The Pinnacle Homes Blog

3 Reasons HGTV Gives Clients Unrealistic Expectations

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My wife and I enjoy watching HGTV shows. Since we are in the remodeling industry and we have done a couple flips of our own here in Wichita, we enjoy getting ideas and keeping up with the latest trends in the industry. The before and after of remodeling projects are always fascinating. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy watching Chip Gaines bust through walls on demo day. Though we really enjoy HGTV, we have discussed many times and have experienced first-hand how these shows give our clients unrealistic expectations.


The contractor of the show said they were going to remodel the whole house for 30K. It was going to include a new kitchen, new hardwood flooring, painting, some trim work, etc. I started adding up just the cost of materials in my head and came away from that operation shaking my head. Here are some of my thoughts:
Average kitchen cabinets – $10-12K
Hardwood floor – 1000SF @ $5 SF for low end hardwood – $5K
Granite Countertops – $5K
New stainless Steel appliances $3K
New plumbing fixtures – $1K
Backsplash tile $1K
Painting – $2-3K

All of these are low end guesses and it comes to $27-30,000. These figures do not include the cost of installing the cabinets, trim, flooring, countertops, fixtures, etc. So unless the installers worked for nothing there is no possible way to get the job done with the budget that was communicated on the show.


These shows are all reality TV and all of them have DRAMA. Many times the designer will tell the owner they can move a wall or remove a wall and they get started into the project only to find out the wall cannot be moved due to it being load-bearing. These shows thrive on drama which is fine, but it gives our clients unrealistic expectations. A good contractor will do due diligence on the project before signing the contract so that we will know if we can move the wall or not.


A whole home remodel involving a complete gut and remodel cannot be done in 3-4 weeks. Some of the shows are more realistic than others, but unless we factor in rush/overnight shipping, 1-3 shifts a day, low quality work, it is not likely to get the work done in the timeframe communicated on some HGTV shows.

We work hard at Pinnacle Homes to communicate to our customers how much things will cost and how long it will take. We do our best to deliver a smooth, positive remodeling experience with as few surprises as possible. We know drama is best left on the TV set.

Have you noticed that HGTV gave you unrealistic expectations? Leave a comment below!

One Reply to “3 Reasons HGTV Gives Clients Unrealistic Expectations”

  1. Great article. We also love to watch the shows but wondered how realistic they really were. Also, I need to shoot you an email. Take care

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