Property Brothers is the real estate/home-reno show on the W Network that gets buyers into their dream homes without busting their budget. The show features twin brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott. Drew’s a real estate agent and Jonathan’s a contractor — together, they find fixer-uppers and turn them into perfect homes for their clients. Here for On the Go Magazine, the Scott brothers were generous enough to answer some of your important real estate and home reno queries:
Danielle: Just bought a house, and our bathroom has NO ventilation or windows; should I expect a complete overhaul?
Brothers: We wouldn’t expect a complete overhaul but the best thing to do first is have a professional contractor take a look at it and provide you with a quote — quotes are free! They can ensure you install the ventilation as per the building codes for your municipality. You have to ventilate the moisture somehow in your bathroom otherwise you run the risk of developing moisture or mold issues.
Concetta: We are planning to enlarge our house; there is a large backyard and we would like to expand the back of the house to accommodate a larger kitchen with an eating area, and laundry facility, and enlarge the basement. What are the first steps in starting such a big project, other than obviously the money?
Brothers: One of the very first things before beginning a large project such as this one is to determine the purpose of the renovation: Are you renovating to sell? Are you in need of more space? Is the current layout of the house not working for you? Your renovation should always add value to the home, and ultimately, make your home feel more like a home. There is a point of diminishing returns and you don’t want to waste your time and money on something that won’t be worthwhile in the end. For example, if you’re renovating in hopes to sell the property for a higher price, while an addition to the back of the house may seem like an appealing benefit, it may not be a necessary feature in the eyes of buyers in which case they won’t be willing to pay a premium for it. Also make sure that you are not eating up your entire yard with the addition, otherwise you may scare buyers away with the lack of green space. Work with an architect who can ensure you optimize the appeal and functionality of the addition. Once you’ve set a realistic goal of what you want to achieve, plan meticulously, create a solid budget and stick to it!
Ensure that you have the finances ready to begin and finish the project, leaving room for surprises. Permits are another key step before starting any renovation or addition. Education is the most important tool — this is a huge task so we always stress the importance of working with professionals.
The Policy Geek: How do we get on the show? Need to create an oasis for my father, who has Parkinsons. Needs to be accessible. Looking in Maui.
Brothers: You can visit the Property Brothers Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Property Brothers ) for instructions on how to apply for the show. We love working on accessible homes and who doesn’t love Maui?
Helen: If we looked at your iPod/mp3 player what song would we be surprised to find you have?
Jonathan: “What Does the Fox Say?” Isn’t that on everyone’s list?
Drew: Tony Robbins or a TED Talks podcast – which aren’t so surprising if you know me.
Crystal: Is there a way to test your home for asbestos without tearing open a wall?
Brothers: You shouldn’t need to tear open a wall to test for asbestos. In fact, if you suspect that there is asbestos in your home, the first thing you should do is call a certified asbestos professional to conduct the sampling, testing and any remediation. You don’t want to disrupt suspect materials as that could be very hazardous to your health. Remember, asbestos only becomes harmful when it’s disturbed.. There are various samples of suspected materials that can be collected and sent in to a lab to confirm if it contains asbestos, including but not limited to, attic or wall insulation, roofing or siding shingles, patches of old paint, popcorn ceiling, and floor tiling adhesives.
Crystal: Did you guys have character bed sheets growing up, and if so of what?
Drew: I had The Dukes of Hazzard and when we were toddlers, we both had Winnie the Pooh.
Jonathan: My bed sheets were much cooler than Drew’s — I had Star Wars.
Follow the Brothers on Twitter
In Canada catch The Property Brothers
on W Network, Tuesdays at 8pm.
In the US, catch The Property Brothers: Wednesdays at 9pm/8c! on HGTV