What is Demo Day Really Like?

Have you ever watched Fixer Upper on HGTV and thought “I can definitely do that. It looks easy!?” Well my guess is you’re not the only one.

Having done a complete renovation of a home a couple years ago, I can tell you that what you see on HGTV is just a little different in real life. Secretly, I think I’m Chip Gaines, but who doesn’t? Redoing houses to me is incredibly exciting.  But what HGTV doesn’t really show is how much work is involved. In 1 hour they manage to knock down a wall (or 2 or 3), take out all the kitchen cabinets, redo all the flooring, replace cabinets, clean everything, and much more.

The time it takes is obviously much much longer, but they are in show biz so they can’t show you all the nitty gritty because who wants to see that?

So here are a few things to consider when looking at doing your own home renovation:

  1. You do have to clean up the mess you make! Ever wonder where all the dust goes? It’s amazing that they manage to knock down half the walls in the house, take out cabinets and do new sheetrock in places, no one ever seems to have that much dust on them. I just wish I had the same clean up crew they had.
  2. It will take longer than you think! And with 3-4 guys working on average it took 3 months. I did some of the work and hired the rest out. Make sure and plan for things to come up that you don’t expect or see coming. There will be something.
  3. Hire an expert! I can’t stress this enough. No matter how many times you’ve watched shows on HGTV or DIY Network, there are some things that you must get an expert opinion on. Plumbing and electrical mistakes can cost thousands down the road if not done properly. So make sure you get help in those areas.
  4. Take your time! I’ve learned in life that there’s no reason to rush things.  Typically when you do, things go poorly.  In home renovations, nothing could be more true. I know you can’t wait to get the project done and your husband/wife/significant other/kids/pets/etc. are driving you nuts about when it will be done, but just be patient and take your time. Costly things will almost certainly happen if you rush.

So can you do a home renovation project on your own? Sure! Is it going to be hard and take time? Absolutely! But in the end, I believe it will be well worth your time and you’ll be glad that you were able to put your personal touch on your own fixer upper.

Daniel Patterson, Affiliate Broker