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House Hunters Renovation

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29 minutes ago, Mittengirl said:

 (Is grout the right word?)

Mortar. 

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Just watched the Denver episode and I agree with all of the criticisms of the remodel mentioned up thread.  I want to add that in addition to the creaky, whiny voices that young women have decided to use, please stop using the word "amazing" to describe everything in a newly remodeled house.  Subway tile isn't amazing, and neither is a new bathtub, wood floors, etc.   Find another adjective to use. 

Yes, it was possibly one of the most boring redos we've seen on HHR, even though the buyer thinks she has "amazing" design skills.  I think she was joking with that comment.  Every time she walked into a house and wanted to knock out a wall, it seemed that the wall had plumbing on the other side.  You can't just knock out a wall that contains plumbing without incurring a large expense to relocate the plumbing, if possible.  She ran into that little hiccup with the furnace flue.  The other thing that irritates me about these owners is their constant whining that they don't know how to do any DIY projects and it would be a huge burden to take on.  That's why you HIRE people to do it for you.  I have a lot of experience with home projects, but there is no way I would tackle a bathroom and kitchen remodel on my own, or even act as a contractor for the project.  Just open your wallet and pay someone to do it for you.  If you can't afford to do that, then maybe a fixer isn't for you.  Obviously she had some painting skills, and could handle a screwdriver to assemble an umbrella.  She gets a participation trophy for that.

Would HH please find participants who want color and a designer who has more than 10,000 shades of white and gray in their color swatches? 

Oh, and about painted brick.  There was nothing wrong with the brick on the exterior of that house.  She didn't like the color, so of course, it had to be painted white.  Painting brick is more than slapping a coat of paint on it.  You have to determine the type of brick and paint it with the appropriate paint.  Brick needs to breathe, and painting it with the wrong paint can cause moisture problems down the road.  In my area, young buyers are snapping up houses built in the 50's (red brick), 60's & 70's (what we call old brick here) and immediately painting them all shades of white and cream.  Personally, I think that causes a loss of some of the character of the house.  IMVHO if the brick is in good shape, don't paint it and create more maintenance problems for yourself.  Work with what you have and save some money.  If unpainted brick ever comes back in style, get your sandblasters ready.    

Edited by laredhead
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Between the vocal fry coming from the buyer, roommate and the realtor and the over use of the word "amazing", I did a lot of fast forwarding. I know her budget was around $125k, did she stick to it? Was there a reason the dishwasher couldn't go on the other side of the sink instead of right next to the oven? Not only would it have looked better, but then the stove and hood wouldn't have been so off centered. And yes, that was totally noticeable and looked like an obvious mistake.  

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17 hours ago, Mittengirl said:

I hate the look of painted brick.  Does anyone have first-hand experience with it? I am thinking in areas with seasonal exteremes the paint doesn’t hold up well.

We rented a painted brick house when my husband was transferred with his job about 40 years ago. The house was built with the intention of paining it a soft yellow so it might have been a special type of brick that was meant to be painted. When we lived there the house was less than 10 years old. From recent photos on Google maps it still looks good, but I don't know if it's been repainted or not.

Where we live now the homes are mostly Federal and Georgian style two story brick and there isn't a single one that's been painted. They would look out of place if painted. 

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Juliet, she went $10,000 over budget.  As for the dishwasher placement, I thought the same thing as you, but I kept going back and looking at the kitchen layout (thank goodness for DVR's), and that was a very short run of cabinet with a door next to the cabinet.  There was no other place for the dishwasher.  I think a white paneled front on the dishwasher to match the cabinets would have made it look less off center.  It didn't bother me too much, because I didn't like the finished product as a whole.  Too bland for my taste.  

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On 5/12/2019 at 5:04 PM, ByaNose said:

I kinda liked the house. Granted it was white but it looked so clean and fresh. I’m sure eventually she’ll have to paint the outside but that wouldn’t be for a few years. I liked the outdoor space. It was just a regular patio area but she didn’t need to spend a lot of money on it. A huge umbrella, a sectional and call it a day. The bathrooms turned out nice. I remember the contractor Ben Henry from before. He was also on Survivor. The one thing I did learn from the show was their is a BFF App. Who knew? I guess it isn’t a horrible idea but it’s not my demographic. I think I’m too old at 55 to use it. LOL!!!!!

Agreed. I wouldn’t have chosen the finishes she did, but the final product was still modern and pretty. Except for the patterned tiles on the fume hood. I know the interior designer pushed for them, but I thought they were butt ugly.

I actually liked the home owner and her roommate and didn’t notice their vocal fries. She was nice and usually open to new ideas. 

Didn’t like the master shower, though. The white and gray tiles were so small that the final pattern looked messy. I wish she’d gone with larger tiles. And I wanted to see her new walk-in master closet. Did they show it?

