The Property Brothers Reveal One Thing That Makes a Home Seem So Outdated

“Property Brothers” stars Jonathan and Drew Scott go to great lengths to keep up on the latest trends in home design. That turns out to be both a blessing and a curse, because when they see something that’s way out of date, it’s hard for them to keep from recoiling.

Thankfully Canadian homeowners James and Ada are good sports on the latest episode, titled “A Home for All in the Family.”

“I have no taste—that’s why I need your help,” says James with a laugh. He’s made some awkward “improvements” to the small home where he, Ada, and their two young daughters currently live.

He’d like to get the home into top shape for a quick sale, and find a new home nearby with a basement apartment for his parents. With his father’s health failing, James and Ada would like to be able to help Mom take care of him.

So it’s the Scott brothers to the rescue. Jonathan attempts to renovate their old house, which Drew estimates is worth about $615,000 to $620,000 as is. He thinks he can do it on a budget of $60,000, and then they’ll be able to list it right around $730,000.

Meanwhile, Drew attempts to find the family a home that’s turnkey, because James has proved he’s not great with a hammer or a hoe—or yard maintenance, for that matter. He and Ada want to spend about $750,000 for the perfect place.

As the brothers race to meet everyone’s needs, they come up with some excellent tips that can help us all buy, sell, or freshen up our own homes. Here’s what we learned this week.

Look for basements with outside access

Unless you want to use your basement exclusively for your own family and for storage, look for one with an outside door and windows, advises Drew. That’s the only way you’ll be able to outfit it as an independent apartment. No renter or family member wants to traipse through the front door and clomp down the stairs in front of the whole family in order to get to their private place.

Get rid of glass-block windows

Remember those glass-block windows and partitions that were big in the ’50s, and then came back again in the ’80s? Well, they’re not likely to make another comeback anytime soon. The first thing Jonathan and Drew note when they walk into James and Ada’s living room is that the front wall is lined with glass-block windows.

“There are too many of these windows,” Jonathan pronounces when he steps through the door.

Sure, they let in a little light, but they make the house look extremely dated both inside and out. The good news is that it’s easy to tear them out and replace them with double-paned glass so you can actually see out. Replacing them gives the home an immediate face-lift.

Clear windows replace glass-block windows, filling the living room with light.
Clear windows replace glass-block windows, filling the living room with light.

HGTV

Diagonal flooring also dates a home

Who knew that wood planks laid diagonally are so yesterday? Jonathan did.

“Out with dated diagonal flooring and in with superstraight planks!” he cries, and then he goes for it.

There is such a thing as too much light

When Drew and Jonathan walk into the family’s home, they look up and notice that there’s practically an entire solar system of recessed lighting in the ceiling. In a smaller room like this one, “you only need lights in the four corners,” says Jonathan. Redoing the ceiling lighting is one of the first things on his renovation agenda.

Cul-de-sacs are cool for kids

James and Ada currently live on a rather busy street, so when Drew shows them a house on a cul-de-sac, their eyes light up.

“I love the fact that it’s on a dead-end street, so it’s good for the girls,” says Drew. Many families enjoy living on a street where their kids can chase a ball (or each other) without having to worry about racing into traffic.

Embrace the ‘fantry’

Drew comes up with a new term for a fancy pantry—it’s the “fantry.” Who wouldn’t want one in their kitchen if there’s room? Well-organized with plenty of space, a fantry can be a huge selling point, as well as a welcome addition to your own kitchen.

This kitchen now has a "fantry," or "fancy pantry."
This kitchen now has a “fantry,” or “fancy pantry.”

HGTV

Do the ‘Property Brothers’ stars deliver?

Jonathan manages to pull off a stunning renovation for $58,000, that’s $2,000 under budget. Then Drew is able to sell James and Ada’s house for full asking price, $730,000!

Meanwhile, Drew finds the family the perfect home and negotiates for them to purchase it for only $695,000, which is $55,000 below their budget. Everyone is ecstatic!

The project also causes Jonathan and Drew to ponder: Whose basement would their parents move into when the time comes? They both agree that it would most likely be Drew’s, since he’s married and will probably give them grandkids sooner.

Bonus: Free baby-sitting!

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