Good Bones: A Heroic Renovation in a Historic Indy Neighborhood

In one of their bravest home reno projects yet, mother-daughter team Karen E Laine and Mina Starsiak purchased an abandoned eyesore of a house in Indy's historic Bates-Hendricks district for $4,500 (!) then turned it around with a thorough transformation, inside and out. The renovation ultimately resulted in a resale price of $226,000 and clear profit of more than $31,000 — which Mina and Karen can promptly channel into their next home rescue venture. It's all part of the duo's continuing mission to revitalize their city's historic neighborhoods, one property at a time.

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

Photo By: AJ Mast/AP Images

American Classic

Through the dedicated efforts of renovation and house-flipping pros Mina Starsiak and Karen E Laine, this house in Indianapolis's Bates-Hendricks neighborhood got a much needed facelift with a new porch and portico, a bright green front door, fresh lanscaping, all new siding and added windows.

All In the Family

Mother/daughter team Mina (left) and Karen (right) have been rescuing homes from the wrecking ball in and around downtown Indianapolis for close to a decade. With their boundless enthusiasm, and help from family and crew who pitch in with demo and reno, most other house flippers.

Radical Revisions

The bare-bones state of the house prior to renovation allowed for a complete re-envisioning of the home's layout. The kitchen, which had been tucked away behind a staircase at the rear of the house, is now relocated closer to the front of the house in a space that was formerly a bedroom. The all new kitchen seen here now opens onto the new living and dining area.

Redefining Spaces

On the first floor, walls were removed  to create a large, open-concept living space including this informal dining area.

Creative Reconfiguration

The second floor layout was substantially altered as well, moving walls and reallocating space to make room for two elegantly spacious bathrooms and new closets.

Custom Touches

This guest bathroom includes a custom twin vanity at a raised height and new shower with white tile in herringbone pattern.

Local Heroes

Mina and Karen in the newly renovated living room at the Terrace Avenue home

The Terrace Avenue Project, BEFORE

The boarded up entrance and front exterior was almost completely obscured by an overgrown junk. The house came with four bedrooms though, in its badly dilapidated state, it was difficult to discern the home's original layout. The interior was around 1970 square feet. Mina and Karen were able to purchase the house for $4500 — essentially the value of the lot alone.

The Terrace Avenue Project, AFTER

In the renovated exterior, the gabled roofline, one of the home's distinctive features, is highlighted by the newly added portico and new front entrance.

The Terrace Avenue Project, AFTER

Twin sconces, new door surrounds and porch railing help elevate the home's curb appeal.

The Terrace Avenue Project, AFTER

At the rear of the house, a littered back lot and gravel pit have been replaced with a newly upgraded backyard with privacy fence and a large deck.

BEFORE

Prior to the renovation, the living room had a hole in the roof and a brick fireplace that was sinking into the foundation. 

BEFORE

Initial inspection quickly revealed why the purchase price for the house was so drastically low. The foundation was unstable, floors were uneven and there was extensive wood rot and termite infestation. 

BEFORE

The renovation would entail stripping the house down to the studs and raising the structure to repair the foundation. Costs for the renovation would ultimately total $190,000.

AFTER

AFTER

AFTER

Living Room, AFTER

The living room, dining room and kitchen are now essentially one contiguous space. Karen labeled the design theme for this project "elegant industrial."

Kitchen, AFTER

The new kitchen features enlarged windows, hardwood flooring, dark-stained butcher block countertops, ceiling-height upper cabinets and a serving bar with granite top.

Kitchen, AFTER

Downstairs Powder Room, AFTER

Guest Bedroom, AFTER

Home Office, AFTER

The new office is in the space that had formerly been the kitchen. It features pocket doors and a custom desk fashioned out of vintage luggage pieces. Karen created the framed accent pieces between the windows using beveled mirrors and vintage tile salvaged during demolition.

Master Bedroom, AFTER

The new master bedroom features a wood paneled accent wall as part of the "elegant industrial" theme that employs a mix of wood and metal elements.

Master Bath, AFTER

In the reconfigured upstairs floor plan, one of three upstairs bedrooms was sacrificed to make room for this elegant master bath as well as a large walk-in closet.

Master Bath, AFTER

The Terrace Ave. Project, Behind the Scenes

Karen and Mina prepare to get hands-on at the job site of the Terrace Avenue renovation.

The Terrace Ave. Project, Behind the Scenes

Karen sands and stains the wooden stair treads that will be used in the new staircase.

The Terrace Ave. Project, Behind the Scenes

The Terrace Ave. Project, Behind the Scenes

Mina installs white tile in one of the newly remofeled bathrooms.

The Terrace Ave. Project, Behind the Scenes

The Terrace Ave. Project, Behind the Scenes

The Terrace Ave. Project, Behind the Scenes

The Terrace Ave. Project, Behind the Scenes

The Terrace Ave. Project, Behind the Scenes

Mina and Karen stage the new master bedroom to prepare the house for listing.

The Terrace Ave. Project, Behind the Scenes

Karen and Mina add some decorative touches in the new dining room.

The Terrace Ave. Project, Behind the Scenes

More from HGTV's Good Bones

If you enjoyed this project, be sure to check out behind-the-scenes and before-and-after photos from the series premiere: First Look: HGTV's Good Bones, and you can read more about Mina and Karen in this article on HGTV's design blog: 8 Reasons Why We Can't Wait for 'Good Bones' Season 2