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How builders deal with remodeling clients misinformed by reality TV

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How exactly should a building professional feel about all of the popular home remodeling programming on television right now? On the one hand, these shows help homeowners understand the transformational ability of a single remodeling project. On the other, they may be dramatically misinforming homeowners on project budgets and timelines.

Recently, Tim Regan of Remodeling Magazine went long on the topic of reality shows distorting the way homeowners think about renovation. Regan spoke with a number of building professionals about the mixed blessing that is home remodeling on television. Many view it as a necessary evil, but feel obliged to yank clients back into reality as early as the first meeting. And who doesn’t love an uncomfortable conversation to start off a business relationship?

The article also includes how Minneapolis-based Castle Building & Remodeling deals with mislead homeowners: Through some reality programming of its own!

“The team at Castle Building & Remodeling, in Minneapolis, fields so many TV-related misconceptions that it created a YouTube video (above) to address those points. ‘Remodeling on TV isn’t real,’ says the narrator in the video, before walking viewers through an actual remodeling job, step by step. The process provides viewers with a window into the process and shows them that, even if the job goes completely smoothly, it might take a month or more to finish a project. Troy Sinykin, Castle’s sales and design manager, says it’s important to educate clients before you break ground.”

 Have you dealt with clients who were misinformed by home remodeling shows? How did you reset expectations?