Jasmine Roth of “Help! I Wrecked My House” is used to finding homes in disrepair. After all, her clients have usually tried to go it alone with their renovations, and things inevitably go wrong. Still, Roth probably didn’t expect to find her latest renovation completely gutted.
Roth meets Sara and her boyfriend, Chris, in the episode “I’m Living Here?” The couple bought a house in Costa Mesa, CA, with intentions of fixing it up. However, things got a little out of hand when Chris teamed up with Sara’s dad to demo the living spaces. They ripped up the floors, tore the walls down to the studs, and demolished the kitchen. These two exerted a lot of effort, but, as Roth points out, they may have taken away too much, and perhaps damaged the structure of the house.
Roth has only $75,000 to put this house back together and cover any problems that Chris and his demo have caused. Read on to find out what cost-efficient features Roth adds to give this home a custom look without breaking the bank.
Cover fireplace brick for a quick makeover
When Roth first sees Chris and Sara’s home, she’s shocked by how much of it is gone. From the floors to the walls, this place has hardly anything left. The one thing Chris and Sara’s dad kept was the fireplace. They like the idea of having a fireplace; they just don’t like that it’s brick.
It’s up to Roth to make over this fireplace in a way Sara and Chris will love, without spending a bundle. Luckily, she has an idea for a cheap cover-up.
“We can change the look of this fireplace and keep our costs down by just layering on top of it,” Roth says.
She uses white tongue-and-groove panels to cover the brick, then tops it off with a soapstone surround. This solution saves money and time, and when Sara and Chris see it, they love the change immediately.
“Look at the fireplace,” Sara says, “it’s beautiful.”
Make open shelving more functional with dowels underneath
When discussing kitchen design, Sara mentions that she doesn’t like floating shelves; she thinks they aren’t very functional. However, Roth knows that there isn’t enough room to put cabinets in one particular corner of the kitchen. She assures Sara that the floating shelves will look great and tells her that she plans to make them look a little different from typical shelves.
To add a custom touch, Roth adds dowels underneath the shelves so that Sara and Chris can hang mugs.
When the kitchen is finished, Sara loves the new shelves.
“This is functional,” she declares.
Wine storage can double as art
Roth knows that Sara likes having wine on hand for entertaining, so Roth wants to find a stylish way to store wine bottles.
Roth goes the DIY route, using some leftover wood and square stock metals to make wine bottle holders. These shelves look great on the dining room wall.
Not only are these shelves convenient for choosing a wine during a dinner party, she notes, but they also remove the need to buy a large piece of artwork to hang by the table.
Paint is still the easiest way to transform a space
Sara and Chris don’t have a big budget, so Roth plans to keep her renovation to the interior and the backyard. However, she shows up to the house one day to find that Chris and Sara have painted the entire house, going from mint green to white.
While Roth is used to homeowners’ DIY projects going wrong, she’s impressed by this move.
“It actually looks really good,” Roth says. “This is a good DIY. It’s paint, and it can change the look.”
This is a good example of a project that homeowners can do themselves without risking damage to the house.
Upgrade the yard with an outdoor kitchen
Sara and Chris have a sizable backyard, so Roth wants to make sure these two can use it often. She comes up with the idea to add a fun but inexpensive kitchen area that will help these two enjoy more time outside.
She brings Chris and Sara’s grill over, and builds a table into the side of the house.
“Technically, we could’ve just bought a table and set it here, but I love that this is, like, built-in, you know what I mean?” Roth says. “Like it’s part of the house.”
To make it fit in even more, Roth stains the legs and base of the table the same color as the wine shelves and uses the same soapstone from the fireplace surround for the countertop.
When the work is done, Roth is proud of the space.
“It was inexpensive, and now they have basically an outdoor kitchen,” she says.
Does Jasmine Roth help this house?
With a tiny budget and a house that may have sustained a lot of damage, Roth has to be extra careful at every step of this renovation. With her $75,000 renovation budget, she spends $50,000 on the new kitchen and has just $15,000 for the fireplace, dining room, and backyard.
In the end, she manages to stay on budget, and Chris and Sara are thrilled with the renovation. And it seems they have even more to celebrate—during renovation, these two got engaged! Embarking on married life with a beautiful new home is the best wedding gift.