Listed Sisters just premieredits second season on HGTV-which meansidentical twinsAlanaandLex LeBlancmust be doing renovationsright!
These gals’ schtick is a bitlike a female version of Property Brothers starsJonathanandDrew Scott-except thatthese siblings are easier to tell apart, since Alana (areal estate agent) has long hair and Lex (the designer) sports a bob. And although these Nashville, TN, nativesdo the usual real estate realty TV thing where they help a local couple choose a home, whichthey renovate up the wazoo, their signature approach is about saving money.
We help families maximize their budget by finding a house with hidden potential and transforming it into the one-of-a-kind forever home they never thought they could afford, Alana says. You go, LeBlancs!
In the latest episode, From Tour Bus to Forever Home, the sisterswork with Emma and her boyfriend,Kurt, a guitar player who hastoured with country stars includingJana Kramer, Michael Ray, and Luke Combs.They’ve been living in a 500-square-foot,one-bedroom condo, and want a largerhomewhere Kurt can relax after sleeping in a tour bus for days on end.
Their total budget is $360,000, for purchase and renovation-it’s decent, but hardly exorbitant. The sisters will definitely have to stretch those dollars until they scream to turn thishomeinto something special.Here’s how they do it, and what we can all learn about renovating homesalong the way.
Use flaws to negotiate the price
Of the three homes they see, Kurt and Emma diga cutetwo-bedroom, one-bath, 1,300-square-foot 1930s Craftsman.Rather than rushing right into a sale, Alana has the home carefully inspected before Kurt and Emma make an offer. They find that it needs some electrical work, so instead of the $310,000 list price, they get it for $303,000, giving them a slightly larger renovation budget of $57,000.
Rip outold carpet but save the wood
That disgusting, stained carpet? It could actually be your friend, by protecting thehardwood flooring underneath. That’s exactly the case in this house. There’s just one problem:Thewood flooring is not original, nor is it thick enough to sand down. But the LeBlancs aren’t deterred.
Rather than ripping out and replacing theold wood, they screen and coat, taking off the dull top layer of finish, then coating the floor with a new layer of polyurethane. The floors look fantastic when they’re done!
Use the Crock-Pot to remove paint
The original doorknobs and hinges are made of beautiful old brass, but they’vebeen painted over multiple times. So Lex immerses them in dish soap and simmers them in the slow cooker for about 24 hours (yes, really).
When they remove the hardware from its bath, the paintpeels right off, like butter, says Lex. After a little polishing, what’sold is new again.
Repurpose old doors
The doors are solid wood with lots of detail, but they’ve been painted a gazillion times, and sanding them down would rob them of some of their nice character. So the sisters take them to a woodworking shop, and have them stripped in a giant vat madespecifically for that purpose. This process costs as much as $100 per door, but compared withtheprice of new, high-quality doors, it’s substantial savings.
The front yard is overgrown and needs lots of work, but there are some excellent plants and trees growing in random places. Rather than bulldozing everything, the LeBlancsinstruct the landscape designer to work the trees into the design and to save some of the best plants to replant in other places.
Kurt and Emma will have a thriving garden when they move in, rather thanwaiting for seedlings to flourish.
Installoverhead ceiling fans on the porch
You cannot porch-sit without fans down here in the South, says Alana. So on the ceiling of the wraparound porch with two seating areas, the sisters have two overhead fans installed.This considerably expands the common areas of the small home.
How does it go?
By the time the project is complete, the sisters have remodeled and expanded the bathroom; removed walls to combine the kitchen, dining room, and living room; fixed up a lovely master bedroom; and finished off the spare bedroom as a place to store Kurt’s numerous guitars. It’s everything the couple wanted and more-and Emma is brought totears. What the sisters have dubbed vintage boho style is a huge hit-something Kurt can certainlyrelate to.
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