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They’re exciting, they’re fun to watch, and the results usually look incredible. What’s not to like about home reno TV shows?

Well, for one thing, they often gloss over the most important aspect of renovating a home.

If you’ve caught the itch and are thinking about making some improvements to your home, make sure you aren’t overlooking this one major factor.

Every year a new flock of reality TV programmes come out, and home renovation shows are usually pretty high on the popularity scale.

It’s no surprise that these shows are so successful – they appeal to the dreamer inside all of us, and we all like a bit of a rags-to-riches story.

But as these TV shows help to drive the renovation industry from strength to strength (it now accounts for almost $60 billion a year), there’s one thing that none of them fully acknowledge: expense.

What does it really cost to renovate a home?

Research from Roy Morgan shows that more than a third of Australians are into interior decorating, with the average home reno costing around $25,000 according to figures from the Commonwealth Bank.

This is a lot of money, and the same CBA research reports that most people go over budget by $3,000, which suggests that people aren’t being realistic with the costs involved in doing their homes up.

While a whopping 50% of homeowners believed they’d make a profit from their renovations, only 21% of them actually sought financial advice before getting started.

Of those that stayed within budget, almost two thirds had to make compromises on design or materials.

All in all, these numbers paint a picture of Aussies wanting to do their homes up, but not really being aware of the actual financial investment involved.

Why do we underestimate cost?

On one hand, it’s only human for us to dream and have expectations slightly larger than what’s achievable – but on the other, the figures above suggest that these TV shows are creating unrealistic expectations among the public.

From The Block to House Rules and everything in between, the reno genre plays into our thirst for luxury and newness, but perhaps without enough focus on the actual cost of labour, materials, and other expenses.

We are treated to montages of wall demolition, plastering, plumbing, painting and furniture shopping; we aren’t however treated to montages of invoices or project management timelines.

We are also given the impression that most renovations are within reach of the average DIY enthusiast. The contestants we watch are everyday folks like you and me, and they seem to do just fine. We think, “If they can remodel an entire house in a week or two, so can I”.

But the truth isn’t quite this simple – or cheap. When problems come up, they’re real ones, not just stumbling blocks that we overcome and then comment on during our interview segment.

Should we ignore all home renovation shows?

If you’re into reno shows (and if the statistics are accurate, chances are you probably are) then by all means watch them!

Just remember – take what happens on these shows with a grain of salt.

There are often large numbers of unseen helpers (licensed tradies especially) who help make sure everything goes to plan. They have design consultants and huge budgets to work with. They have cameras and TV trickery to help make things look better than they really are. And they don’t pay much attention to longevity or practicality, which are what’s usually more important in our own homes.

As the saying goes, the one thing you don’t see on reality TV is actual reality. So if you’re making decisions that will impact the liveability and financial value of your home, get some real advice from some real experts before getting out the power tools.

If you’d like to discuss your options for renovating, extending or remodelling your home, feel free to chat to the team at Hicks Real Estate.

We’ll give you our honest, experience-based opinion on what’ll work and what won’t.

Give us a call on 07 3355 6845 or flutterby and see us at 2/6 Trouts Rd, Everton Park.

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Hicks Real Estate is a Brisbane based, full-service real estate agency supporting buyers and sell as well as renters and property investors. With almost 20 years experience in the local market, we are the real estate experts you can rely upon.