Reality TV shows about DIY renovating are BIG at the moment! The Block, Top Designs and The Renovators are all ratings winners. These programs have an uncanny ability to draw us in night after night until we feel just as fretful and exhausted as the quirky contestants themselves. But we just can’t get enough!
So how authentic are these shows and what impact are they having on real Australian home owners? Well, most professionals and experienced DIY enthusiasts would agree that if you take off the rose-coloured glasses and look behind the scenes, the renovating picture is somewhat different. Whilst the shows have a positive impact on getting people thinking about style and design, they don’t necessarily reflect the reality of a renovation. In the real world home owners are faced with designing a renovation well beforehand, getting planning and building approvals (which can take months) and mapping out the construction course. These shows are obviously more driven by entertainment needs and time constraints where the contestants and renovation activity are packaged into a prime time production.
Renovating programs can, however, provide excellent ideas and invaluable information to viewers who are thinking of undertaking a major overhaul. Things like sticking to a budget, using good trades people and only tackling one room at a time, are all important renovation principles. Marketing tips such as creating street appeal and a good first impression are also uncovered, which adds to the overall value of these shows. But if nothing else The Block and its rivals provide an interesting insight into how we as mere mortals cope with extreme sleep deprivation and intense pressure – and don’t we just love the fights, the tantrums and the major dummy spits!