Amy Matthews' Tips: Renovate Like a Pro

Whether you're on a time crunch or planning out your next big project, the Renovation Raiders host shares her best been-there-done-that tips.

Advantages of Floating Floors

Amy gives the plus side of using floating floors as an affordable upgrade.

Before-and-After Transformations

Fixed in a Flash 53 Photos

See how Amy Matthews + crew quickly take rooms from drab to fab.

Reno Raiders Video Highlights 7 Videos

Watch the crew beat the clock in these best-ever makeovers.

Reno Raiders Photos

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Smart Kitchen Storage Solution

Paring down cooking utensils to a few readily accessible essentials can help simplify both functionality and storage in a streamlined kitchen, as seen on HGTV's renovation Raiders.

Quartz Kitchen Countertop and Subway Tile Backsplash

As seen on HGTV's Renovation Raiders, this kitchen’s rich, dark cabinetry offsets the white quartz countertops and white subway tile backsplash. Sugar and flour containers in soft green add a touch of color to this classic yet updated space.

Country Chic Kitchen

This chic country kitchen has beautiful dark cabinetry that offsets the crisp white paneling and sea foam green walls. Modern meets Southern Victorian style with mismatched overhead lighting, a subway tile backsplash, stainless steel appliances, and a marble countertop.

Green Cottage Dining Room with Flowing Drapes

Slipcovered chairs and a built-in bench with striped upholstery cushions surround a wooden table in this update take on a Southern cottage. Pistachio green walls, nautical sconces, pale wood floors and billowing white drapes complete this mod-cozy look. The made over dining space was featured on HGTV's series Renovation Raiders.

Charming Blue and White Kitchen with Banquette Seating

This charming blue and white kitchen features a wood table with yellow cushioned banquette seating. The white kitchen has glass front cabinets and a bright blue subway tile backsplash.

Photo By: Stephanie Rau / Getty Images ©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Contemporary Open Living Room With Spherical Lighting

As seen on HGTV's Renovation Raiders, this living room has been transformed into a media-free oasis with a contemporary look and rustic feel. Where there was once a solid wall, now there's a staircase that dramatically opens up the space and allows the living area to merge visually with the adjacent dining room.

Hiring the Wrong Contractor

"You need to make sure that the contractor is right for you, because he's going to be in your home, and you want to make sure it's the right contractor," Jeff says. Stephen Drucker, former editor in chief of House Beautiful adds, "When you interview contractors and check references, the thing you want to find out is, how fast do they return phone calls? A contractor who returns phone calls fast has nothing to hide, and it's going to reduce your anxiety level."

Rustic Chic Living Room Renovation

As seen on HGTV's Renovation Raiders, this new space features retro-fitted window trim and all-new window treatments. The fireplace is restored so that it is once again wood-burning and is upgraded with a free-hanging mantel and cleaner look.

Dusty Blue Dining Room

As seen on HGTV's "Renovation Raiders," this dining room was transformed with a contemporary look. Dusty blue walls dominate, but a black table, white upholstered chairs and a white pendant shade keep the style crisp.

Kitchen Renovation With Farmhouse Sconces

New farmhouse sconces in a vintage style contribute to the rustic and relaxed feel in the remodeled kitchen's dining area, as seen on HGTV's Renovation Raiders.

About the Host   

Amy Matthews

Beyond this licensed contractor's enviable set of do-it-yourself skills, she's also a certified personal trainer and actress.
All About Amy

About the Show

Imagine the crew from Ocean's Eleven are contractors, and instead of a heist they are pulling off a major remodel — all while the homeowners are out to dinner. Just like in every caper film, our crew will need intel, a warehouse to mock up and practice the job, and time at the site without getting caught. Those homeowners better eat slow and order dessert!
Season 2, Episode 7

