You’ve watched it on TV, now get the scoop on what it’s really like to remodel in Loudoun (Hint: Things may be even better here!)
Home makeover and remodeling shows are great entertainment but don’t confuse them with reality TV. The real deal, in your own home, takes more than an hour but the results are even more exciting.
What you see on TV: The family is living somewhere else while the work is done.
Loudoun reality: Families are in the house, living around – or in – the remodeled rooms. Few homeowners can move to a basement apartment or a hotel during construction. Most contractors keep that in mind and ask about where the crew should use the bathroom, get a drink, or eat lunch. And they try to contain work areas and clean up as they go. Homeowners have to be prepared and flexible too. Something as small as turning the power off for 5 minutes to rewire an outlet becomes exponentially more difficult if the homeowner is around. I’ve seen customers cook in their bathrooms for weeks or sleep in a tent in their backyard to try to stay out of the way.
What you see on TV: Kitchen remodels or master bathroom gut jobs are done for $10,000 dollars.
Loudoun reality: Building materials have gone up 50-70% in the last 10 years. New kitchen cabinets for a Loudoun home typically cost $35-40K and a master bath remodel will often run $50-70K. Television shows use promotional products and donations from manufacturers, and they don’t charge homeowners for their “host’s” labor costs. If you’re thinking about a remodel, spend some time researching what you want, looking at product costs in stores and online, and get estimates from several companies to educate yourself about what remodeling costs in our area.
What you see on TV: An entire home is remodeled in 6 weeks.
Loudoun reality: No company in the area has the crews and materials standing by to work that fast. Rooms cannot be completed in a day! We often have to wait for orders to come in, inspections to be complete or paint to dry. Projects that involve subcontractors for countertops or plumbing, for example, may grind to a halt while waiting for those steps to be done. Your contractor should be able to give you a rough timeline and provide updates every few days about progress and any delays.
What you see on TV: The homeowners change their mind – again and again – during the remodel.
Loudoun reality: Changes add drama on TV… and impact time and costs in reality. A contractor will encourage you to think through the details ahead of time to avoid surprises or big shifts. Designers and remodeling companies understand that it’s difficult to imagine how things will look. As a homeowner, you have to understand that changing your paint color once painting has started may add extra days and a few hundred dollars, but changing a room layout once construction has started may add weeks and thousands of dollars.
What you see on TV: No real work. (It’s all happening off camera)
Loudoun reality: Although it might be fun to tear down a wall on camera, in reality a crew would spend time putting up dust barriers and covering the floors, getting the new materials onsite and bringing in a dumpster before tearing things apart. When you’re watching a show the emphasis is on the final look of the decorated room, but in reality, your labor should sweat the details. A bathroom remodel has many pieces that need to be installed just right. Watching the process from your hallway instead of on TV, it might seem things aren’t progressing very fast, but since you’ll be looking at those finished walls and fixtures for years to come, you want it done right.
Transforming a single room, or finishing a basement, can dramatically change the whole feel of your home and how you use your space. Although Loudoun homeowners aren’t on camera for their remodels, with the right expectations and a good contractor as a partner, the results are even better than what’s seen on TV.
At Square One Home Improvements we strive to be on the cutting edge of technology in the building industry. We are constantly in contact with local business peers and mentors in the remodeling industry, as well as other local businesses, to learn about the newest techniques in the field and office.