What’s Right and Wrong With HGTV?
Designs for New and Renovated Homes (Underway and Completed) by David Sisson Architecture
HGTV has been an amazing boon for architects. It inspires everyday people to improve themselves by transforming their spaces. After watching Chip and Joanna Gaines on “Fixer Upper” turn a dated ranch house into a modern Mediterranean-style home complete with faux stone walls, a sliding barn door, exposed beams in distressed wood, and an iron ring candlestick chandelier, excited homeowners are inspired to call up architecture firms like ours.
We are happy to speak to new clients about their dream homes—about opening up their kitchens and living rooms, improving the flow between rooms, updating old-fashioned colors and finishes, adding a guest suite or a mother-in-law apartment, responding to the ever-increasing need for more storage, or planning for aging in place. We ask questions about schedule and budget and get to work on a couple of design options.
The problem is that HGTV creates unrealistic expectations. Chip and Joanna meet with their clients on Monday, share their incredibly convincing 3D designs on Tuesday, and bring in a building crew on Wednesday. By Saturday, they are putting in the new pavers to the front door, and installing the rhododendrons and tulip bulbs. The whole project is over within one week.
But most homeowners and their architects don’t have the advantages that Chip and Joanna have: hundreds of construction workers, donations from lumberyards, paint companies, manufacturers of bathroom and kitchen fixtures, cabinetmakers, and other companies; and coordination by hundreds of experts behind-the-scenes.
In reality, consulting with clients on their needs and desires, developing designs, finding a contractor, securing materials, and getting permits from city and state officials, can take months. The American Institute of Architects' brochure, You and Your Architect, breaks down the process and explains the services architects provide. At David Sisson Architecture, we will guide you through the entire process, from idea to move-in day.