Demo Day Fallacy

The demo day fallacy is something we are quite aware of. You’ve seen “demo day” proclaimed on numerous house flipping and home renovation shows. Gleefully, the stars are seen wildly swinging sledgehammers demolishing walls, floors and cabinets leaving mountains of rubble as the dust settles. However, Hollywood excels at leaving the viewers with any number of implied fallacies. One of the biggest is the demo day fallacy.

demo afetr the fire

Getting Real

Think about it for just a second. The very first day a renovation begins, how realistic is it that demolition is a single day effort? Maybe, if your renovation was a thousand square foot house with a simple paint and carpet makeover, demo day fallacy may not apply. But in reality, (and not ‘reality tv’) demolition will more likely last for days or weeks.

In our House Fire Series, Video #1 shows quite clearly the gargantuan demo job we faced.  ‘Demo day’ begins slowly in Video #1 as we laugh at the enormity of the task in front of us.

But if you have seen that whole series, we are still filling dumsters into the 5th video of the 12 part video saga! In reality we filled 3-40 yard dumpsters and 2-30 yard dumpsters before we could move forward with the rebuild. True, this was not really a typical renovation. Nonetheless, it does demonstrate the point that real life is often very different from a 30-minite tv show.

Reality in bites

Everything depends on how much you bite off and how many people there are to help you chew. Get a dozen helpers and sure, you might get to call it a demo day. But then again, you might pull up a tile floor to discover that the previous builder used what seemed like a truckload of staples to secure his work. It happened to us on a house that otherwise required minor demolition work. But removing those staples unglamorusly required my brother to use the better part of THREE days to remove them so we could lay a new wood floor.

The Real Story

The short of this story is simple. Dont look to TV to create your understanding of reality. The demo day fallacy is what the producers use to get their program to neatly fit into their time-constrained package. A good plan for any real life renovation, big or small, means that doing anything in a day is more unlikely than not. And that is OK. The goal is not to mimic TV life. Instead, the goal is to work efficiently and profitably. That looks different for every team and every project. The caution is to develop a healthy plan rather than unrealistic expectations. And staying healthy is your key to success.

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