Why We Turned Down HGTV

Who would turn down an HGTV remodel show?!? Well, we did, sadly. First let’s back up and recap what all happened …

Back in June of 2020, I was scrolling on television websites looking for shows that could help me in my hunt for my DNA siblings and father, which led me to look on HGTV. It was late and this was my last website to check. I saw there was a new remodel show that was looking for participants. Homeowners had to be within 30 miles of a specific city in the North Texas region (check), didn’t want to do any demolition (check), and needed more ascetic upgrades and organizational help (check!). I thought about it and decided I would take some pictures of our home and send it in an email in the morning. Why not?!

The next morning I woke up and at 7am and I took some pictures of our home, typed up a quick email detailing all the requirements that were needed in the email and sent it around 7:30am. I went about my morning routine and really didn’t give it much thought. I didn’t even tell my husband! I thought we would never get selected and it was just a wild, spur-of-the-moment thing.

I loaded up the kids in the car because we were headed to my friends house and as we were entering my friends neighborhood, I got a call from an unknown number. This was around 10am, just a few hours I submitted my email. And yup … you guessed it! It was casting from HGTV! I about dropped the phone! Talk about a fast turnaround! The sweet lady told me that they loved my pictures and our story and would like to formally “meet” us via Skype later that day. She also asked me to make an MTV-like Cribs-style video once I got home and text it to her, including what I liked in the space and what I would like to change.

I now needed to tell my husband. Haha!

And weirdly enough, that same day I saw a post from The Rambling Redhead, whom I follow on Instagram, where she shared that she was the new designer for a new no-demo show for HGTV!

Y’all! I was GIDDY! It all started coming together – SHE would be the designer and I LOVED her style and was so thrilled and knew she would do a fantastic job and totally trusted her!

Once I got home, I quickly filmed little home video tours and texted them to the HGTV casting person, and just an hour or so later my husband and I were positioned in our kitchen, Skyping with the shows producer. He recorded our little Q&A session, made a short teaser reel of it and sent it off to the big producers in New York. He told us we would hear something in the next few days and we more than likely would be “green-lit” for production, meaning we would be set to film and move forward in the show process.

Talk about a crazy day! From emailing, Skyping and possible approval, all in one day!

Reality started to set in as my husband and I sat down and really (and I mean REALLY) discussed what we were signing up for. Aside from the fact that we would have to spend our own money (and we’re talking BIG thousands of dollars), we would also have to move out of our home for 3-4 weeks during the remodel. Not to mention that only three rooms could be touched for the show, and we wouldn’t know about any of it! We could share our style preferences, what we liked and what we didn’t and so forth, but other than that, we wouldn’t know anything! So what would we do about the remainder of the house that wouldn’t be touched? What if we didn’t like something they picked? How much money are we really taking about and where would the money go? These were all questions that we wouldn’t know answers to for a few months.

About two weeks later we got a call that we were officially green-lit for the show and would be set to film! But we still didn’t have any answers about where our money was going. We wanted a break down of the cost (like ALL of it – how much for cabinets, paint, trim, fixtures, etc.). For weeks we were told the breakdown is coming and that they were still working on stuff. Then based on our house and the floors, we would need to allot more money to the project – about 10k more. At this point, we really wanted to know where all of this money was going but we still didn’t have any clear answers.

Fast forward to the mid-October when we FINALLY had a date and a time to meet with the crew, the designer and walk them through the house. I was so excited to meet Jen as well as everyone else! I kind of fangirled a little when she walked in 😉

We walked them through the house, talked about the rooms to be remodeled (again, only three but we mainly talked about the kitchen, nook/dining space, office and master bath). We then went outside and played with the boys while they walked back through and discussed more of the design plan. Now remember that this is a show, so they want a storyline – so for us, they wanted to design and renovate the kitchen, nook/dining space and the kids playroom (that would become our office with a nice built-in shelf). I get the shows point-of-view – the office would be a better choice than the master bath because they can talk about how COVID had forced us to work from home and we needed a better workspace – I get it. But from our perspective, we are now not redoing our master bath so that might be something we have to do at another time (because let’s be honest – a “new” remodeled kitchen would be amazing but if the bathroom looks “old” and out-of-style, how would that sell later if we decided to sell our home in a few years?). These are all of the things we were thinking about and considering and it was really overwhelming.

A few days later we FINALLY got the breakdown of cost and talked it over with the budget/finance guy. He was really sweet and took the time to walk us through it all and was ok with switching the office for our master (but that would also mean more money). He was really kind and assured us that this is OUR remodel, our home, our money and ultimately we can make the call on that stuff, so that was very reassuring (but we still wouldn’t know specific details because that is part of the surprise of the show). We talked about keeping our cabinets instead of ripping them out in order to keep costs down – but we were still looking at around $40k just for three rooms (not including floors). We thanked him for his time and effort but we needed a day or so to talk things over. But we felt the pressure to quickly make a decision because they wanted to film us the following week!

After much conversation, prayer, talking to friends and other close relator friends, we decided to pass on HGTV’s ‘No Demo Reno’ show.

Not going to lie – I was kind of heartbroken! I REALLY wanted a new kitchen (haha!) and how many people can say they were on a remodel show for HGTV?!? But aside from all of that, I know it was the best decision for our family. Yes, it would’ve been cool and exciting and I would have my dream kitchen, but we could use that money elsewhere and make little updates ourselves and save a ton of money. Not to mention my husband has no desire to be on TV 😉 However, I would’ve loved that! Haha!

Haha! In all seriousness, I truly know that we made the right choice. It was just not the wisest choice for us and after talking with our relator and a few others, we realized that we would never recoup the cost that we would’ve put in, since we already have granite in the kitchen and large 18-inch square tile throughout … that and more just didn’t justify the cosmetic personal decor-type changes that we would’ve made with the show. Jen and her crew were nothing but sweet to us and I appreciate their time and effort! In the meantime, we are almost done repainting our house, my husband has replaced a few lights with can lights, he swung the kitchen nook light to the middle of the room and he made a big dining table to go in the space (the room was two separate spaces: a sunroom and nook that really works best as one big dining space). We still need to replace a few light fixtures, finish painting and one day replace the carpets – but that’s all that we are going to do! Maybe repaint the cabinets one day but not sure. 😉

But you know I’ll be front and center watching ‘No Demo Reno’ when it airs in the spring!

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