Open Concept Kitchen Reno

Amy's team tackles a poorly designed kitchen and family room add-on for a family who loves the house, but hates the layout. Homeowner Jen, convinced her husband to buy a 1960's house because the size and neighborhood were perfect for their family. But once they settled in, the couple realized the kitchen needed more than the cosmetic makeover they had anticipated. It was trapped in the 60's with a poor layout, rundown appliances and an attached, dated, sunken family room. Jen asked Amy and her team to step in to surprise her husband, Kevin with a renovation. With help from Kevin's best Friend, Erik, acting as a spy, Jen gets her husband and two kids out of the house for the six-hour makeover. The team guts the entire space, refaces the fireplace, adds built-ins, levels the floor, creates a new kitchen floor plan with cozy kitchen nook and gives the family all-new contemporary furniture and decor. The finished room leaves the homeowners speechless and the children literally jumping for joy.

Jan 16
6:30am | 5:30c
Season 1, Episode 1

Kitchen with a View

The Renovation Raiders team takes on a cramped, dated kitchen. The 5-hour renovation includes a complete wall demolition and a brand new center island. The shocked homeowners are doubly thrilled now that they have a view from their lakeside home.

Jun 21
6:30am | 5:30c
Season 1, Episode 3

Open Floor Plan Redux

The Renovation Raiders take on a kitchen and dining area. It only takes the team five hours to tear down a wall, rip out the old kitchen and install brand new cabinets, a kitchen island with a built-in dog house and beer keg refrigerator for a home brew aficionado. This raid is tailor made.

Jul 5
6:30am | 5:30c
Season 2, Episode 9

Amy and Her Team Create a Knockout Kitchen by Taking Out Walls and Redefining the Kitchen Space

Built in the 1970s, Christa and Terry's kitchen is cramped, dated and loaded with oak from the floor to the ceiling. It's in desperate need of a makeover. Terry says Christa couldn't be more deserving of the surprise after helping nurse him to health after heart surgery not long after their premature daughter was finally healthy. With help from Christa's sister acting as our spy, Terry gets Christa out of the house for the raid so that Amy and her team can completely renovate the kitchen.

Jul 12
6:30am | 5:30c
Season 2, Episode 10

A Kitchen Proposal

Amy and her team raid a cramped kitchen, dining and living room, hoping to turn a bachelor pad into a family home. Travis is surprising his girlfriend Lun, with a kitchen renovation made even more special with a surprise marriage proposal! Amy plans a massive new space, worthy of the propoals. The teams starts by demo'ing the entire space, including taking out the claustrophobic kitchen walls and well-worn cabinets. In their place, new horizontal grain custom cabinets go in, along with stainless appliances, a solid surface resin countertop and a unique, eco-friendly backsplash made of coconut shells. All-new furniture gives the space the comfy yet modern vibe the couple likes. But will Lun love the kitchen and the marriage proposal?

Jul 26
6:30am | 5:30c
Season 1, Episode 2

Basement Library

The Renovation Raiders descend on a suburban basement and in just five hours, they transform it into a library/family room with wood floors, shelf-lined walls and a cozy stone fireplace. They even install a bookshelf that functions as a hidden door to the laundry room.

Aug 2
6:30am | 5:30c
Season 2, Episode 1

Problem Kitchen

Amy and her team tackle a kitchen and dining disaster that hasn't been renovated since the 1960s, and is in desperate need of an overhaul. Newlywed Seth wants to surprise his wife Rose with a kitchen makeover since the room is such an eyesore and the couple won't be able to afford to reno the space for many years. With help from their friend, Ian, who acts as a spy, Seth keeps Rose away while Amy and her team reno the kitchen, dining room and living room. They create a retro-Scandinavian kitchen and living area that will match Seth and Rose's design style. The plan is for the crew to demo the entire kitchen, take down walls, add a new floating floor, cabinets, appliances, an island and all new furniture to create a dramatic and beautiful new space. But once installation begins, problems with the cabinet layout and oven installation slow them down and the team needs more than 6 hours to complete the build. Spy Ian runs out of ways to stall the couple and is forced to improvise in a way that leaves the crew wondering if they can finish the job.

