Happy midway point, HGTV fans! We’re halfway through Season 7 of Good Bones, and contributing editor Megan Fernandez and art director Kristin Sims are recapping the reno of a tiny cottage on the Old Southside.
It’s official: Mina tells Karen they are building a Two Chicks headquarters. It will be 6,000 square feet, which is huge for them, literally and figuratively. This episode’s renovation should bring in enough profit to move ahead with it. Well, maybe—the two houses they already did on this street didn’t bring in much profit at all, so it remains to be seen.
Megan: This house is by Cory’s house again. It’s only 800 square feet. How much can they possibly earn from it?
Kristin: It IS teeny! From the aerial shots, it looks like it could be the playhouse for the two-story looming next door. To make it bigger, are they going to go up? I guess not since they like the roof lines.
Megan: Two Chicks bought it as a one bedroom, one bath for $34,000. They will put $120,000 into it to add another bed and bath and redo the layout, and hope to sell it for $200,000 for a $46,000 profit. Today’s lesson: A front door on the side of the house isn’t friendly or welcoming, so they will reposition it. Also not welcoming is the smell that hits Karen upon entering the house for the walk-through.
Kristin: They have left the smell to our imaginations this week. Animal? Vegetable? Mineral? Just general poo?
Megan: More on poo later. The disaster level is run-of-the-mill: dumpy, rotting, a structural issue with the roof. But nothing horrific at first glance, and the joists aren’t terrible. The attic is “disgusting and dirty” with some feces, but it’s pretty open up there. I wonder if they will use this space.
Kristin: It could make decent storage if it’s cleaned up.
Megan: Your weekly Christmas decorations reminder—I don’t even own holiday decor, so it doesn’t cross my mind. Austin gets a promotion to demo leader with Mina home with a sick kid. He issues instructions—down to the studs, boys—and casually lifts Tad up to the ceiling to work on a light. Strong dude. That clip was my favorite giggle of the episode, until bare-chested Tad points out that he is wearing denim “joveralls.”
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Kristin: This seems like the man-boob episode. It’s interesting to learn that Austin pulled the permits and ordered the dumpster. He obviously is more involved behind the scenes than we know. That’s good information since he has seemed so quiet this season.
Megan: During demo, Cory encounters poop too close for comfort. Also, the toilet bowl breaks off the base. Ewww! Karen calmly carries it out like it’s a sack of groceries. No drama. No gloves. The boys are so impressed. She’s like, what’s the big deal? HGTV legend.
Kristin: You nailed it right on the head with “ewww!” Karen’s a strong woman, and a woman sees the job and gets it done. No wimpy running around the yard with the boys.
Megan: Right. As a mom and grandmother, she has a lot of experience with poop—and worse situations.
Kristin: Everyone is getting too much experience removing lathe this week. It’s everywhere, including the ceiling, and it’s driving Tad crazy. Karen decides to save it and use it to create a design on the wall.
Megan: I heard her call the project “marketry.” Is that the right word?
Kristin: It’s marquetry, an inlaid wood pattern. The example Karen shows on her phone is awesome—and I never use that word. But to do that amount of work would take a ton of time. My guess is that they will use the lathe to create a wall hanging.
Megan: What do you think, did Karen and Austin run a clean demo day? Tad didn’t destroy anything he wasn’t supposed to.
Kristin: Yes, Tad seemed more in control under Austin’s direction—or maybe he was just bored by the size and limited trash that he had to deal with. Regardless, much less shenanigans this week.
Megan: To create more living space, most of the long front porch will be framed and turned into interior space. Cory says they haven’t pulled a stunt like that before. I guess I’d rather have an entry closet than a front porch that I might never use. I don’t sit on mine. It’s just there for the mail carrier.
Kristin: Porches were a big thing when I lived in Irvington—it’s one of the things I miss the most about the neighborhood. I’ve also never seen an open porch used like this, but it must have a great foundation.
Megan: Shortly into construction, a problem emerges that might start eating into the already-modest profit: The floor is slanting. Cory and Mina yank up the subfloor and climb down through the joints to inspect them.
Kristin: What happened to the basement stairs? There’s no access?
Megan: These guys just crowbar themselves straight in. They find that the joists—although new—aren’t supported correctly. Evidently their framers did it wrong and project manager Cory didn’t catch it, a repeating theme this season. I’m willing to give Cory the benefit of the doubt, but it’s interesting that the edits keep showing mistakes under his watch, at least as far as we know. It costs several thousand dollars and a couple weeks of progress. Even with their experience, these jobs are never straightforward.
Kristin: Ahhhh!!! Again? Does Mina need new contractors? Or a new project manager? It’s crazy that week after week, she gets screwed. Mina says the floors are “wonkeny.”
Megan: There’s a buyer, Aliye (uh-lee-uh), who’s moving to Indy to start a Ph.D. program. What a smartie! Mina could have a Ph.D. in cute T-shirts—during the design meeting with MJ, she’s wearing one that says “fries over guys.”
