Brian and Collette couldn't let this 1935 fixer upper pass them by when they purchased it just a year ago. They saw a lot of potential in this Tudor-style home and appreciated the space that the 500 square foot attic offered. However, to make it into the master suite that people are looking for today - it would need some improvements. The attic is currently used as their master bedroom but the attached bathroom isn't much to look at. Lucky for them, their attic-bedroom is already finished off and they only have cosmetic improvements to do. With an awkward bathroom floor plan that must be reworked and a sizeable master bedroom to decorate, will their $16,000 budget be enough?
Amy Matthews and her husband Michael bought their home four years ago because it was in a great location close to walking and biking paths plus the neighborhood also has charming cafes and coffee shops just steps from their home. Their two-bedroom 1920s bungalow has been meticulously maintained and offered just enough space for them. They love the neighborhood and don't want to move right now - but need a little more elbowroom. They'd like to cut the top off the house and add a second story - or make the most of the unfinished 650 square feet of living space in the basement. Because the upstairs addition would be cost prohibitive and might not give the return, they'll concentrate on making the most of the basement space. Going green will be at the heart of the design as they find space for a TV room, a ? bathroom, laundry room and mudroom. We know that Amy can do nearly all the work herself, but is it a good idea to put $30,000 into a basement remodel in a 1,000 square foot house? And will she really see that money back in the end or will the up charge on some of the green products hurt her return?
When Jennifer McDavid purchased a brand new townhome two years ago she figured there would be lots of finishing options to choose from. Unfortunately, the best she was offered was a just a couple colors of boring builders grade materials. While Jennifer plans on living in her townhome for at least another five years, she's wise to think ahead about competing with similar townhomes in her area when it comes time to sell. The top project on her list is the kitchen. She wants to install granite countertops, update fixtures, change out the florescent lighting, add a tile backsplash, spice up the walls with paint and incorporate a decorative flair that her kitchen is missing. She also plans on extending hardwood flooring from the small entryway into the attached dining room and through the kitchen to create consistency. Jennifer is confident that with a budget of $9,000 and her knack for shopping she'll be able to make her cookie cutter townhouse stand out from the pack.
Dave and Carrie Bourland bought their suburban two story four years ago with big plans for giving it all the cosmetic fixes it needed. Now, they've tackled nearly every inch of the house, but haven't totally completed any of the projects. As time has gone on, they've become desensitized to all of the unfinished projects. It's not their dream house and know they'll be moving at some point and that they should finish all their projects so they can enjoy their home now - rather than scrambling to finish everything when it's time to sell because they would lose a lot of money if they had to sell the house "as is. They think $9,000 is more than enough to really finish this house and make it shine.
Brett and Amy Werger weren't serious about moving when they casually stopped at an open house four years ago. But they soon became buyers when they fell in love with all the space the 1968 split-level offered. Over the last few years they've opened up several walls, remodeled a bathroom, updated the fireplace and living area, and added wood flooring throughout their home, giving it a very "current" feel-exactly what future buyers will look for. They want to continue this spacious flow within the rest of their home by expanding the cramped master bedroom suite. They are up to the challenge of another remodel but the expansion would mean removing one of their bedrooms. With 6 bedrooms in their home, Brett & Amy are happy to give one up if it means a more spacious master suite, but can removing a bedroom be a good idea when it comes to resale?
It was a five year search that led Aaron & Cassie to their log home situated on five wooded acres just 25 miles from the city. They aren't ordinary people and they didn't want an ordinary house. They're both University Professors who teach courses on how to integrate technology into K-12 school settings. Since they purchased the 1970's log home as a fixer upper two years ago, they've cleared away brush, replaced the roof, repaired the windows, torn out unfortunate wallpaper and carpet, replaced the furnace and made electrical upgrades. They still want to tackle the main floor bathroom, the master bedroom and the kitchen. Since the kitchen sticks out like a sore 1970s thumb in this charming log home, they're moving it to the top of the list.
Brad and Jennifer Stone purchased their lakeside home six years ago. They really appreciate the water in the warmer months and they take every opportunity to jet ski and go out on their boat. But the Stone family is quickly outgrowing their spacious, but undefined, entertainment room and they would love to update the space to be an area that the whole family can enjoy. Our homeowners plan to transform this spot by creating a new media room and bar for $30,000. With a new media room and bar, they can create the perfect space to both entertain and hang out as a family any time of the year. She's more modern and he's very rustic but they envision Brad putting some of his own elements into the bar. Brad worked as a carpenter in the past and the couple remodeled an entire home together several years ago so they're certainly up to this challenge. But how will future buyers feel about having a bar in this open family space? And can a media room be considered over-personalizing?
