Reasons Why You Should Stop Watching ‘Fixer Upper’ and Other HGTV Shows

A patio outside a home on HGTV's 'Fixer Upper'

Is HGTV fueling you with unrealistic expectations? |

If you’re thinking of renovating your home or if you just enjoy watching Chip and Joanna, you probably watch a lot of HGTV. And we don’t blame you. Who can resist those perfect designs or all those scenes of perfect couples with their perfect pets and perfect kids, shopping for that perfect home? Gazing at that dream world can draw you in and keep you on the couch for hours at a time. But if you know what’s good for you, you’ll stop watching. We’ll tell you why. Here are 10 reasons you should stop watching HGTV.

1. You’ll fuel your shopping addiction

If impulse control isn’t your strong suit, stay away from HGTV. Are you the type of person who buys anything and everything you even remotely want? We suggest you just stick to watching the nightly news. HGTV’s shows are full of beautiful furniture and decorations that aren’t always reasonably priced. And unfortunately, you can buy many of the pieces you see on the show through HGTV Home Design Studio by Bassett. If you want a new HGTV-inspired table for your home, expect to pay close to $4,000.

Next: Watch where you’re swinging that hammer.

2. You could damage your home or hurt yourself


Slow your roll.|

HGTV can provide a lot of inspiration. After watching a few episodes, you’ll want to go out and do something to your home, even if it’s just purchasing a new area rug or installing a porch swing. If you’re a DIY-er, you might try to replicate something you saw on the show. However, if you’re not that experienced with home renovations, you could end up damaging your home or hurting yourself, so it’s usually best to call in the professionals. Even Chip gets hurt once in awhile.

Next: Don’t worry; be happy.

3. You could end up biting off more than you can chew

nervous stressed young woman

Being overwhelmed will put a damper on your renovation experience. |

One example of a DIY-er who got in over his head is John Gerard, who blogs over at “Our Home from Scratch.” He tried installing hardwood floors on his own and got an unpleasant surprise. He decided to buy flooring online, but the distributor required him to pick up the materials. Here’s the kicker: In order to fully cover 600 square feet, Gerard needed 28 boxes. Each box weighed 70 pounds. Gerard ended up with the unexpected cost of renting a U-Haul to get all the wood home. Hiring a professional to deliver and install the flooring would have saved a lot of aggravation.

Next: Go Speed Racer!

4. The timelines are unrealistic


Most renovations won’t be done in four days. |

The renovations on HGTV are almost magical. The producers show you an old, rundown home in need of some upgrades. Then, in just a few days, voila! You’ve got a home that looks like new. The homeowners cry tears of joy as the renovation experts beam proudly. The reality is an extensive remodel could take anywhere from six weeks to a couple of months, contractor Robert Meltzer told the Chicago Tribune. HGTV, however, would like you to think a fantastic remodel only takes a few days and a single drop of sweat.

Next: Spend wisely.

5. You’ll spend more money

Sad man looking at his wallet

Don’t throw money away that you could put to better use. |

Unless you’re drowning in cash, it takes a bit of effort to complete a renovation with the original vision you had in mind. And shows on HGTV might encourage you to spend more than you budgeted. What you might not know is the shows sometimes pay for part or all of these renovations, according to Scripps Networks’ Kathleen Finch. You might see a couple of upgrades you like and then go out and copy them, not realizing you’re probably spending double what the homeowners spent.

Next: Getting ahead of yourself

6. You might make upgrades that don’t match your local housing market

House Painter Painting the Trim And Shutters

Don’t overdo the upgrades. |

Just because a certain upgrade worked for one homeowner doesn’t mean it will work for you. Depending on the listing prices of nearby homes, you might just price yourself out of the neighborhood if you make the wrong upgrades. The changes you make to your home depend on your neighborhood, the current real estate market, and what buyers want.

Next: Looks can be deceiving.

7. The renovation quality isn’t great

Worker shows house design plans

A worker shows homeowners their house design plans. |

Although you might be wowed by what you see on the small screen, a lot of it is just for show. When doing a renovation in real life, you need to be more concerned with quality. Marshall Erb, owner of Marshall Erb Design, told the Chicago Tribune he believes HGTV sacrifices quality and craftsmanship for speed and what’s popular at the moment. “I found their programs to be headed in a direction that I do not agree with. Construction times were unrealistic, the design was a disaster, and the quality of the final project was garbage,” Erb said.

Next: Envying the Joneses

8. You’ll want things you can’t have

Man and woman facing each other

Don’t let a TV show make you start comparing yourself and your living situation. |

Some HGTV shows, such as House Hunters, feature homes you could only have in your dreams. One example is the million-dollar lake house the show featured. If you live in a dilapidated home that needs renovation but you can’t afford it or if you’re an apartment dweller forking over most of your paycheck to live in a place the size of a Post-it, it’s not surprising if you become a little resentful.

Next: Get sound advice.

9. You can get better advice elsewhere

businessman showing a document to sign to a couple

Get advice from qualified professionals. | Studio

It’s rarely a good idea to get your advice from television. If you’re looking for solid direction about how to do certain upgrades, your best bet is to talk to a professional. Instead of going 100% DIY, talk to a licensed contractor, an interior designer, and a real estate agent. These are some of the professionals who can tell you which renovations are worth doing and the best way to go about it. You’ll be thankful you ran your plans by a seasoned professional instead of experimenting and having to deal with the consequences — and expenses — later.

Next: Use your time wisely.

10. You could be doing something else

Couple shopping together in grocery store

Do something productive with your time. |

Let’s face it, watching HGTV can be addictive. You start off watching one remodeling show, and before you know it you’ve spent three hours watching a Property Brothers marathon. Although it’s nice to veg out in front of the TV once in a while, you could actually be spending time on your own home improvement projects or getting important chores out of the way. Use some of your down time to be productive. Get outside, get some fresh air, and live your life.

Follow Sheiresa on Twitter @SheiresaNgo

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