Saturday, August 17, 2013

Reality vs Real–Home Design WITHOUT the Designer?

Thinking of renovating?  Been watching some of the home design shows for inspiration?  Keep one important thought in mind . . . totally ignore the budgets they share!  It will save you from following a lot of misguided information and will prevent frustration, later.

Room Work Example (2)

Thankfully, someone finally addressed the elephant in the room when writing about such a project.  Several colleagues have been circulating the article on Facebook and I thought it was worth sharing.  Here’s an excerpt from Sara Efron from Money Sense:

“In a recent episode of Income Property, host Scott McGillivray meets newlyweds Jerry and Amee. For $55,000, he transforms their 1,200-sq-ft basement into a fully furnished three-bedroom income suite, complete with a kitchen with stainless steel appliances. But is the price realistic?

We asked two contractors to price out the reno below, and even without interior design fees, we found it would cost about twice as much. When asked about the discrepancy, McGillivray’s executive assistant Deidre Budgell said the show’s figures don’t account for contractor’s overhead, profit or the cost of furniture.”

Did you catch the part about the interior design fees not being included in the realistic total?  Yes, a show on an interior design-focused network and nary a thought about compensating the creatives who make it all happen!  Not to mention the cost of the furniture or anyone working on the project making a profit in order to receive an income.

Here’s what they determined to be the more realistic side of things:



I haven’t seen the quantity or the quality of the furniture or the window treatments but I can assure you those numbers are very low, too.  (Remember, they asked contractors for these figures.) 

In fact, the projected dollars wouldn’t cover the cost of any rooms I would have ever completed for one of my clients, being that I offer custom design and interiors with at least a five to seven year lifespan.  Quality is value.


(Image:  Courtesy of Consumer Reports)

I also think it’s a bit off for cabinets and other materials and labor, but again, it all depends on the level of product and work being supplied.  (Another reason I encourage clients to do preliminary shopping is so unrealistic allowances aren’t put on the table and then can never meet their tastes or desires.)


Via Minted – Also click here for their holiday collection

I think most people would expect this to be true.  Now, let’s get real about the cost of those heavenly experiences!

All my best

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