It was love at first sight when Nora Passe found her 1926 Bungalow. The new master suite with soaring ceilings, hardwood floors and original woodwork were the things that sold her. She looked past the cramped kitchen, knowing that the pros outweighed the cons. She and her real estate agent boyfriend, Ryan Hansen, figured she could make some money if she brought the kitchen up to speed with the rest of the house. Starting with a $10,000 budget, they plan to open the kitchen to the dining room to create the open floor plan that buyers are after these days. They're both interested in environmentally friendly products and want to be as earth friendly as possible with the renovation. Nora has experience rehabbing another old home and Ryan has made several huge improvements to his own property already, so this couple is up to the challenge of a green renovation. Will they be able to stick to their budget, or will costly eco-friendly products be their downfall?
Kevin and Nicole Murphy had plans to remain in their condo for a few more years...but they saw a lot of potential in an imperfect flip project in a great neighborhood. Originally built in the early 60s, this home was almost finished when the seller ran out of money. The Murphy's stumbled across it and were able to get a good deal in purchasing it from the bank. It's got a few quirks, but one of their problem spaces can be addressed by turning an oddly placed bedroom into a mud & laundry room. Kevin and Nicole are looking to put $10,000 towards making this a usable space instead of an empty room. They would love to tackle their unfinished basement but they don't have the funds to take on such a large project right now. Will adding a mudroom to their home add any value or are they better off saving that money to put towards finishing their basement in the future?
Luke and Courtney Wippler appreciated the charm of their 1910 home when they moved in a year ago. The close proximity to lakes was a great fit for them because they both spend a lot of time outdoors exercising. They've already conquered a major project when building a new 2? car garage on their own but they're not finished yet. While the interior of their home has a polished look the front entry sunroom leaves something to be desired. The outdated doors, linoleum floor and painted paneling make the sunroom a bland, wasted space. Having a $9,000 budget, these homeowners are looking to convert their 3-season porch into something they can finally be proud of and enjoy all year round. These homeowners are sure they will save money by doing most of the work themselves. Though they are not looking to relocate anytime soon, Luke and Courtney are confident that their dollars will be well spent towards creating an alluring first impression for future buyers.
Mark Nelson and Shelly O'Neill are actors who moved from New York to the Midwest-looking for a slower paced lifestyle to raise a family. Their house hunting led them to a home with a huge backyard. Having spent so much time in the city, the yard clinched the deal. They've made countless cosmetic changes to the home that adds to its appeal. However, they need another bedroom for all their out of town guests and the best place to do that is by making the most of the square footage they already have. So the plan is to reconfigure the basement to include a new guest bedroom, complete with egress window and closet. Then, they'll revamp the family room to give it the quality finishes found in the rest of the home and step up the finishes in the dingy laundry room. They have only a $15,000 budget to work with so they may have to stretch their DIY skills to new heights. An additional bedroom and higher quality finishes should add value, but will they stretch their budget too thin and come up short?
Nick & Christine Thompson have a to-do list that includes a main floor bedroom, an upstairs knotty pine bonus room and an unfinished basement. With only $9,000 to spend they think that redoing the top floor bonus room will not only increase the value of their home but it will be a better fit for their lifestyle. This catch-all space from floor to ceiling is equipped with knotty pine paneling and brown linoleum tile to match. Nick and Christine are looking to modernize this room by removing the wood paneling, installing hardwood flooring and adding some built-in shelving & storage to transform this area into a space where they can watch TV, work on the computer, hang out, or where a guest can sleep. Giving this space an updated feel will definitely add equity to their home, but would they be wiser to complete all those unfinished projects on the lower levels first?
His 1970 condo was built 10 years before he was born, but Jed Hirschfeld knew that the outdated space could easily be fixed with cosmetic updates, elbow grease and cash. As a full-time waiter in a high-end restaurant, Jed has been socking away money for two years so he can bring the place into the 21st century. He's thinking that $15,000 will be enough to tear out the weird half wall in the kitchen, upgrade the flooring throughout the kitchen, living, dining room and hall, add new cabinets for the kitchen and a built-in for the living room, plus countertops, a sink, appliances and a backsplash. Jed thinks he's handy enough for the project and he's banking on help from his roommate and go-getter mom to keep the budget on track.
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