On 2/11/2019 at 4:15 PM, ByaNose said:

I assume HH hires the designer, right? Maybe, I'm wrong. You are right though. You could go to Lowes or Home Depot and do all this yourself. Unless, you are a complete idiot like most of these people on HH Renovation who can't think for themselves. They would probably save some money, too.

Sadly, that would be me. I don’t have an eye for design, so I know I’d need lots of help. 

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My understanding is the designer only sees measurements, and photos of the kitchen, or whatever rooms they're designing, before the meeting with the homeowners.      The designer is paid for by the show, or else donates services for the publicity.      I'm sure there is some communications given to the designer about what the homeowners want to do about the kitchen or whatever room they want to totally redo.   

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BBH Renovation in NC: I liked how they used that 200 year old wood on the kitchen walls. Also liked that the countertops weren’t white. Didn’t the wife at first say that she wanted an all white kitchen? 

Why had the previous owners covered up those hardwood floors with carpet? 🙄

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It was a 'in' thing to put in wall to wall carpet to soften rooms, and it was as much a fashion as hardwoods are now.     

A friend was looking at a similar house that was older.    The homeowners had pulled a corner of the carpet up, and folded it back so you could see the hardwoods under it.      My friends was thrilled about the oak floors, but for other reasons went with another house.    Later, she found out the one corner, and a lot of the flooring was in nice shape (she actually heard from a man who worked on both houses).   However, many other parts had the dark staining that was impossible to get out, and the floor wasn't the best quality, so the carpet was to hide that.   I don't know if the sellers knew about the stains or not.    My parents put wall-to-wall over their original wood floors, because the floor dried out over the years, and wasn't firmly against the neighboring planks.     

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LA: No white kitchen! Yay! I don’t think I could have gone for the walls being painted that dark, too, but I liked that they went for something different. Seemed like a nice couple. I missed the first few minutes, so what was their profession? I know it was in the music industry, but what? 

The hardwood floors they found were amazing. The Japanese soaking tub didn’t seem practical though.

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I hated the round soaking tub, and I hope they never try to sell because I don't think anyone is going to want that.    Terrazo belongs on the floor, not the counters, and would have looked better on the floor.        I can't believe it was legal for the homeowners to do their own lead abatement.     The kitchen was way too dark for my taste, and the rooms with dark floors were a bad choice.  

The 'secret' door opened right into the doorway of the kitchen, and they didn't even paint the section of the house behind it.    Paint would have at least freshened it up.    I hated the fireplace tile in green.    The paneling removal helped the rooms a lot though.   

At the end when they put booties on the dog to keep everything from scratching was bizarre, or maybe it was to prevent slipping, I'm not sure.    The super dark floors are a nightmare, from water mineral splashes, to showing every speck of dust or dirt that lands on it.   

I would have either taken the second house, or the third.    The third with the atrium roof closed up would have given them a ton of entertaining room.  

I don't even know how the budget turned out.  

Edited by CrazyInAlabama
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1 hour ago, CrazyInAlabama said:

I hated the Japanese soaking tub, and terrazo belongs on the floor, not the counters.     I can't believe it was legal for the homeowners to do their own lead abatement.    The 'secret' door opened right into the doorway of the kitchen, and they didn't even paint the section of the house behind it.    Paint would have at least freshened it up.    I hated the fireplace tile in green.    The paneling removal helped he rooms a lot though.   

I would have either taken the second house, or the third.    The third with the atrium roof closed up would have given them a ton of entertaining room.  

I don't even know how the budget turned out.  

On Property Bros--didn't remember if it was in CA or the US, said  if the lead was limited to so many sq ft, the HO could do lead removal themselves.

On a recent This Old House, I I seem to recall  if the lead is removed, the local trash scavenger will take it.... but the bags must be well sealed.

ETA: DIY lead removal in MA

Edited by sheetmoss

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I know people complain about the all white kitchens but the blue kitchen was too dark me. Maybe, I’m just in paint shock & so used to the white shakers shown before. The countertops were ugly, too. I didn’t like the green tile on the fireplace either. Overall, this renovation was a total miss for me. BTW! The husband looked like Ricky Schroeder before the wife beating charges, of course. 

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On 5/18/2019 at 11:55 PM, LittleIggy said:

 I missed the first few minutes, so what was their profession? I know it was in the music industry, but what?

They were musicians - both play live music at theme parks and he does recording sessions and "a bunch of live gigs" - they had a budget of 725k.

I am doing something wrong.   

Edited by Boothbay
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4 hours ago, Boothbay said:

They were musicians - both play live music at theme parks and he does recording sessions and "a bunch of live gigs" - they had a budget of 725k.

