Home & Garden Television's makeover show "Curb Appeal" doesn't disclose exactly how much its designers spend on each exterior they redo, but it's more than our architects' budget of $5,000 to $7,500.
"Our average is probably in the $8,000 to $10,000 range," said Mila Holt, executive producer of "Curb Appeal." That, however, doesn't count the resources the show can get by "trading" a mention on its Web site for materials or services.
"We get donations a lot for exchange of a mention on the Web site," Holt said. That can include things like a new roof or landscaping shrubs.
The program has done makeovers for "as little as $3,000," she said. But designers can spend much more. To redo windows, for instance, can cost as much as $100,000.
"We try to limit [the amount spent] because those projects tend to take too long to finish," Holt said. The goal of the show is to complete the redesign as quickly as possible. The production costs are high, she noted, because "we go back to the homes 15 to 20 times" to shoot footage as the makeovers progress.
The producer explained that the show is not free to participants. While the program contributes the designer, who gets free advertising on the show, the homeowners do pay a fee.
Holt added that viewers most want to know about affordable makeovers. "People are hungry for these things," she said. Painting some trim, changing the color of the front door "can make a huge impact."
That's "the main thing that we try to focus on as a show," she said, "but every now and then we do a glorious and grand makeover 'cause there's a wow factor."
-- Sandra Fleishman