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renovation_bathroomMCT— Home improvement shows are a mixed blessing, says Kent Drinker of Timberlake Building & Renovations.

Drinker speaks from experience. The Annapolis, Md.-based project and client relations manager had his brush with television when his company was featured on a recent episode of HGTV’s “Bang for Your Buck.” Although he hasn’t seen a major effect on his business after the show aired in May, he says the industry has definitely been affected by images, trends and projects seen on home improvement shows.

“It’s pretty common for us to have homeowners come with a big folder filled with clippings of what they’ve seen on television and in magazines. … A lot of the time they don’t know what they want. They just see it,” he says.

The showbiz sparkle of these programs and articles does not match up with real life, according to some home industry experts. The time in which projects can be completed is misleading, they say, and variables such as costs, labor and materials are also skewed.

“Our take is that the shows are great for providing ideas,” Drinker says. “How practical those ideas are is dependent on people’s budget, the available materials and time.”

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