Reality TV Remodeling shows – Chicago experts discuss TV magic

It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to point out that entertainment doesn’t always imitate life.

Just as one might argue Bravo paints housewives the world over as, well, prickly, HGTV can make realty agents, contractors and interior designers look like time-defying, cost-erasing wizards, capable of finding cheap homes and cranking out remodels lickety-split.

Need to know if the remodel will add value to your home – contact the appraisers at for your home value questions.

So we passed them the mic. Here are the myths real estate and design experts encounter, and the truths homebuyers and sellers should keep in mind.

Pray for patience, and put away the hard hat.

A 5-year-old can do the math: It takes longer than approximately 40 minutes to find, renovate and decorate a house. But some consumers do believe a bathroom or kitchen remodel can be carried out in a fantastically quick timespan.

David Roberts, owner of Roberts Architects and Construction in Evanston, has heard prospective clients sing this tune: “Well, a bathroom remodel might take a week, because when we see it on TV, you know, the carpenter shows up, they take the old stuff out, the tile guy comes the next day, he puts the new tile in, and then the next day the plumber comes in and hooks up the toilet and the lovely new sink and shower, and then we put some glass doors in the shower and some light fixtures and by Friday it’s all done.”

That simply ain’t so.

An extensive bathroom remodel, Roberts said, one where you toss the old tiles, tear out the tub, install a shower and rework the plumbing, can take six weeks to eight weeks. Involved kitchen remodels — moving the sink to the island, resizing windows, rearranging appliances — also take a couple of months.

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