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Renovating? Avoid Media-Driven Misconceptions

Many of us love watching home reno programming on HGTV for the drama, the inspiration, or to fantasize about possibilities for our own homes. We watch with great interest as the hosts help homeowners transform unlikely spaces into beautiful rooms through entertaining formulas. This genre of television has given many viewers the renovation bug, but it’s important to be careful. These shows do not present the full picture and many families get caught unaware. Here are three TV-generated misconceptions that people have about home renovations:

HGTV projects provide good budgeting guidelines

Many assume the renovation costs HGTV programs share at the end of their episodes accurately reflect the real costs of similar renos. This is untrue. Often, many details are left out for various reasons, but the most important aspect to consider is that every project is different. The cost breakdowns provided during HGTV programs is not typically the amount the average homeowner would pay to achieve the same result.

You can transform your house into anything you desire

Like the human body, houses are designed and built to function in a particular way. Not all changes to a home make sense when you consider the existing structure and systems, such as heating and ventilation. As well, the cost of these types of transformations may not represent good value depending on the home in question. If you’re planning significant changes to your home, you might be better off starting from scratch. Rebuilding offers a blank canvas; renovation does not.

Renovating is a cheap and easy way to update your home

Renovation projects that seem simple in one context may be overly complex and overly expensive in your situation—especially if you have an older home. You have to work with a home’s pre-existing structure, which may have more limitations than you’re aware of. “Unknowns” related to how a structure has aged, and work done by previous owners can easily crop up and add risk. Renovations can be a Pandora’s box once you begin, becoming more expensive and complicated than ever intended, and in the end, it may not be worth it.

If you are thinking about renovating, make sure you are prepared. Do your research in advance to ensure that the vision you have for your home make sense given the existing structure, and that your budget will be sufficient to make it happen.

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