The Most Expensive Renovations On Good Bones

Good Bones' Mina Starsiak Hawk and her mother, Karen Laine, Indianapolis-based home renovators, have starred in their own HGTV show since 2016, and in that time, the mother-daughter duo has done some amazing renovations. From transforming creepy old houses into Victorian dream homes to rebuilding condemned cottages, their company Two Chicks and a Hammer has done lots of big renovations that are nothing but impressive. And while Starsiak Hawk and Laine are usually able to renovate on a tight budget, buying the cheapest, ugliest houses on the block and fixing them up with lots of smart fixes, some of their more difficult renovations have come at a much higher price.

Read on to see Starsiak Hawk and Laine's biggest, most expensive renovations that have appeared on Good Bones. While some of these houses wound up costing more because of big issues with old structures, others were purposely designed with all of the best finishes, effectively making these old houses into what may be the most beautiful, elegant homes in all of Indiana!

A horror movie house turned into a bright, white dream home

In the Good Bones Season 1 episode "Bad to the Bones," Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine bought an old house for the low price of just $4,000, but it seemed these two flippers got what they paid for, as their purchase was a complete wreck. There was tons of water damage all over, and the foundation was shaky. "There's part of this foundation that's sitting on air," Laine said when she inspected the basement. This mother-daughter team worked hard to fix up the house, repairing the foundation, removing walls that had water damage, and painting everything in the house white to make it feel fresh and new. 

With all the repairs, it cost an incredible $210,000 to fix up this house, but it was worth it. While the exterior was transformed from spooky shack to adorable family home, the interior had the biggest transformation. With lots of lights and high ceilings, this space looked huge. Though she once called the house "so gross," Starsiak Hawk later said of it, "Now, it's just awesome." She noted, "This is going to be the most dramatic before and after we've probably ever done." Fortunately, despite the amount they put into the house, they made a profit of $25,000.

Good Bones' Mina and Karen spent $200,000 fixing up a huge house

In the Season 2 episode "Big House Big Potential," Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine bought a large, four-bedroom, four-bathroom house with some great curb appeal. "The outside, already as is, is charming," Starsiak Hawk said in the episode. However, it turned out that the exterior was deceivingly sweet-looking. While these two flippers were charmed by the adorable front porch, this feature ended up costing them big time. "That porch was a mess. Once we dug into it, it was all rotted in the ceiling," Starsiak Hawk said. "We actually had to re-support the whole porch and put in new structure under it because it was so bad." 

The mother-daughter renovation team bought this Good Bones house for the low, low price of $50,000, but they ended up putting a shocking $200,000 into the renovation. That's a total of $250,000! While much of that budget went into updating the interior with a brand new kitchen and two massive master suites, Starsiak Hawk and Laine probably could have saved a lot of money if the front porch wasn't in such bad shape.

$200,000 turned a tiny house into a Victorian stunner on Good Bones

In a Season 2 episode of Good Bones titled "Facelift for a Tiny Victorian," Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine bought a small, trash-filled, 1,780-square foot house. The building itself cost only $40,000, but the house was so petite that Starsiak Hawk and Laine realized that they needed to build a second-story addition in order to sell this house for a meaningful profit. This addition was a perfect idea because not only did it allow these flippers to add on two bedrooms and a massive bathroom, but, as Laine pointed out, they were able to build the second story so that it was not visible from the front of the house. This allowed the home to retain its cute curb appeal.

Starsiak Hawk and Laine ended up spending much more than their $160,000 budget, spending a total of $200,000 to clean out all the trash, repair the drooping porch, and build the second-story addition, but it was worth the extra money. When Starsiak Hawk and Laine were finished, the house looked beautiful, especially the addition, which featured a light, bright bathroom and two very spacious rooms.

This ugly brown house got a new look and floorplan for a pretty penny

Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine bought a particularly strange house in the Season 2 episode "Eyesore Overhaul." The place had a choppy, closed-off layout, making Starsiak Hawk guess that the place was probably once used as three separate apartments. Every part of the house was awkward, especially the chopped-up living room. "It looks like this was one big room that they split up into a hallway and two little rooms," Starsiak Hawk said when she and Laine first toured the space together. 

