The Surprising Reality of Home Repairs: Is HGTV Misleading People?

Every person who has been through a home renovation project knows that not everything goes according to plan. Whether snags happen with installation, there are structural issues, or a surprise HVAC run in a wall that was supposed to come down-, something always complicates the process. So many people create their dream renovation plans with budgets that get swallowed up in an instant by unexpected costs. Even if there is a large budget, you should always set aside contingency money to be reserved for extra expenses. The illusion that a long list of must-haves and a tight budget can magically all work out in the end, as it always does on HGTV shows, is just that… an illusion. Make sure to take this into account when creating a plan for a home repair whether it be a kitchen, bathroom, or whole house renovation and implement there EED Process!

So what does a renovation really cost? 

Home renovation budgets vary greatly based on the size and scope of the project. A smaller house renovation can cost, on average, around $20,000 whereas a larger house renovation can cost around $75,000. Even so, there is a wide price range that these renovations can fall in depending on how much work the house needs and the quality of the work done. A low-end renovation consisting of cosmetic changes such as painting walls, installing cheap floors, and low-end countertops may cost anywhere from $15,000 to $40,000. Mid-range projects may be from $40,000 – $75,000 which could involve full kitchen/bathroom models using average quality materials and appliances, etc. Lastly, high-end remodels ring in at $75,000 – $200,000 where walls are taken down for layout changes, electrical plans are refigured, custom pieces are built, and only great quality materials are specified. Overall, it is entirely dependent on the individual project square-footage, what spaces are being renovated, the quality of the products, and the amount of work needed to pull it off. 

So even though you may see a beautiful, large-scale total kitchen gut and remodel on HGTV only costing the homeowners $20,000, that is far from realistic. These shows are often able to use products for a greatly discounted price and are able to take on contractors that charge less than they normally would in exchange for publicity. As viewers today should be aware, the actions behind the scenes of these shows are nothing like the actions on screen. That is especially applicable when looking at timeframes. 

The timeframe of a remodel can shock many people. It isn’t as easy as it may look on screen to get things designed, ordered and delivered on time as well as installed within the same couple of weeks. On average, it may take between 6-15 weeks depending on the project. Of course this is always subject to change based on a wide range of interior and exterior circumstances. For example, 2020 has been a huge year for renovations. This has extremely altered the timeframes for product manufacturing and delivery. A product that may have taken three weeks to arrive could take three months if not immediately in stock. Product availability can even range depending on where you are geographically located.   This is why we recommend the EED Process!

To that same extent, being located in Iowa, we wanted to provide the different prices that one could expect when doing a home renovation in Iowa vs another geographic location. The range of renovation costs in Polk County, Iowa is $10,000 to $70,000 – the average ringing in at $40,000 for a single family home. A specific kitchen remodel in Iowa varies at around $25,000 on average.  All of this depends upon your selections and why we recommend using the EED Process before you begin contacting contractors. 

When you use the EED process, you’re ensuring that your mind is put at ease through the entire building or remodeling process because you chose to invest wisely into making sure the selections and finishes are in line with the vision you have for your project, thus, saving you money and keeping you on budget!  We hope you enjoyed learning about the EED Process and hope that you think of us for your next project so we can help achieve your vision! Thank you!  

Please visit our  website CLICK HERE to see example of our work.   If you have a topic you would like us to cover in a future blog, please email us at and let us know what topic you would like to hear about!  Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with all the latest tips.  Have a beautiful week and remember Elizabeth Erin Designs is here to help you achieve your vision!