The real cost of reality TV renos

Ever wonder how much those reality TV renos really cost?



From the February/March 2013 issue of the magazine.


Vintage Television
In a recent episode of Income Property, host Scott McGillivray meets newlyweds Jerry and Amee. For $55,000, he transforms their 1,200-sq-ft basement into a fully furnished three-bedroom income suite, complete with a kitchen with stainless steel appliances. But is the price realistic?

We asked two contractors to price out the reno below, and even without interior design fees, we found it would cost about twice as much. When asked about the discrepancy, McGillivray’s executive assistant Deidre Budgell said the show’s figures don’t account for contractor’s overhead, profit or the cost of furniture.

The Real Cost of a $55,000 TV Reno

10 comments on “The real cost of reality TV renos

  1. Now isn't that a little misleading? No wonder so many young people rush out and do reno's thinking that it's not going to cost much – after watching it done on TV. Home Depot, Loblaws and all those big box hardware stores must make a fortune off HGTV and the likes for their part in boosting sales. Too bad that for some young folk, they are too far into the reno to stop and wind up over their heads in debt.


    • Hopefully you will never shop for renovation supplies at Loblaws. Think you meant Lowes.


  2. My wife and I have always liked watching the home reno shows. We've done a few major renovations over the last few years (basement, complete mainfloor including kitchen) and have always laughed at the costs quoted on the shows. You can save a lot by doing some of the simpler stuff yourself (painting) but we found it always paid in the long run to get the pros to do the key things. Like any major purchase, doing your homework up front and staying involved in the process is critical. It's also really important to be able to make timely decisions and stick to them – delay in decisions impacts everything downstream (and drives your contractor nuts) and changing your mind on key items adds significant costs.


  3. got to luv that 13%


  4. Painting seems high – unless they painted the whole house.


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  8. I can’t seem to see the breakdown. Is it inside the image? I am also unable to see the images…


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