbitant rates to help get the job done.
While on TV it may look like the contestants are doing most of the work, it’s important to remember that behind the scenes there are structural engineers, foremen, builders, plumbers, electricians, and tilers all working tirelessly in the background. When it comes to building or renovating your own home, most tradies are unlikely to work the same hours as these people do (even if you did offer to pay them more!). If they were to work long hours, your project’s labour costs would increase exponentially, potentially pushing your project out of your budget.
Suppliers give special treatment
In a similar vein, suppliers gain excellent coverage by partnering with reality renovation shows. For this reason, they are willing to go above and beyond for a low cost simply because of the incredible publicity it will generate. This is not something you can expect in your own build and even builders with excellent supplier relationships expect wait times for products and materials.
While it’s great that these reality TV shows have inspired people to renovate their own homes, it’s important to remember that they are made for entertainment purposes. They simply cannot be realistic as this wouldn’t be engaging for viewers.
The fact is that real builds take time and they certainly don’t happen in a few weeks. Your builder wants to create a home that you love and is high quality, long lasting and exactly as you expect it and that doesn’t just happen overnight.