Young couple Matt and Kate are just starting their lives together. He's a professional musician who spends a lot of time rocking out with the boys. Kate has just finished college and is now a dental hygenist. The two have been living with Kate's parents. They've been dating for several years, and Matt is almost ready to propose. But things are starting to get cramped at Mom and Dad's-so the couple is looking for a place to call their own. After searching throughout the city, the couple zeroes in on a two-story semi-detached with a yard for their dogs and a garage for Matt's tools. They've got a renovation budget of $60,000. Matt is sure he can handle all the work himself. But to help form a design plan, Kate needs a pro. They meet their designer, Alexandra, who'll be tasked with meshing Matt's bare-bones, industrial leanings with Kate's warm and homey desires. Alex's elaborate designs could break the bank, so Matt's counting on her to come up with ways to bring on the chic with reclaimed items and plenty of DIY projects for Kate. The couple decides to move into the basement while they concentrate on the renovation. Moving from one tight space to another is more than enough reason to get the job done.
Matt is ready to fix up the living room, buy a big screen tv-and start watching it. But Kate has other plans. She wants to renovate the master bedroom, and create a quiet hideaway far removed from the dusty, noisy construction. Matt agrees to renovate the bedroom, but only if he can get a wood-burning fireplace, and of course, a big tv. And no wallpaper. Alexandra's design gives Kate everything she wants and leaves nothing for Matt. A fireplace would break the bank, leaving no money for the rest of the room. So Alex comes up with an idea: a candle box with a mirrored inset. And it's Matt's job to build it. Once again Matt brings Simon in to help build his and her's closets. Matt's not thrilled with the idea of a fireplace niche, and even less enthused with Alex's choice of wallpaper for the room,but her design for the bathroom worked, so he takes a leap of faith and trusts her judgment. And the DIY projects she devises a padded headboard and reclaimed benches and dressers save the couple cash and win Matt over. Even though the couple is thrilled with the room, Alex once again went over budget. They've now spent almost $11,000 on just two rooms. If they want to finish the entire house, they'll have to reel in the spending.
With two rooms upstairs finished, there's only one bedroom left to complete before Matt and Kate can move out of the dingy basement. But with the summer season fading fast, Kate votes to redo their overgrown backyard. Alex wants to minimize the yard's bowling alley effect by breaking it up into three spaces: an entry/grill area, a dining area and a place to lounge. Matt breaks out the jackhammer to break up the old concrete and prep it for plantings. To create privacy, they opt to save cash by building a willow fence instead of cedar. But Kate splurges on a stone walkway and patio. In the end, the backyard is exactly what she wanted. But once again, they've gone way over budget, by $700. With only three spaces completed, they've already spent $16,937.
The bathroom, bedroom and backyard are finished, but Matt and Kate are still living in their cramped basement. It's time to take on the spare bedroom so that the couple can finally move upstairs. Matt sees the room as a chance to save cash by going sparse - a can of paint and a bed. Kate has other ideas. She wants to turn the room into a walk-in closet for her, maybe with a futon for guests. Kate's plan is put into action, but when Alex asks for more money for custom closets, fabric and wallpaper, Matt puts his foot down. After a heated talk about finances, Matt gives in and vows to do what he can to save money. Even if it means hanging wallpaper. Kate gets the DIY bug when she helps Alexandra reclaim an old chair, but it won't be enough to keep this project out of the red. Will Matt get his money's worth?
With the upstairs entirely finished, Matt and Kate can concentrate on the first floor. But rather than starting a kitchen or living room makeover, they decide to go for curb appeal at the front of their house. Matt loves the recently-added sunroom, and he convinces Kate to let him keep it. Alexandra has an idea to open up the space: folding glass doors. But they won't come cheap. If they want the doors, a new stone walkway, new plants and furnishings, they'll spend nearly $11,000! Matt's able to tear out the sidewalk without a hitch, but when he tries to demo a portion of the sunroom, all he finds is rot. Will the sunroom survive? Or will the damage require even more money to fix? The planting's are in and the new sidewalk is down, but Matt's getting fed up--his renovation is turning into a money pit.
The front yard and walkway are complete, but the sunroom project is now behind schedule and way over budget. Kate's been splurging on every room. Now, it's Matt's turn. He insists on a heated floor for the sunroom. The couple gives Alexandra a budget of $2000 to make it happen, and she's determined to finish the project at or under budget. While Matt and Simon lay down the floor, Kate and Alex find discounted fabrics for curtains and seating. Kate even helps Matt lay the flooring. And for the first time, Alex delivers a design that costs less than expected.
With the upstairs and exterior complete, Matt and Kate take on the main floor. Matt thinks it'll be easier to treat the open floor plan as one big job. They want to add privacy to the stairwell to the basement, and the drab stairway to the second floor need to be reworked, too. And Matt demands a fireplace in the living room along with a spot for a giant television. It's a big job for Matt, but doing it himself will save the couple cash, and Alex finds some hickory flooring that will add a sophisticated tone to the space.
Matt and Kate can't wait to get started renovating the kitchen. But they can't agree on the design. Kate wants a warm and cozy country kitchen. Matt wants modern and industrial. Alex is challenged with combining their two tastes. The budget will be their most expensive job yet: $15,500 for appliances and custom cabinetry. Alex and Kate find a collection of antique jars and plates to stock the kitchen, and Matt puts all of his DIY skills to work by installing the cabinets and backsplash.
The kitchen job took a huge bite out of their budget. The couple is beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but they've only got $5800 for the remaining jobs. The dining room is next on the list. Matt sees it as a chance to save money by finding used furniture and window treatments. Kate wants to splurge on a new set of everything-but a quick shopping trip changes her mind. Her parents give her an old table, and Alex transforms it into the centerpiece of the room. And Kate
The living room is the final room on the list. Matt doesn't care what Kate and Alex have planned for the room as long as he gets his television. Kate has to have a computer space, so Matt takes advantage of a dead space underneath the stairs. He designs and builds a desk made from antique barn wood, adding a rustic, loft-ish vibe to the room. Alexandra's plan to use aircraft cable as a stair railing backfires when the design comes in at over $4000.
With the reno winding down, Matt wants to use the remaining cash to set up a workspace in the garage. But Kate thinks a guest room downstairs would be more useful. They only have about $1500 left. But Matt has set aside $5,000 in an emergency fund. The couple decides to tap into the fund and makeover the basement. Alex's design incorporates a music/rec room with a guestroom. Matt's got plenty of DIY projects to complete: new countertops, a table an
The very last room on Matt and Kate's epic renovation agenda is the garage. Kate decides to give this room to Matt; her only requirement is that it still function as a garage. Matt wants a workspace for his projects, and a place to store his tools. Alex has a wild idea to build a dividing wall with Matt's favorite thing, wallpaper. Matt thinks it's a horrible idea, but by now he trusts Alex's judgment. When the project's done, Matt's thrilled with the results. The couple decides to throw a dinner party to celebrate. At the end of the night, Matt pops the question to Kate.