Advice from HGTV’s Property Brothers

I’ve become an addict. Ever since I set up my new iPad Pro (another addiction, but I digress) in the kitchen and hooked it up to stream TV, I have the Property Brothers on when I’m making dinner. Let’s all admit this together: We want Jonathan and Drew Scott in our OWN living rooms!

propertybros

Here’s the next best thing: They’ll be appearing at The Capital Remodel + Garden Show on Saturday at the Dulles Expo Center. Be sure to get there early for their 1 pm talk! If you can’t make it though, The Washingtonian and Washington Post have hosted chats with them over the past week. Here are my favorite outtakes from those Q&A’s:

Washingtonian (interview by Marisa Kashino): 

Are the 100-year-old rowhouses particularly scary?
The older the house, the more problems you’ll find. Most of the time, the original structure, the original house is fine. It’s all the people over the years who’ve done renovations that have messed it up. There was one house we did where, underneath the bathtub on the second story, they’d notched all the joists away to less than half an inch. I’m amazed the tub, when it was full, didn’t come crashing through the ceiling.

We have a lot of newly renovated houses on the market here. Any advice for avoiding a shoddy flip?
Don’t just rely on a home inspector. You’ve got to get in there yourself. Pull back furniture. Sometimes people hide moisture problems behind furniture. Pull back area rugs. Get up in the attic and take a look. If you’re looking to flip a place, you definitely want to have the contractor go in and quote the work before you take possession. You want to make sure you’re aware of any known problems in the area—like some areas are known for foundation problems. Talk to the neighbors. Do your homework.

Are there any deal-breakers for you when deciding if a fixer-upper is worth taking on?
The main thing is, if I’m buying a house I know I want to renovate, typically I’ll look for an overall footprint that’s fine, where I’d just have to change the interior. As soon as you have to do a big addition, you need a builder permit as well as a development permit. Neighbors can weigh in. I’ve had people get delayed a year-and-a-half. And location is key. You can do anything you want in a house, but at the end of the day, if the location doesn’t work for you, you can’t change that. You are better off finding the ugliest house in the nicest location.

 

 

Washington Post (online chat with Jura Koncius): 

If you know that you will be moving in a year or two, should you invest in some simple upgrades, interior paint etc. Where do you stop? What gets the most bang for the buck?
Typically, the main wow spaces are kitchen, master bedroom and master bathroom. But at the very least, make sure that you tend to all of the little things that have been an eye sore to you – crooked/ mismatched receptacle plates, paint chips, loose door handles, burnt out lightbulbs, etc. If they’ve bothered you, they will DEFINITELY stick out like a sore thumb to potential buyers, no matter how beautiful the rest of your home may be. For anything extra, look at what other houses that have sold included and that may be an indication of what buyers are expecting. —Drew

Where do you get your inspiration for the styles and decorating? Do you have any favorite websites and blogs?
Traveling is a major source of inspiration. There is so much to learn from history and different cultures. I love playing with mixing & matching old and new. Sites like Refinery29 and Apartment Therapy are great. I may be a little biased but HGTV.com is great b/c it’s like having a whole bunch of cool experts right at your fingertips —Drew

My 10-year-old son would like to ask Jonathan what is his favorite part about demolishin? Also, when is it better to just totally demolish and build new, vs. renovating an old place?
What’s NOT to love about demolition?? 😀 My fave part is getting home owners involved. It’s a huge moment of excitement when they are able to have a hand in transforming their house into a dream home! We always try to salvage as much as we can. If the house has good bones then it’s usually a good reno job. Thanks for watching! Sounds like you have a smart son 😉 —Jonathan

Got more questions? Be sure to ask them on Saturday!

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Comments

  1. Jennifer Sergent says:

    Helen, Thanks for your comment. If you are seeking a response from the Property Brothers, however, I would go straight to the HGTV site.

  2. I have a very low ceiling and my art works are “minimal-contemporary” but whole house is an old mediterrian style. I can not find great dining light fixture that would fit. I have a glass and natural wood base table with ivory cloth chairs. Would you give me an advice, please?