Aug 9
6:30am | 5:30c
Season 2, Episode 3

Craft Room Reno

When homeowner Jennifer faced a health crisis, her daughters and husband became her strong supporters and gave her the courage to fight back. Now that doctors have given her a clean bill of health, Jennifer wants to thank her family with an amazing basement reno. Amy and her team will create a fun craft room and family media room to surprise the family. Jennifer takes her daughters and husband to the fair for a planned 5-hour adventure. Her best friend Tammy will act as a spy, and communicate with Amy to make sure the family stays away long enough for the team to complete the job. Amy and her crew demo the current basement, and divide the L-shaped room into two rooms with a wall of sliding doors and windows. The craft room gets custom built-ins including a craft table, sewing station and fabric wall. In the family room, the team refaces the dull brick fireplace and creates a new media center, installs new bookcases, flooring, paints and refurnishes the entire space. But the basement space creates havoc with cell phone communications, and when Amy needs more time to complete the reno, she is unable to reach the spy. The floors and bookcases are unfinished, and the new furniture isn't in place. If the spy hasn't delayed the family on her own, this reno will be busted.

Aug 16
6:30am | 5:30c
Season 2, Episode 2

Mediterranean Surprise

Amy and her team are asked to create a Mediterranean-inspired kitchen makeover in a home with builder-grade, boring design details. Homeowner Kevin wants to surprise his wife, Cathy, who sacrificed her career to be a stay at home mom to their two young children. Kevin has tried to updated the space on his own, but lacks the skills to give Cathy the kitchen of her dreams. With help from Cathy's best friend, Stephanie, who acts as a spy, Kevin takes Cathy and the kids away to the state fair for six hours while Amy and her team reno the space. The plan is to demo the entire kitchen, install all new cabinets with a Tuscan-styled island, new countertops, stone backsplash, new appliances and Mediterranean-inspired ceiling beams. But when demo reveals problems with the floor that delays the project, spy Stephanie must help Kevin get lost at the fair, to give the crew more time for the build. The extensive reno is in jeopardy if Cathy catches on to the plan, but the team trouble-shoots the problems in efforts to beat the clock, and the family's return home.

Aug 23
6:30am | 5:30c
Season 2, Episode 4

Kitchen Makeover Race

Amy and her team tackle a dull, dated kitchen for a family of four who crave more space to hang out together and entertain. Homeowner Greg, is surprising his wife Patty, who thought they were moving into a basic starter home 20 years ago, but after children arrived, they ended up staying. Patty's teenage daughter, Casey, got her dad on board for the makeover, and she will act as the spy while Greg takes his wife to dinner and a night at the horse track while Amy renos the space. The team will demo the entire kitchen and take down walls to create an open flow between the kitchen and living room. They will bring in new cabinets, fridge and dishwasher in the kitchen. In the living room, they will add a fireplace focal point, new flooring, paint and new furniture with the country chic decor Patty loves. But the fireplace and flooring have unexpected delays and spy Casey must come up with creative ways to delay her mother's return home at the end of the night. With a dramatic change in store, Patty has no idea her delays will be well worth it when she returns home.

Aug 30
6:30am | 5:30c
Season 2, Episode 6

Basement Media Room Reno

Homeowner Sara wants to surprise her husband, Michael, with a basement reno because he has sacrificed so much due to her health needs. After breaking her back, Sara needed to find a home without upstairs bedrooms, and moved into a ranch home that fit her needs. But her husband lost his beloved media room and office in the new house, and now has a peach-colored man cave and office area in the basement. With help from Michael's best friend, Jon, Sara gets her husband out of the house for six hours while Amy and her team renovate the basement. They're giving Michael an authentic theater space where he can watch movies and hang out with friends. The team demos the basement, installs a new header to create a bigger basement opening, adds stadium theater seating, soundproofing, decorative columns, carpet, and a new 70 inch TV. In addition, they create a new concession stand/ bar area with a working sink so to make the space perfect for entertaining. But the team runs into trouble right away as they attempt to install the steel header to expand the basement opening, and must consult with a structural engineer. A busy electrical inspector and an uneven ceiling further delay the reno. Spy Michael is able to stall the couple, who are away on a lunch time boating adventure, but when the boat captain becomes angry, the stall must end, leaving Amy wondering whether they'll finish the makeover before the couple comes home.

