Jonathan and Drew Scott have seen plenty of homes in disarray, but in the latest episode of “Property Brothers: Buying and Selling,” they see one filled with half-finished home improvement projects—and an irate wife with little hope these upgrades will ever be completed.
In this week’s episode, titled “More for Less,” the brothers note that the man of the house, Fernando, has made a good go of painting the living room, but never finished. So the empty room serves mainly as a scooter track for the family’s three young boys (while fun, it’s impractical).
Fernando’s wife, Ilca, has come to the conclusion that no number of renovations will make this place work for their family. They need a new home—one with space for her in-home beauty salon—and enough money from the sale of their current home to cover most of the costs.
That means it’s up to the Scotts to finish up this perpetual work in progress, without spending too much dough. Along the way, they teach us some excellent tips and tricks for buying a new home and selling an old one. Here’s what we learned.
Double-paned windows can help keep out leaks and cold
Jonathan leans against a window ledge, which breaks loose from the wall, much to his surprise. The culprit is the single-paned window, which allowed moisture to seep in and rot the wood below. He opts to install double-paned windows throughout the house and rebuild the surrounds, which will not only ward off leaks but also reduce heating bills. He notes that this adds a lot of value for buyers.
Old oak is out
“Nobody wants that old oak look now,” says Jonathan as he checks out the kitchen for renovation potential. The cabinets are made of honey-colored oak, with matching wood-bead hardware. Drew reminds him that these are the kind of cabinets they had in their old ranch house when they were kids. The cabinets are so dated, the wood can’t even be recycled, so they’re the first thing to go when the sledgehammers start swinging. They will be replaced by gleaming white cabinets.
Install an invisible stove vent
Jonathan wants to put the stove in the center island, which will need some form of ventilation to keep food smells from permeating the entire house. However, he doesn’t want to obstruct the newly created open space with a big stove hood that extends from the ceiling. What to do? He installs a cleverly constructed vent in the ceiling. It’s designed to draw the air up from the stove and out through the vents in the roof. It’s also sleek and nearly invisible.
A feature wall will impress guests—and boost a home’s value
On one wall, Jonathan adds some trim in a grid pattern, then paints over it in the same color as the wall. This, he says, is a “feature wall,” which adds texture and that extra touch that makes the home feel special. Jonathan adds that when visitors (and potential home buyers) walk in and see a distinctive feature wall, they’re immediately impressed.
“It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive,” Jonathan says of the feature wall.
Keep cords and electrical outlets out of sight
When Jonathan starts to design the feature wall, Drew notes that there are electric outlets at eye level. Who knows why they were installed so high in the first place, but Jonathan understands he’ll have to remove them and install new ones closer to the floor, so lamp cords and such won’t be seen going up the wall. There’s nothing uglier than exposed cords.
Do the Scott brothers deliver?
In the end, Drew and Jonathan are able to finish renovations on Fernando and Ilca’s house, positioning it for a swift sale. The couple also find a new place in their budget with plenty of room in the basement for a beauty salon. Although it’s listed at $975,000, it’s been on the market for over a month, so the couple get it for $950,000.
Here’s to hoping it doesn’t need many renovations for Fernando to procrastinate on—but if so, perhaps the couple will wise up and just hire the help they need to get things done. New home, new habits!
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