Bottom line, what’s this going to cost me?
By Menno Dueck
If you’re a follower of renovation reality shows, the “Bottom line, what’s this going to cost me” question is asked, oh maybe a dozen times or so in 30 minutes.
This question is almost always followed with “and how long will it take to get it done?” While these shows are great fun from a before and after perspective, the harsh reality (pardon the pun) is there are now homeowners who, after logging 5,000 hours of “Buy it, Fix it, Sell it” are under the delusion they have graduated from SHGTV (School of HGTV) with a double major in Construction and Estimating; all from the comfort of their own home.
Tina bought a house from Ian, a recent SHGTV grad. She fell in love with the granite and stainless steel for sure; the basement family room could easily have been a contender on Disgusting Dungeon to Designer Dream; and the master closet organizer gave her plenty of room for her 253 pairs of shoes.
As a Reality Show Apprentice, Tina had oodles of construction confidence and decided to turn Basement Bath into Spa Retreat. With sledgehammer in hand, eye protection on, she trashed and bashed for at least five minutes, took a commercial break, and returned wondering why the project wasn’t at least 50% complete by now (did her favorite Reality Show lie to her?). And what’s with the moisture under the floor and those exposed electrical wires? Apparently Ian had missed the classes on What Not To Do and simply made the problem go away by using the old ‘Cover It Up’ technique.
Real Contractor found a crack in the foundation where water had been seeping for years. The crack would need repair and bathroom and family room floor removed, dried out and rebuilt. Real Electrician traced the exposed (and live) wires back to an overloaded junction box in the family room ceiling, definitely not safe and not to code.
With her Spa Retreat and Designer Dream family room in a shambles, Tina decided to hang up her Reality Show Apprentice hat to become a Reality Show Couch Potato and hired a Real Contractor.
“Bottom line, what’s this going to cost me” and “how long will it take to get it done?” she asked. “I should have a quote for you by the end of the week and a schedule once I’ve talked to the excavation company, my electrician, plumber, drywaller, painter and floor layer,” the Real Contractor replied. ‘Hmmmm,’ Tina thought, no ‘off the cuff’ quote and they can’t start today; maybe this is reality.
Past articles by Menno can be found at www.dueckenterprises.com/blog.