I am doing something wrong.   

I was thinking the same thing. They were like living examples f all the “My budget is” memes. 

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BBHR in FL: I thought I would find the couple annoying, but they turned out to be funny and down to earth. They really transformed that shack. Of course, too much white for me, but otherwise nicely done. Liked that they did a lot of the work themselves (along with “Vinnie, Pauly, and Tony” 😆). Also that they stuck to their budget. BTW, the wife’s house hunting outfit looked as if she was going out with the Rat Pack later. 😆

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8 hours ago, LittleIggy said:

BBHR in FL: I thought I would find the couple annoying, but they turned out to be funny and down to earth. They really transformed that shack. Of course, too much white for me, but otherwise nicely done. Liked that they did a lot of the work themselves (along with “Vinnie, Pauly, and Tony” 😆). Also that they stuck to their budget. BTW, the wife’s house hunting outfit looked as if she was going out with the Rat Pack later. 😆

I will say that shack renovation was impressive. I thought there was no way they would buy that house. They even made the downstairs impressive with the all the beds. Granted, they didn't have doors on them but they made the most of the space. You could have a lot of people staying there who are just looking for a bed. LOL!!!!

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MA: I quite liked what they did. Especially liked how they dealt with the baby blue tile which was in perfectly good shape but the wrong color. The playhouse under the stairs was adorbs. I kept wondering why the hubby looked as if he had been beaten up 🤕 until his wife mentioned the rugby. He goes to work looking like that? 

That third house was a trip. There must have been a big sale on wood paneling and pastel bathroom tiles when it was built. 😆 Who puts tile on the bathroom ceiling? 🤨

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I haven't watched this in quite some time and almost checked out at “look at all this mold” about a two-inch strip of mildew on shower grout and "this is a decent size" about a backyard half the size of an airstrip, but I hung in.  And I got a laugh out of the wife telling the husband carpet wasn’t going to be a deal-breaker and him coming back with a says the woman fixated on having a banister to decorate retort.

I missed the intro, and the program guide just referenced a “Boston couple.”  All those enormous lots and big houses they looked at, for under $600k – that’s not Boston.  It took 45 minutes before I saw a chyron identifying Wakefield.

If they agreed to act like they thought that fireplace was usable, they’re foolish, and if they actually thought it was, they’re moronic - from the first walk-through, that was obviously a former fireplace that had long since been made merely decorative.

In these old houses with <gasp> walls, owners and agents have to know a lot of buyers are going to want to knock them down to create a giant kitchen-dining-living room, so it would behoove them to investigate whether the “offensive” wall is load bearing, and thus be able to assure such potential buyers, “Yep, you can do that.”  So much manufactured drama.

I’m with the husband on hating the glass doorknobs, and thus not wanting to make things worse by using them as cabinet hardware.  But I wasn’t at all in sync with him on his fear of color; I don’t like neutrals for anything other than hallways, ceilings, and trim/cabinetry, so anyone freaked out about a mere “pop of color” just doesn’t compute with me.  Especially with how little color was in the kitchen window treatment; that’s not a pop of color, that’s a drop of color.

The end result was fine - the kitchen is boring to me but functional and stylish according to their combined tastes, the basement is now a usable space (with that play area easily converted to storage in a few years when the kids outgrow it), and painting the tiles gave the bathroom a nice facelift until they're ready to overhaul it completely (I used epoxy paint on my main bathroom's ugly-ass tiles nearly 20 years ago, and am still a couple of years away from ripping it all out and replacing with granite).

I’m confused by the living room, though – it looked like there was a TV with a mirror in front of it over the “fireplace.”  Did anyone who'd not had several drinks before the late airing get a proper look to see what that really was?

Edited by Bastet
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I don't think the fireplace was ever a functioning fireplace.  It looked to me like it was a shallow area where a gas space heater would go in the days before they had to be vented.  My son lives in a house with a fake fireplace like that, and there are many houses built pre-1955 that have those in the area where I live.  I grew up in a house with gas space heaters, and none were vented to the outside.  Of course, houses were draftier then and more fresh air got in through window, doors, and floors.  I live in the south where insulation wasn't a priority in those old houses.

I was hoping they wouldn't coat the blue wall tile, but work with it in a new decor, and just replace the floor tile.  A DIY job on tile sometimes looks like DIY.  I paid a professional to coat the pink wall tile in one of my bathrooms, and it looks like new tile.  They didn't show a close up of the tile, but I've seen brush strokes on DIY projects like that.

I laughed at that huge hot tub in one of those houses.  Was it the one with the tile ceilinged bathrooms?  I also laughed at her dad helping paint when the hubby was out of town playing rugby.  I bet the grandparents were glad when the extra family left their condo for their own house.  No matter how much you love your kids and grandchildren, things can get cramped in small quarters.