Kristin: The design meeting brings some bad news for MJ. He and Mina want to recreate a dupe of an expensive console table they love, and they have a vanity in storage that could fit the bill. MJ knows what that means—another marathon search of their nine storage units for the vanity that Mina swears exists. I would go searching with him.
Megan: Me, too, it looks fun! MJ and Austin would disagree after they go to all nine units before they find it. Fun flashback: MJ calls Austin “Bobcat,” which is his nickname from early seasons. They haven’t used it in a while.
Kristin: So their storage units are shipping containers all over the city on random lots? Maybe they are empty lots that Two Chicks owns.
Megan: You’re probably right. Back at the house, young Aliye swans in with beachy waves and a summery all-white outfit. Karen asks her to help build this lathe wall that Aliye has already bought. I’d be like, no, you build that for me, please. Kristin, would you help?
Kristin: Well, yes, of course. I love my chop saw. I’d like to have input on the design if I’m the one who will live with it. But, like you, I’d also think, That’s what I’m paying you for. In the end, they came up with a herringbone chair-rail version for the lathe project. MUCH easier. MUCH quicker. MUCH less invasive design element. Great idea from MJ. I like the lathe in its natural state, but Aliye wants it painted. Let’s see how it turns out.
Megan: We detour to the storyline running through this season, the new Two Chicks headquarters that Mina is trying to afford to build in Bates-Hendricks. Mina and MJ meet with their Indy architects, Rottmann Collier, who also work on their renovations. Todd Rottmann and Rod Collier just freehand a nice sketch during the meeting, like it’s child’s play. It’s going to have a big front gable, not a “bagel,” as I originally typed. (And now I have a new Wordle starting word.) With the gable and trim that matches the neighborhood, the design will blend in with the surrounding residential.
Kristin: If this was Home Town, they would frame the sketch and hang it on the wall.
Megan: It’s nice to see these Indy pros behind so many great Two Chicks projects, but it’s 45 minutes in and we haven’t seen Iron Timbers. Are you OK?
Kristin: I miss them, but maybe they needed a break this week.
Megan: We are ready for the reveal! Aliye returns with her boo. The house has blue-gray shingles and black windows with crisp white trim, the basis for an “urban beach vibe.” She loves the blue door, now facing the street. What a transformation outside. Too bad they couldn’t move the house to the left, onto the empty lot and away from the neighbor within touching distance.
Kristin: I kept thinking that, too. There will probably be another house on that lot in no time. I love the exterior and the addition of the pink roses. Charming.
Megan: Inside we go. There’s an unfortunate support beam in the middle of the entry, but otherwise, it’s a fetching space. The lathe accent wall—pretty close to your wall hanging prediction—adds a special touch inside the front door. I like the floor, too. It’s different, sort of patchwork wood, but subtle and seamless. I haven’t seen something quite like this before.
Kristin: The different tones of the lathe complement the multiple tones of the flooring.
Megan: In the entry, the dupe console that MJ and Mina came up with is really pretty. It’s like an old cabinet with a ton of little drawers and a white marble top, placed in front of a window.
Kristin: It is really nice, but that was a lot of airtime for a piece that was only for staging.
Megan: It tied in to the reason they need storage in a new headquarters. I love the modern china cabinet in the kitchen, sitting on a counter. So does Mina. She says she wants one.
Kristin: I like that it has an electrical outlet inside. It would make a cute coffee spot, as Mina suggested, but the steam might be an issue.
Megan: The china cabinet takes up quite a bit of counter space, but it adds a lot of character to a small kitchen and it’s functional. I think it’s worth it. Do you?
Kristin: It’s a nice touch, especially with the wood, and at least it’s usable space.
Megan: The mini island is more Mackinac than Mykonos. If you’re sitting there, you can touch the living room sofa. It’s basically in the kitchen, like a cozy cottage.
Kristin: And did you notice the TV in the living space? I think this may be the first time we’ve seen this, or at least one of the few.
Megan: I guess it wasn’t in a spot that was problematic for the cameras. Usually a TV can reflect the camera crew. The backyard is petite, but Aliye probably won’t have time to take care of a yard during school. There’s no garage, but it looks like there is space for one.
Kristin: I don’t know if it’s enough space for a garage, but at least there’s designated off-street parking.
Megan: The primary bedroom is painted a soft blue gray. That’s different for them; they usually have to go neutral so it’s buyer-friendly. The room is very small, but it has an en suite.
Kristin: Definitely small, but enough space, and I’m glad they increased the size of the front window. It not only adds more light to the bedroom, but adds character to the front of the house.
Megan: Final numbers: The reno came in at $131,000, so $165,00 all-in, and it sold for $204,000. Two Chicks clears $39,000. It’s not their biggest payday, but hopefully it’s enough to get rolling on the headquarters and put MJ out of his storage-shed misery.
Kristin: No Iron Timbers this week, but the lathe wall was probably my favorite Karen DIY idea to date.
Megan: I have seen wall hangings with a similar look at Tuggle’s Gifts and Goods, a great local shop in Fountain Square, right in the heart of Two Chicks land. Put it on your Good Bones walking tour, HGTV fans. I’m off to start my Ph.D. in french fries. See you next week!