Country girl Ariana recently moved to the Big Apple to an historical Upper Westside brownstone. After being burned by a slew of contractors, she decides to act as her own general contractor. With her parents help, she fixes the old plaster walls, installs hardwood flooring throughout, and completely remodels the tiny kitchen. Working in a small space on a tight deadline at the top of a fourth-floor walk-up doesn't get this determined DIYer down. Watch as this ancient apartment is transformed into a single city gals dream pad on a realistic budget.
Donna and Toni live a few houses down from Toni's childhood home. They love the family-friendly neighborhood, but need more space for their three-year old twins. The solution: a second story dormer addition that will accommodate three new bedrooms and a master bath. Once they demo the walls of the existing structure, their contractor will complete the exterior shell. Then, they will frame the upstairs bedrooms, tile and install bathroom fixtures, and lay new hardwood floors. But an unforeseen complication threatens to delay their project and inflate the budget. Will this family save 10 grand or have to put the power tools back in their contractor's hand?
Tom and Clara finally closed on their first home, an old firehouse they are turning into a three-floor family unit. They will replace the kitchen tiles to match the wood in the rest of the home and refinish the existing floors on all three levels. Not to mention gut the entire kitchen. With smart shopping and helpful tips, these soon-to-be newlyweds should be able to heat this place up. With Clara's gigs and Tom's weekday work schedule forcing these two to work late into the night, will the money in their pocket be worth the lack of sleep?
Jim and Karen's house is known as a poolside paradise. The current screened-in porch, however, isn't the best home office. Jim demolishes it for a two-story addition with a veranda roof deck that will make this castle complete. While the contractor builds the structure and seals it off from the impending rain, Jim finds his deals in the details. He installs his own radiant floors and flooring, builds a custom bar for the all-season room, and puts in an organizational system for the new walk-in closet on the second floor. With Jim's hands-on involvement and physical labor, this couple manages to save money and keep the cool amenities that make their house the neighborhood hot-spot.
Pete and Jillian are newlyweds who plan to turn their above-ground unfinished basement into a relaxing family den. But with their uneven floors and complicated soffit system, taking this room from cold to cozy is costing them more than they budgeted. By strapping on the tool belt to frame the soffits, reface the fireplace, and finish the floors, combined with some serious bargain hunting, these two just might have enough left over for furniture. That is, if they ever could pass those pesky inspections so they can finish.
Lynn and her husband Rolf cannot stand their pink kitchen: countertops, cabinets, and tile. A complete remodel seems the easiest way to open up the room to accommodate more storage for the family of three. Lynn knows more cabinets means higher costs, coupled with their new windows and new hardwood floors. They work with their contractor to cut their labor costs and smart-shop their way to savings. Can these two get this kitchen out of the pink and keep their bank account out of the red?
Jeff and his wife Elizabeth moved from the city to a large house in the suburbs. They love their outdoor space that they share with two dogs and would like to replace the old deck, create a new patio and lounge area. With bids coming in at $15,000 over their initial budget, they are in desperate need to save money by doing the work themselves. While their contractor takes care of the structural and permitting issues, Jeff lays the new deck, installs a cobble systems patio, and replaces his old sliding doors to save himself some dough and create a relaxing outdoor space. But with permitting delays and bad weather threatening the work, will Jeff get more than he bargained for?
Amy and Reggie bought their new home at an estate sale and love the space, but know the old house is going to need a lot of work. They decided to start in the heart of the home, the kitchen, with its orange, flower-decaled cabinets that are hanging off their hinges. After factoring in the cost of moving and the work that is needed on the rest of the home, they hope to save money by doing their own demolition, assembling their new cabinets, tiling and installing new floors on their own, without the help of a general contractor. Will their new kitchen set the stage for their dream home, or become a money pit that delays work on the rest of the home?
Nate and Jillian have their hands full with infant twins but that hasn't stopped them from dreaming of a great room that will house their growing family. They need their contractor's help to install a steel beam in a load bearing wall they are knocking down, but they will redo their fireplace facade, install new flooring, and install their own speaker system for their new entertainment center to save money. With two babies in the home, this couple needs to save big, but will their busy schedules allow them to get the work done before their kids start to walk?
Tony and Erika think that renovating their upstairs will be a breeze. They soon realize that the two bathrooms included in the plans means double the fixtures, tile and plumbing cost. This couple needs to stretch their budget so they can include their master bedroom closets and floors in the project, so they decide to nix the contractor and do the work themselves. Tiling becomes competitive as the two work in tandem to renovate both the master and hallway bath. Did they bite off more than they can chew, or will they bask in the glory of a new closet organizational system with the savings they achieve?
George didn't know what he was getting into when he started some minor renovations on his family living room. After starting work in the foyer, he noticed that the entire area, including the dining room was not properly supported and front windows were improperly framed. As his home was stripped to studs and his budget ballooned, he and his wife Shelley decided that they would need some help to get the rest of the work done. Using the power of friends and family they will install new supports for the front of the home, reframe the windows and refinish the floors while they are at it.
Homeowners Denise and Christina are members of a female punk group, Sister Funk. While their home is a popular hangout for the band when not on tour, their small, outdated kitchen fails to entertain. Between gigs and work, will these ladies have time to hang their own cabinets, tile their new floor and find ways to save big? With a few tips from our host and little help from the rest of the girls, these ladies are sure to achieve a rockin' new kitchen on their modest budget. That is, unless the wait for a home-cooked meal kills them in the process.
Kevin and Jeanne have been planning to add a front porch to the home they have lived in for 25 years. After two years spent planning and permitting, they have already cut into their budget and have decided to save money by doing the rest of the work themselves. Kevin works as his own GC to replace the old windows, add a new front porch and even continue his work to the back of the home by replacing their rear deck. Will their long awaited porch get done on a dime and on schedule? Or will they have to wait another two years to see this project completed?