Do You have HGTV Syndrome?



san-diego-painterMaverick Painting often gets calls from homeowners who “need their entire house painted tomorrow and want it finished immediately” Unfortunately we cannot accommodate these clients due to their scheduling limits. Lately we have been receiving these requests more often. I wondered why homeowners are waiting until the last minute to hire a painting contractor. I realized these homeowners are planning their renovations based on what they have seen on TV. Many homeowners have the HGTV syndrome. They have expectations of high returns for little investment and have unrealistic knowledge of the process, timelines & budget

It all started with “Trading Spaces.” You remember the show,

“2 houses. 2 Days. $1,000”

Since then, the HGTV and DIY networks have flooded the airwaves with home improvement programs that show entire home transformed in a week. Through crafty editing, donated supplies and below standard craftsmanship, the viewing audience is tricked into believing they can renovate their home with little money and effort. They believe in instant gratification that doesn’t really exist in construction. The HGTV show Renovation Raiders claims to complete a full floor to ceiling room makeover while to homeowner is out to dinner. Customer’s expectations have been greatly skewed by TV shows that make the whole process of renovating or building a home look a lot cheaper and easier.

How do these shows make it look so easy?

Each job includes donated materials and services. The shows will hire local contractors to work for free. The contractors will get a quick shot of their employee wearing work shirts with their business’s information prominently displayed. They are also allowed to use the show’s logo on their advertising. “XYZ Painting, as seen on HGTV.” When the credits roll, you’ll see a lengthy list of local and national sponsors.

It’s an ongoing challenge to align customer’s expectations with reality–whether it is cost, schedule or materials needed to paint the interior or exterior of their home. What makes the process more difficult is easy customer access to a wide array of misinformation. Homeowners are doing major construction based on what they have seen on TV or You Tube.

These programs now have the audience believing anyone can flip a house. Suddenly, Vanilla Ice, William Shatner and Broson Pinchot are construction experts. Even Mr. T has a show called, “I Pity the Tool.”

The entire painting process is misrepresented with this fast flip show concept. According to these shows, paint is an afterthought. I always see these painters trying to work around 3 other trades in the same room. I have to laugh when I watch them skip vital steps such as drywall repairs, stucco patching and applying a primer coat.

A legitimate painting contractor will allow adequate time and use the appropriate materials.

Each job must be evaluated by considering these factors ~

  • Set up/prep time
  • Furniture movement and protection
  • Masking
  • Floor and window protection
  • Priming the surface and apply 2 finish coats. Drying time between coats is at least one hour
  • Cure times ~ some paint products need time to harden and cure
  • Clean lines ~ when applying different paint colors, a clean, dry edge are needed. If you don’t allow proper drying time, when you pull off the tape, the paint will come with it. Edges of separate colors need to dry or the paints will blend
  • Drywall and stucco patches need to be thoroughly dry before paint can be applied
  • When painting cabinets the doors and hardware will need to be removed and a spray booth will need to be constructed.

Pushing the limits of timelines cause shortcuts in quality, which in the end cost the client more money.

Homeowners believe they can eliminate a large part of their expenses by not hiring a professional and doing the work themselves. DIYers often don’t get the proper permits and zoning approval when doing a project. Their work can lead to inspection failures and doesn’t meet building codes. Completing a home improvement project without a licensed contractor could affect resale of the home.

We strive to educate our clients about what to expect as we move through a project. We explain costs, pricing, contracts, change orders and delays that we have no control over. In doing so the homeowner is armed with a reasonable budget & game plan.

It’s difficult to explain to a client how costly it is to paint something the right way with quality employees and great customer service. The cost of maintaining a painting company includes licensing, bonding, taxes and insurance fees. Purchasing and maintaining tools and equipment is a necessary expenditure. By hiring a licensed contractor, homeowners have assurance that the contractor is a skilled professional with years of knowledge and experience. Many, like Maverick Painting offer a warranty.

So the next time you get motivated by a TV show to give your house a makeover, consider your source of inspiration. Everyone knows there’s very little “real” in reality TV.


Visit Maverick Painting’s profile on Pinterest.

If you are looking for a San Diego Painting Contractor then please call 760-274-3373 or complete our online request form.

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