Home improvement shows can be quite captivating — within a matter of minutes they are able to transform a bedroom into a breathtaking oasis for only a couple thousand dollars! As you watch, you begin to look around your home and think, I bet I can update my kitchen for that cost in no time. Wrong! These “reality” home improvement TV shows are far from reality. They often set us up for expectations that are not realistic in the real world. So, what expectations should you have when starting a home improvement project? Well, keep reading and we’ll tell you! MYTH: A remodeling project won’t take a long time to complete. TRUTH: A remodeling project can take anywhere from days to months. If you’re looking to remodel your kitchen, you can expect that to take anywhere from 1 to 3 months. Remodeling your entire home can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months, depending on the size of your home. There is no guarantee for how long a project may last – each one varies from customer to customer depending on the scope of the work. MYTH: Contractors can start immediately. TRUTH: When hiring a contractor to begin the work, do not expect them to arrive at your home that day…or even the next day. There may be a bit of wait time between when you hire the contractor and when the contractor begins the work. A good expectation to have when hiring a contractor is a wait time of approximately 2 to 8 weeks minimum. MYTH: A remodeling project won’t disrupt your life. TRUTH: Oftentimes, on reality TV they will send the homeowner(s) to stay in a hotel for the duration of the project. For those of us who aren’t the stars of a TV show, staying in a hotel for weeks or even months is not feasible. Therefore, you and your family are going to have to work around the chaos of a remodeling project, often losing the functionality of certain rooms at times, depending on where the remodeling is taking place. Similarly, there will most likely be people coming in and out of your home throughout the project, which can certainly disrupt your life a bit.. MYTH: Remodeling your kitchen won’t be that expensive. TRUTH: According to The National Kitchen & Bath Association 2016 Design Trends Survey, about 50% of kitchens remodeled by NKBA cost between $20,000 and $49,000. Only 8% of kitchen remodeling projects completed by NKBA cost under $20,000. MYTH: It’s okay to max out your budget in the beginning. TRUTH: When preparing your budget, be sure to develop a contingency plan as well in case something goes wrong. On reality shows when they run into a problem, they ask the homeowner what part of their budget they want to cut from their original plans. While no one expects to remove a wall and bust a pipe in the process, there is the possibility that something will go wrong. But, by creating a contingency plan you will be prepared and ready to handle anything that is thrown at you.