DIY vs. DIY TV: HOW TO BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR SKILLS
Monday, August 20, 2018
I’ve seen a lot of things in my near two decades as a designer and contractor. I’ve worked with hundreds of homeowners in their own homes on my shows. I’ve spoken to thousands of homeowners at home and garden presentations. I’ve loved so much about it. I love the enthusiasm and empowerment I’ve seen ignited in people when they feel the rush of accomplishing something in their home they never thought they were capable of before. I love seeing their confidence grow in their home improvement abilities as they learn by doing. It’s been a privilege doing this unique job for all these years and help coach people through their projects.
However, I’ve come to realize that I cannot be in actual attendance for everyone’s project to help shepherd them through. I’ve discovered that often times the edited 22 minute version of each renovation that everyone gets to see really can instill some misguided confidence. Things move quite smoothly in the edit bay as 30 hours of hardcore renovation gets whittled down to fit within a half hour (including commercials). I think it’s important to share with everyone a little bit of reality that hits the editing room floor when it comes to reality TV.
Don’t get me wrong, I love that people can feel so inspired by what they’ve seen on one of my shows! That’s the high that keeps me wanting to do it over and over again! But, there are a lot of really talented people that play a role in pulling off a well-executed renovation. On my series, Bath Crashers, it truly takes a village. Framers, electricians, plumbers, tile setters, sheetrockers, woodworkers, metal artisans… all play crucial roles in the project.
In tackling your own remodel, I would ask that you be very honest with yourself on your DIY savviness. I often say: “If you’ve ever said the phrase, ‘I think I can do plumbing’… then you probably can’t do plumbing.” And that’s OK! Trades like plumbing and electrical are professions where it’s not only acceptable to not attempt yourself, I’d advise against it. Bathroom renovations specifically are tricky spaces to renovate and you’re asking a lot of these rooms to perform as expected. Enroll the pros where your mistakes can cost you handsomely and maybe focus your efforts elsewhere. Sometimes you can ask your general contractor to allow you to do some things yourself to save some money.
I’ll leave you with this nugget of knowledge that I want you to keep in mind before you start any project. Plan your work & work your plan. Start nothing without a game plan. With a game plan in hand, maybe you can tackle demo. With a game plan in hand, maybe you can tackle some tile work. With a game plan in hand, maybe you can build a cabinet or refinish some woodwork. But whatever you do yourself, always make sure that game plan is in hand. That said – enjoy!! There are few things in this world as fulfilling as a home improvement project that comes to life! Dive in and enjoy the fruits of our labor! Just don’t expect it to take 22 minutes.
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