Brother Vs. Brother, San Francisco: The Living Room Challenge

The Scott Brothers' annual design showdown heads to the City by the Bay, and the competition gets underway as Drew and Jonathan see who can pull off the most impressive living-room makeover in just two weeks. On hand to judge the first round is Scott McGillivray of DIY Network's Buyer's Bootcamp.

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson

Hand to Hand

In this season of Brother Vs. Brother, Drew and Jonathan are competing in one of he hottest real-estate markets in the US — the San Francisco Bay area. For the first time they're purchasing houses to flip sight unseen, so the challenge is especially intense. Each has a renovation budget of $500,000, and the brother with the biggest profit from the sale of his flip house wins, and all of the proceeds go to charity.

Scott Judges Scotts

Real estate pro Scott McGillivray (Buyer's Bootcamp) knows a thing or two about flipping properties, so he's well qualified as the first guest judge in this year's competition. Here he meets with Drew and Jonathan to go over the ground rules for round 1. It's pretty simple. The brother who pulled off the best living-room transformation, in the opinion of the judge, wins this phase of the competition. The loser faces the first of several grueling "dare" challenges. In this case, that means running up the famously steep Lyon Street Stairs, a familiar San Francisco landmark.

Suitably Matched

Competition is in their DNA. Jonathan is looking to strike back and regain victory after losing to Drew last year in Galveston. Drew want's to show Jonathan what it's like to lose two years in a row. Ready, set, renovate.

Drew's Canyon House

First step: demolition. Drew uses a sledgehammer to knock down the fireplace and wall separating the living room from the kitchen.

Drew's Canyon House

Drew's house is about an hour's drive outside San Francisco proper, in the Pinole community, a desirable area with highly rated schools. The '70s era home was purchased for $520,000 and the renovation budget was $370,000.

Drew's Canyon House

Living Room, Before. Prior to the renovation, a massive and damaged stone fireplace dominated the living room, and the space appeared tired and dated with worn wall-to-wall carpeting and old window treatments.

Drew's Canyon House

Living Room, After. The stone fireplace and an entire wall have been removed, creating a larger and more open space that accesses the dining room and kitchen. New skylights and a large picture window bring plenty of natural light into the space.

Drew's Canyon House

Living Room, Before. A key objective for Drew, aside from removing the intrusive rock wall, was to rework the home's entry to create a more inviting space.

Drew's Canyon House

Living Room, After. A striking wallpaper accent
and low storage unit transform the front entryway. Luxe decor and comfortable furniture,including two leather sofas, give the space a California modern ranch look.

Drew's Canyon House

Before. An odd configuration of walls makes for a tight and awkward floor plan.

Drew's Canyon House

Living Room, After. Removing walls to open up the entry makes for a dramatic transformation. The worn carpet is removed and replaced with wide-plank hardwood flooring, and a statement chandelier added. 

Drew's Canyon House

Living Room, After. A more modern and compact fireplace is added at the end of the room opposite the foyer. 

Jonathan's Hilltop House

Jonathan's flip house was purchased for $420,000 and is about 2200 square feet, with four bedrooms and three baths. It sits on a hillside in the suburban neighborhood of El Sobrante and has a nice view. 

Jonathan's Hilltop House

Living Room, Before.  The house has been vacant for more than ten years and was described as "a handyman special."  It needs a lot of TLC. "I like the vaulted ceilings," said Jonathan. "That's a plus, but other than that, it's looking like a lot of minuses."

Jonathan's Hilltop House

Living Room, After. The height of the space affords Jonathan the opportunity to do some dramatic things. The renovated living room features  a living wall made using live moss and plants. An energy-efficient window helps keep heating and cooling costs low.

Jonathan's Hilltop House

Living Room, Before. Jonathan's objective is to create an eco-chic house to attract sophisticated high-end buyers.

Jonathan's Hilltop House

Living Room, After. A new front entryway with side lights take make for a noteworthy first impression.

Jonathan's Hilltop House

Before. This original kitchen, which was cramped and awkwardly positioned, is sacrificed to create a more spacious living room. In the overall plan, the kitchen gets relocated to the rear of the house to take advantage of the view.

Jonathan's Hilltop House

After. A sleek plastered wall with fireplace insert furthers the room's dramatic feel. The drab gray carpet is replaced with sustainable cork flooring.

Jonathan's Hilltop House

After. A contemporary metal lighting fixture, suggestive of a modern sculpture, adds a visual counterbalance to the bright and organic colors.

And the Winner Is...

(The anticipation is palpable.)

Keep checking back here, and at 'Property Brothers Central', for new Brother Vs. Brother gallleries and updates.

...Drew Scott!

The Dare

To the loser come the the consequences. After being beaten by Drew in the living room challenge, Jonathan must run up the 332 steps of the Lyon Street Stairs in San Francisco. Always remember to stretch before strenuous exercise.

The Dare

Note the stylish 1970s jogging apparel including short-shorts, knee socks and coordinating teri-cloth sweatbands. Brother JD Scott provided the wardrobe. 

The Dare

Runner, take your mark.

The Dare

The Dare

Drew, JD and guest judge Scott McGillivray follow close behind to provide heckles and jeers. The bullhorn is a nice touch.

The Dare

Encouragement from the peanut gallery

The Dare

The Dare

The Dare

Piece of cake. Not even breathing hard.

Next up: Round 2 — California Kitchens.

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