Home renovation shows are fun to watch. Who doesn’t love seeing the drastic before and after they show at the end?

It always seems like a miracle when the renovation team manages to meet every must-have on the homeowners’ list without breaking the budget. Brand new wood floors, new fixtures in all the bathroom, knocking out an entire wall – no matter how extravagant, they always seem to make it work. But just how true to life are these “reality” show budgets?

The answer: not very true at all.

These shows give the false impression that major renovations aren’t that costly. Many are inspired by the seemingly affordable costs and start Googling around to figure out how to budget their own renovations. What the shows (and Google) don’t tell you about are the many factors that go into these costs. Contractor prices, building code compliancy, even differences in costs by location can affect the total price point on a renovation. Researching online isn’t likely to give you an accurate estimate.

Below are some things to keep in mind when budgeting for your next home renovation:

Jack of All Trades, Master of None

One constant cliché we see on home renovation shows is the singular jack-of-all-trades handyman that completes multiple projects on his own. This could lead many a DIY renovator into believing that they can save money by handling an entire renovation on their own—or that the handyman down the street has all the skills necessary to complete your lower level—including the custom built-ins. While it may be tempting to cut costs, an unvetted handyman may take sloppy shortcuts or even skip on getting the proper permits because they lack the qualifications needed to perform the work.

At Liston Design Build, we bring the top craftsmen to your project. Master carpenters create our built-ins. Tile specialists lay our tile. A design team works with you to make your dream a reality. Top-tier contractors have an expertly skilled team to bring your vision to fruition. While it’s likely to cost more, you’ll know you are getting the best possible product, created by the best possible professionals.

Unexpected Setbacks Can Rack Up Costs

Whether it’s leaky plumbing, foundational issues, or mold damage, renovating is likely to reveal hidden problems that weren’t visible during the preliminary inspection. And if you’re taking the DIY route, you may even cause accidental damage to your home. While you can work in a contingency fund into your budget, it’s impossible to foresee what sort of remedial work will be needed.

Working with a team of professionals can lessen unexpected costs and the stress that comes with them. Liston Design Build’s decades of experience means we’re able to anticipate and resolve any issues that arise. Plus, we take steps to ensure your home is protected throughout the entire project.

Know Where to Splurge and Where to Skimp

You may be wondering if there’s really any way to save a little money on your renovation. Indeed, there is, and it’s all about the finishes and fixtures you chose.

Most manufactures make two types of the same product: one is high grade and the other is lower in quality. For example, buying a faucet from Home Depot or any other big box store is likely to be cheaper than what you’d pay for the same faucet in a showroom or from a wholesaler.

However, it’s important to consider the difference in quality. The Home Depot faucet may cost less, but it’s probably made with plastic inside, whereas the high-grade version uses brass. It’s up to you to decide where to splurge and where to save but know that money can be recouped in finish selections.

Liston Design Build will always work with you to find products that achieve the look you desire without sacrificing quality and performance. And you can rest assured that we’ll never suggest products that won’t perform well.

All in all, home renovation shows are great sources of inspiration – but they’re not really a true indicator of how expensive the process can be. The best way to undergo renovations is with the help of a skilled team like Liston Design Build. If you’d like a free consultation, email us or give us a call at (636) 940-9417.