HELLO, HGTV FANS! Good Bones was in vintage form this week, tackling an abandoned, fire-damaged home in the Old Southside. The renovation turned into a teardown, leaving Mina, Karen, and the gang starting over from the ground up. Thankfully, the job of our recappers—Megan Fernandez, the homes editor for Indianapolis Monthly, and art director Kristin Sims—is a lot easier.
Megan: This is a husk of a house. Completely crispy. Are these really good bones?
Kristin: It’s interesting that they never mention that it was a duplex. More on this later.
Megan: This house has an attached garage, which is rare in the neighborhoods where Two Chicks work. This leads to a discussion on how bad Indiana winters are. Mina says your doors will freeze shut if the car’s not in a garage and you will rip your handle off trying to get in. I don’t know about that. I parked outside for 30 years and never lost a door handle. But my T-tops used to freeze shut all the time in high school.
Kristin: A car with T-tops? In high school? Fancy girl. And I don’t think winters in Indy are bad at all. But then, I’m a Northern Indiana girl.
Megan: I loved that car, but not this house. It is so dark and scary. Get out of that bathroom! It reminds me of The Lost Boys when the vampire dies in the tub. There’s a teddy bear in the basement—that just freaks me out so much. I don’t watch horror movies, and I don’t want to watch this walk-through.
Kristin: It’s the Beanie Babies version of Chucky.
Megan: Yep, horror show: The basement has no footers and water has undercut the foundation. Karen wants to tear it down. Even the guardian angel of old houses doesn’t want to deal with this. They will rebuild, including a new attached garage with a deck on top. What took so long for people to add decks on rooftops?
Kristin: Yes! Love the privacy it offers.
Megan: Out comes the heavy machinery to rip down the house, which is about a foot from the neighboring home, so it’s a dicey job. Evidently the driver is the Helio Castroneves of excavator operators because he gets within half an inch of the other house and power wires, according to Karen, and maintains total control.
Kristin: Can’t say the same for Karen. She runs into the house while it’s literally being demolished to save a light fixture on the second floor. It is this week’s ridiculous moment. And it’s for a light that is broken! The team had to say it looks cool after those antics.
Megan: At Chez Mina to discuss the blueprints with Cory, she’s like, “It’s just a hot mess over here. Kids! It’s hard to keep things organized with kids.” Um, it’s perfectly clean. Did she hide a bunch of stuff in the oven?
Kristin: Well, we didn’t see the rest of the room in the shot. But the kitchen was clean.
Megan: This floor plan is going to be tight. Or, as Mina says, quaint.
Kristin: It’s really tight. But it could work as a pied-à-terre, because you wouldn’t spend a lot of time there. This is the first time I’ve heard of someone having a second home in Indy.
Megan: You mean the potential owners, who live in Valparaiso and are house-hunting in Indy for a city pad. Or likely an investment property. But they have two kids, 4 and 11, and this place is too small. Oops, someone forgot a door to the bathroom. It’s not on the blueprints! Open concept!
Kristin: They fix it by adding a barn door. At least they used vintage doors.
Megan: Updated French Provençal vibe! They are trolling us now. This is evidently what young buyers want. Light colors, warm rustic touches—isn’t that a modern farmhouse? Mina promises a rich, layered interior. They go with affordable whitewashed vinyl flooring and intricate Carrara-marble tile with gold hardware. So I guess all it takes is some tile to establish a decorating style for a whole house?
Kristin: Yeah, it seems a little too the same every week, with a tiny twist to match the theme. The kitchen is so small and there’s limited counter space. Where do you make cookies? Maybe when you come to visit Indy, you eat out.
Megan: Another reason this house isn’t right for the family—it’s not cookie-friendly. MJ is going to add a corner cabinet he has been hoarding for two years to add character to this new build. It better be nicer than those birdhouses Karen and the boys are building as a surprise for the homeowners.
Kristin: No joke! Who builds exterior birdhouses with hot glue? Maybe each week we are taking this too literally? But isn’t the point of every home improvement show to educate the audience?
Megan: Somewhat, but it’s also about eye candy and escapism, too. And now we escape into a great Indianapolis store, Tim & Julie’s Another Fine Mess, an architectural-salvage resource on East 10th Street. Austin and MJ are there treasure-hunting. And they also pop into the Teeny Statue of Liberty Museum next door and look at all the Lady Liberty figurines, toothbrushes, cigarette lighters, Jim Beam bottles, you name it. “Bring me your young, your pre-approved, your millennial masses yearning to live downtown.”
Megan: Onto the reveal. This house looks a lot like last week’s. It’s right on the sidewalk and has an inset front porch and two colors of siding to add interest to the flat, boxy exterior. Totally twinning.
Kristin: Very similar, but last week’s had more space.
Megan: The cabinet looks good. It really looks built in. Nice job, MJ. Worth the effort, right?
Kristin: Yes, and I am happy it is in a small corner where it doesn’t take up a lot of usable space.
Megan: The galley kitchen is practically an efficiency. I do like the big window, though. The black-quartz countertops add a little drama. The gold hardware on the shower door looks very luxe.
Kristin: I was surprised how much I liked the intricate shower tile. I thought it might be too busy, but using grout in a similar tone was a great choice.
Megan: The final product is very pretty and soft. The Valparaiso couple buys a different Two Chicks house, but this one ends up selling at the full $250,000 list price for a profit of $80,000. Dang.
Kristin: I think this was actually rebuilt as a duplex. If so, with an $80,000 profit on just one side, Mina got a great return on her $10,000 purchase.
Megan: I think you’re right and we saw the other half two weeks ago, which they sold for a profit of $74,000. Wehther they bought the whole house or each side for $10,000, that’s a $154,000 profit. That’s a lot of new T-shirts for Mina. The last two episodes of the season should bring totally new houses. Let’s see where they take us. It will be hard to top the Teeny Statue of Liberty Museum.