On “Property Brothers,” Jonathan and Drew Scott have faced some nasty situations before, but in the premiere episode of the 13th season of their HGTV hit, they find something that’s pretty much the worst-case scenario: tons of asbestos lurking behind the walls!
In the “High Cost of Cool” episode, Dereck and Christine have found a Mid-Century Modern house they love for $685,000. But anticipating a bidding war, they want to offer $750,000, “with no conditions.”
“I wouldn’t recommend that,” says Drew.
As it turns out, Dereck and Christine have to bid up to $800,000 to get the house. When Jonathan finally walks inside and starts checking the walls, he finds that the place is riddled with asbestos. This means they’ll need an abatement team to come in and rip the entire place apart to get rid of it—to the tune of about $20,000.
Yikes! With this couple’s all-in budget of $1 million, there’s only $200,000 set aside for the whole remodel, including asbestos removal. As the Scott brothers try to turn this toxic mess into a dream house, we learn some important lessons that we can apply in our own homes and house hunts.
Check them out!
Like it? Write it into the deal
There’s a cool geometric room divider in the entryway that doubles as a bookcase, but it’s not nailed down and could be taken when the sellers move out. Drew suggests he write it in their offer. After all, it probably wouldn’t fit in another house anyway.
Structural issues take precedence
As if asbestos weren’t bad enough, Jonathan finds more major problems both overhead and underfoot: Neither the ceiling beams nor the floor joists are up to code, so they’ll have to be either strengthened or replaced. This will cost an extra $19,000 that Dereck and Christine have no choice but to spend.
“Structural issues have to be fixed regardless of cost,” Jonathan tells them.
When you can’t remove the fireplace, put it on a diet
In the middle of the room is a giant, double-sided fireplace that’s “the size of three fireplaces,” according to Jonathan. It totally ruins the clean lines and open space the couple want. Unfortunately, there are two chimneys (one from the basement) and a heating duct running through the fireplace fixture, and it would be too expensive to remove it entirely. So Jonathan suggests they “slim down” the structure by removing the floor-to-ceiling brick and giving it a much leaner plaster silhouette.
Wood-burning fireplaces are high maintenance
Dereck says he’s not good at maintenance or household chores, and doesn’t like the idea of chopping wood or cleaning out ashes. A gas fireplace not only has a leaner profile, but it also requires very little maintenance. Dereck is on board with this option, even if it means they won’t be able to enjoy the smell and sound of a crackling wood fire.
Glass staircase railings make a space look larger
There’s a staircase leading down to the basement right in the middle of the great room Jonathan has created by knocking down a few walls. When he asks Christine if she wants wood or the more expensive metal railings, she throws him a curve and suggests glass. Good eye, Christine! It’s more expensive, but it makes the room look bigger, cleaner, and more modern.
Jonathan acknowledges the wisdom of this suggestion, and sets out to have the glass railings made.
Expediting is expensive
To have the custom glass railings ready on time, Jonathan says, they’ll need to pay to have them expedited. He asks Dereck and Christine if they’re willing to do that, considering the extra money they’re already spending on the renovation. To his surprise, Christine says she’s been saving money on the side, and wants to put it toward the glass.
Do the Scott brothers deliver?
Is this house going to be a dream or a money pit? It appears to be leaning toward the latter, until the final reveal. Jonathan was able to get everything accomplished for $208,000, and Christine’s rainy day fund helped cover that sum nicely. She and Dereck are thrilled with the results.
“It’s like somehow you guys managed to go inside my brain and pull everything out and created it for real,” she says. Clearly Season 13 is off to a roaring start.
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