I'm always surprised at how huge some of those houses look, and then they give the square footage as 2,100 sf or 1,600 sf, and then I realize the basement square footage isn't included if the basement isn't finished.  Right?  This is from a person who would love to have a basement for storage, or just another get away space.

Finally, I was happy to not see white Shaker cabinets for a change.  I liked the wood, and the choice of color for it.  I, too, would have liked a bit more color in the kitchen window treatment, but if they are happy that's what matters.

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The house was OK, but I can't believe they have a dining banquette, and the three bar stools, and not a dining room table.    They could have put a skinnier dining table in, and skipped the banquette.    

I didn't like the window treatments in the kitchen or dining area either.    I hated the brick on the pillar, and the peninsula just looked cramped.    Having three stools at the peninsula was way too crowded.    If all three are in use, then someone will be crowded into the wall, and another person will have the pillar in their face.  

The cabinets were a nice change from the white shakers.      I'm glad they used the glass knobs, instead of gold or something again.       I didn't think the bathroom tile they covered over looked very good.    A professional would have done a better job, and that would have lasted for years.   

The first house with that ridiculous hot tub was bizarre, but it did explain why a lot of the popcorn ceiling was coming down.      The second they showed the first, and third house were split levels, I knew they were going with the house they picked.  

I didn't see the point of painting the fire place white, including the wood work.    It added nothing to the room, and just looked odd.  

I'm shocked they only went $4500 over budget, but I'm wondering if they did something to waterproof the basement?      There was obvious water in the basement when they looked at it, and I'm wondering if that's going to be an ongoing problem that will come back to haunt them.   I was glad they didn't paint everything gray either, I'm absolutely sick of everything gray that so many are doing.    The little playhouse area under the stairs was cute, but how long will the girls fit in there easily?   

Edited by CrazyInAlabama
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I didn’t like the “peninsula” which wasn’t actually a peninsula it left an awkward space between the fridge and it. I thought the brick was ugly and didn’t fit and the compromise with the fake cabinet looked dumb because it looked fake. If they were going to do something like that they should have just trimmed out that area with the white. 

While the under the stairs playhouse was cute I thought the exterior was to big and stuck out to much since it’s such a small space and they are only going to be able to fit in there for a two more years or so.

Edited by biakbiak
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2 hours ago, CrazyInAlabama said:

The little playhouse area under the stairs was cute, but how long will the girls fit in there easily? 

A lot less time than she said they would.  I forget the timeframe she stated when gushing about how long they'd use it, but it was unrealistic.  (But, it can just become storage space then.)

2 hours ago, biakbiak said:

I thought the brick was ugly and didn’t fit and the compromise with the fake cabinet looked dumb because it looked fake.

The fake cabinet was fine at a glance, but spend any time in that room and it will become distractingly obvious in its fakeness.  Maybe if the actual brick had been usable (which would mean a smaller column, since they wouldn't have had to frame it out to cover it), brick would have been okay in there, but I think it still would have been out of place in the kitchen.  And that big expanse of brick paneling definitely was.  Give him his brick somewhere else, like not painting over it in the living room.  Personally, I hate brick, but I hate painted brick even more.

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SC (BBHR): The HH said she needed two bedrooms (one for guests, particularly her grown kids) then she goes and turns the only spare bedroom into an office. 🤨 Why does someone who lives alone need a dedicated office? I wouldn’t want to climb up a ladder to an open loft if I were visiting. The reno turned out nice, but I don’t understand losing a bedroom like that.

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5 minutes ago, LittleIggy said:

Why does someone who lives alone need a dedicated office?

For a lot of people I know they want a dedicated space that doesn’t have distractions (tv, cleaning the kitchen, etc.) so they can concentrate and than to close the door once they are done and mentally separate themselves from it. Everyone works differently. 

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12 minutes ago, LittleIggy said:

Why does someone who lives alone need a dedicated office?

I do, because I work out of my home office the majority of the time, so I want it to be a dedicated space rather than something cluttering my living room or bedroom as there's a fair bit of stuff involved.  Also, having physical separation between work and personal spaces within the home helps with the emotional separation, which is important to me as I do not - other than under truly necessary circumstances - work outside of my business hours.

I didn't see the episode, so I don't know if it made sense for the HH, but as a blanket question, that's my answer.

Edited by Bastet
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4 minutes ago, biakbiak said:

For a lot of people I know they want a dedicated space that doesn’t have distractions (tv, cleaning the kitchen, etc.) so they can concentrate and than to close the door once they are done and mentally separate themselves from it. Everyone works differently. 

Guess her dogs aren’t a distraction.

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