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How Accurate Are Those HGTV Shows About Kitchen Remodeling Anyway?

We wanted to assess reality shows based on remodeling for their real-world accuracy

HGTV is very popular with homeowners contemplating future home renovations. By the number of shows that are about kitchens it is apparent that kitchen remodeling is one of the most popular renovations. So how accurate are the HGTV shows that focus on kitchen remodeling? What do the actual professionals that design and install kitchens think of these programs? Since this is a frequent topic of conversations among kitchen and bath professionals, I thought I’d share some of their comments from a recent LinkedIn discussion on the topic.

kitchen with peninsula

Most professional kitchen designers don’t mince words – and their opinions of HGTV range from unprofessional to unrealistic to intentionally misleading.

Alternately, many professionals in the field recommend PBS TV shows like This Old House and Hometime for being reliable sources of information. Here are some quotes from a LinkedIn kitchen professional discussion group:

 “It’s tough to combat and sometimes correct what consumers are believing to be true. I honestly don’t even watch HGTV anymore because its mostly just phooey and I get frustrated with the misconceptions and bad information being shown.”

 “As certified kitchen designers, we work very hard to make sure we are meeting codes and specifications. When we allow HGTV and Houzz to be our voice, we are NOT promoting professionalism.” [Note from Main Line Kitchen Design – is an excellent source for ideas but homeowners should still use caution and work with qualified professionals]

 “I cringe when I see poor design or flagrantly wrong design that presents a safety, health or code issue to the end user.”

One designer observed:

“HGTV… not much different than reality TV, right? The more drama, the better, right? Everyone knows, there is a production company behind the scenes directing what they believe people will watch, right? (Here, Honey BooBoo, eat this bag of corn curls!). They need the ratings, right? So it makes you wonder then, why so many consumers think what they see and hear, is gospel.”

From another designer… “And so often consumers take it as gospel. ‘Well, I saw it on a program on HGTV!’ “

kitchen renovation

The comment we hear most often is that HGTV oversimplifies the kitchen design and remodeling process and generally includes unrealistic timelines and pricing.

I believe HGTV does a disservice to the kitchen industry. Far from being helpful it is actually misleading to viewers who understandably believe the stories and expect the staged results that they see on TV.

Main Line Kitchen Design’s advice is to turn the channel if you are watching HGTV …and of course…

Bon Appetit!


2 Replies to “How Accurate Are Those HGTV Shows About Kitchen Remodeling Anyway?”

  1. Jeanie Cary

    Good to hear this..

  2. Dorri

    We are planning to remodel our Kitchen, please come and remodel it for us. I have an idea of the cost, but when I watch a segment where YOU remodel a whole house, I want you to do my little kitchen or a least give me a quote as I do not believe your figures on your show (labor added in or not)!

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