There is no denying it, renovation shows give clients a visual of what their home can look like if they choose to remodel. These reality shows can connect the dots from a remodeling concept to a whole new room and show how you can expand your small space into a larger, more functional one with some thoughtful design and planning. Expert interior designers give TV viewers the inside track on the hottest trends and show the best practices in putting them to use in their home. Viewers see the new technology advancements that are available and how they might implement them into their own spaces.

But, on the flip side of these positive attributes these reality renovation shows are leaving viewers with an unrealistic expectation of getting a renovation complete in a very short amount of time with an undersized budget.

As you watch these renovation shows, keep the following in mind:

Some of the materials, labor and selections used in these shows are greatly discounted in exchange for the publicity on the show leading to an unrealistic final price point. Some networks will solicit for advertisers to keep the cost of the renovation low.

In the real world, the cost of renovation varies greatly based on existing home conditions, geographic region, materials used and selections made by the homeowner.

A lot of work goes into your project before construction even starts. Drawings, estimates, proposals, making selections, ordering materials and coordinating subcontractor’s timelines all takes time. A good contractor will be able to line this information out for you, but he/she will not be able to get it all done in a day. This process can take a few weeks to a few months of careful discussions and communication between the homeowners, builder and designer. Taking the time to do these exercises will ensure that your builder and designer are on the same page as you which will leave you with the finished product you were dreaming of.

When construction does start, a home cannot be renovated in a few days. Municipalities often have time restrictions on what time of the day builders can work on a home. During the taping of reality tv those time frames are adjusted giving builders and subcontractors 24-hour access to work on the home.

While enjoying the show, you will see various subcontractors working on the t.v. screen in harmony. You may not notice the several other workers behind the scenes working to get the project done in record time. To get quality craftsmanship that stands the test of time you cannot have all the trades working on the house at the same time. The city inspectors will also need to come out and check on the progress at various stages, which isn’t something that is always shown during the one-hour television segments.

Above all, when you sit in your living room watching your favorite renovation show, know that it is just a window into the fascinating and exciting world that is renovation. Expand your research and find the contractor with a process that aligns with your goals. The renovation process may take longer than you anticipate, but the end result from taking a thorough approach to renovation will leave you with better results. Take the time with your builder on the front end and you will have better understanding and communication with less frustration, surprises and cost overruns.