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Reality TV renovations vs the reality of renovating

While reality TV renovation programs can be entertaining to watch, here are a few of the reasons you shouldn’t aspire to carry out your own renovation in the same way.

It’s not a competition!

First things first, while the contestants on renovation shows are frantically racing against the clock, that doesn’t mean you need to. Think carefully about what you want to include in your renovation. It may not be enough that you saw something in the show, on the internet or in a magazine, you’ve got to work out if it’s appropriate for your lifestyle and the space that you have.

For instance, many people ask for a freestanding bath to be installed during a bathroom renovation without considering the fact that these can be difficult to clean or unsuitable for bathing small children — not to mention installing a heavy stone bath in a first-floor bathroom can have ramifications.

The details are in the planning

While TV audiences love drama, building sites are better off without them. A renovation, by its very nature, is working with or within an existing structure. There will be things that are unexpected or off-plan and the older the original property is, the more likely this is to occur.

An experienced professional will be more aware of what to expect in different projects for different properties based on their past experience in the area. By helping you avoid re-work, return visits, delays and on-the-fly decision making, these experts will not only help lower your stress levels, they will also save you time and money.  All expert designers will develop a clear set of detailed plans and specifications to protect you from potential disasters.


Despite the chaos some TV programs seem to endorse, having multiple trades in a room at one time all trying to carry out their specific work is a recipe for disaster. You can’t tile the floor and install the light fittings at the same time. A professional organisation will project manage the renovation so that products and tradespeople arrive at the right time — having trades waiting around for someone else to finish costs money.

A realistic building schedule will have some buffer days built into it. If your project is efficient enough not to require them, you might be in the lucky position of finishing ahead of schedule or having a couple of lay days in the middle. Make the most of these to recheck completed, or in-progress work. No issues? Great! Use the time to organise the site, materials, the schedule, and tools — there’s always something to do on a job site.

DDIY (Don’t Do It Yourself)

Taking on a project yourself, while economically appealing and sometimes considered therapeutic, is usually not recommended. Very few of us have the broad range of skills and time required to pull a renovation together. Engaging the talent of a professional renovation company will ensure all elements are completed to industry standards on time. They not only have the skills and know-how, they also have contacts with suppliers, as well as the right tools and people on hand to carry it out. This will cost more upfront, but it will save time in the long run and often prevents serious issues from occurring.


Keep it real

We’re all guilty of enjoying reality TV, and renovation shows have the added benefit of providing us with decorating inspiration. Just remember, reality TV is not reality. Trying to make a small saving up front can actually cost more in the long run. Keep the project, your abilities, and your time frames realistic. Don’t set your expectations up to fail – it might make for boring TV, but your renovation will run smoothly and meet your requirements.


At smarterBATHROOMS+ we can explore all of your renovation options and help you create the kind of space you and your family will love. Call us on 1300 662 838 to speak to one of our experts today.

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