Sep 6
6:30am | 5:30c
Season 2, Episode 11

Homeowners Hit the Roof When They See a Vaulted Ceiling and New Bath in Their Attic Renovation

Amy and the team tackle a project they've never attempted before when they open up a cramped attic master bedroom, turning it into an awe-inspiring master suite, complete with an all-new bathroom. Homeowner Dan wants his wife Ashley to have a master bedroom retreat, but after the couple tackled renovations on their first floor, they have no energy or imagination to continue the updates upstairs. Amy and her team gut the attic bedroom and leaky bathroom, which haven't been updated in decades. They create a vaulted ceiling with faux wood beams and a chandelier for visual interest in the bedroom and new his-and-hers walk-in closets on the other side of the room. But work almost grinds to a stop when they discover problem after problem in the bathroom, which had been installed without permits by previous owners. When the couple's friend, acting as a spy, loses track of the homeowners during the raid, she tries to warn Amy. But Amy's phone has died and she doesn't get the message that no one knows when the couple will arrive home. With renovations hours behind, the team is in serious danger of getting busted.

Sep 20
6:30am | 5:30c
Season 1, Episode 8

The Downes Job: A Kitchen, Dining Room and Family Room Reno in Just Six Hours

Amy and her crew agree to a huge kitchen and family room reno that requires them to invent new ways to work fast. Homeowner Sara wants Amy to surprise her husband, Nate, with a reno because he had to give up his restaurant when they moved to a new city for Sara's job. Since then, Sara has always dreamed of giving Nate the chef's kitchen he deserves. But with only six hours for such a massive overhaul, the crew has to work smart and fast. Sara recruited a friend to act as the spy, and help Amy keep the couple away from the home. And while Amy thought the size of the makeover was going to be the biggest obstacle to completion, it turns out the spy becomes the issue, leaving everyone wondering whether they can finish remodeling the beautiful new kitchen and great room.

Sep 27
6:30am | 5:30c
Season 2, Episode 12

A Mid Century Modern Home Gets a Beautiful Family Room Renovation

When a couple buy a foreclosed Mid Century Modern home, they're thrilled with the renovation potential—until they get to the plain family room add-on that lacks the character of the rest of the home. Homeowner Ashley asks Amy and her team to tackle the project so her husband Adam can be finished with the 2-year renovation of their house and spend more time with her and the kids. The team decides to bring Mid Century character to the completely plain family room, by opening up some walls and adding windows, adding a retro fireplace and numerous built-ins that were common in the 1950s. With only five hours to complete the renovation and install the design elements, the team is hard-pressed when they run into unexpected complications with the floor-to-ceiling windows they plan to install. Amy calls for a stall to keep the family away from home, but will they buy enough time to get the design finished?

Nov 1
6:30am | 5:30c
Season 2, Episode 13

Holistic Kitchen Update with Juice Bar, Homework Station and Dining Room

A poor floor plan, beat-up appliances and countertops, and no room for homework are the problems Amy and her team solve as they renovate a kitchen and family room. The homeowner asks Amy for help renovating the kitchen to surprise his wife, who overcame health issues with good nutrition. But her kitchen was hardly inspiring and is in desperate need of updating. Amy and the team demolish the old kitchen, and open up the space to allow for a more contemporary use of the area. On one end of the kitchen, they create a tech-friendly homework station for the couple's children, and on the other end, the family gets a new dining room. But the center piece of the reno is a brand new kitchen, with earthy colors and a unique juicing station to fuel the family's healthy habits. Everyone is moved by the homeowner's heart-felt thanks when she sees the surprise.

Nov 8
6:30am | 5:30c

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