'Good Bones' and the Case of the Forgotten New-Build Home

Mina and Karen head back to Woodlawn Ave. to rescue a partially finished new-construction home that was abandoned halfway through completion.

Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen E Laine of HGTV's Good Bones

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Sometimes you just need to start with a blank slate. Case in point: the new episode of HGTV's Good Bones wherein mother-daughter home renovation gurus Karen E Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk get just a little outside their comfort zone — in this case with excellent results.

The duo, who usually specialize in resurrecting practically-beyond-repair vintage homes in Indy's historic neighborhoods, this time take a renovation of a slightly different sort. For this project on Woodlawn Avenue, in the East of State neighborhood near downtown, they purchase a partially finished new-construction house for $45,000.

Before

After

At first glance, it's a plain, boxy, nondescript home on a narrow lot, with a boring exterior and unfinished framing. But Mina and Karen found that, in its current state, it offered real potential with lots of space to get creative.

We're going to take over this project at the perfect time to do everything right.
Mina

The area where the house is located is a transitioning, up-and-coming neighborhood near the popular Fountain Square. The area offers promise, but resale can be tricky, so Mina and Karen have to be judicious in how they budget and in the scope of their undertaking.

Though it didn't come with the storied history that some of their other renos possess, at least this time they didn't have to worry about a crumbling foundation or a failing roof. (Though, as it turns out, plumbing is another story.) That freed them up to concentrate on things like designing a kitchen from scratch and planning an outdoor space for entertaining with a deck and water feature.

The home’s original layout, left as it was by the former contractors, was less than ideal. But with Karen and Mina's help, and some assistance of their contractor, specialists and rag-tag demo crew, they manage to take what had been a chopped-up, awkwardly divided first floor and transform it into a breathable open-concept space that combines living area and kitchen and features high ceilings and beautiful new hardwood flooring.

Upstairs there's room for a spacious master suite, plenty of closets and two guest bedrooms. The decorating theme for the whole house employs contemporary furnishings and a color palette of blues, turquoise, green and coral, creating a fresh, fun feel and evoking a somewhat coastal vibe. It was designed with a particular potential buyer in mind, a young professional who works from home and was eager to move to the inner-city neighborhood.

Not only is this fulfilling because we built a really cool-looking house, but we also have this awesome young professional who's going to move in and love it and give back to the neighborhood... And that's the whole goal. We're rehabilitating a neighborhood, one house at a time.
Mina

In the end, after a renovation outlay of around $135,000, Mina and Karen were able to realize a profit on the project of around $40,000 – and chalk up another victory in their incremental mission of revitalizing homes, neighborhoods and communities in their fair city.

The Good Bones episode titled "Abandoned Partially Built Home Gets Rescued" premieres June 6 at 10p|9c. And keep checking back here for more new photo galleries, exclusive video clips and show updates.

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