These two bought the house for just $45,000, and they knew they'd need to spend a good chunk of change to turn this odd house into a lovely single-family home. Originally, Starsiak Hawk estimated that they'd need to spend about $160,000 on the renovation, but after busting down so many of the walls and giving the place a modern look, they ended up spending an impressive $200,000. This Good Bones project cost a ton of money, but it was worth it. And, with all the walls down, the living room looked huge. It's now a great living space, and these flippers knew the open-concept space would be very attractive to buyers.

Mina and Karen gave this home a pricey makeover on Good Bones

While most of the houses that Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine buy are in rough shape, the five-bedroom house they bought in the Season 3 episode "The Half Million Dollar House" didn't look too bad. In fact, the Good Bones stars were a bit disappointed that the house didn't have the usual problems. When Laine first saw it, she was even a little bummed to see the dated but well-maintained exterior. "It's too bad the roof is in such good shape 'cause it's not very pretty," Laine said. "It's one of those tricky houses though," Starsiak Hawk explained. "It's like, 'Oh it looks like it's in good shape,' but we still have to redo everything."

Even though she knew they would need to spend a lot on the renovation, Starsiak Hawk paid a considerable amount for this house, especially compared to the other homes featured on Good Bones: $125,000. Then, she and her mother worked hard on the rehab, surpassing their renovation estimate of $185,000 to spend a total of $200,000. Still, they spent their money well, updating the house and even putting aside some money to give the exterior a new look.

The Good Bones team spent serious money to turn awkward apartments into one big house

In the episode "Risky Reno with Historic Charm" from Season 3 of Good Bones, Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine bought a large house with a weird layout. "This floor plan I don't even understand because I think it was three apartments," Starsiak Hawk told her mother. However, this house wasn't all bad because they found a large attic, which they realized they could turn into a valuable bonus space. Still, this attic renovation cost a pretty penny. "To finish this out we're talking $15,000 to probably $30,000," Starsiak-Hawk estimated. Still, they bought the house for the low price of $20,000, planning to spend $215,000 on the renovation. As Laine said, "Big houses always come with big, expensive problems."

While they did a great job updating this house, it was the extra work in the attic that really made the house stand out. With this third-story bonus space, the already large house felt even more roomy. Starsiak Hawk and Laine ended up spending a whopping $220,000 on this renovation, and while that's more than they planned to spend, it was worth it.

It cost nearly $300,000 to transform this gross old house into a beautiful home

In the Season 3 finale of Good Bones, "Budget-Busting Victorian," Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine invested in a house that was a few miles north of their usual neighborhoods in an area that's known for houses that are larger than these two are typically used to. "I'm familiar with a lot of the Northside," Laine said, "but it's not really our wheelhouse." Still, they bought a large three-bedroom, 2,566-square-foot house for $18,000, and they spent an incredible $270,000 fixing it up to sell. That renovation budget was their biggest one at the time!

Of course, a good chunk of that huge reno budget went into the kitchen, which started out as a small, dirty space, but was transformed into a big family kitchen with massive style. Starsiak Hawk and Laine installed butcher block counters on the large island, and they put in clean white cabinets with a blue arabesque backsplash to make this kitchen look extra sophisticated. In the end, this kitchen (and the whole house) looked stunning!

A 2,800-square-foot home got a huge renovation on Good Bones

In the Good Bones Season 4 premiere episode, called "A Stately House on Sanders," Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine showed off their most expensive renovation to date. While they only paid $65,000 for their four-bedroom, two-bathroom house, they knew right away that they were going to need to spend a lot more to bring this old house to its former glory. "It's awesome," Starsiak Hawk said of the house. "Downside of its awesomeness is it's just massive. It's really big. This is gonna be a big project."

The mother-daughter duo ended up spending an unheard of $300,000 on this renovation, with a portion of that budget going to renovating the elegant, but old, entryway and staircase woodwork. "When we first got here," Starsiak Hawk shared when the renovation is finished, "all this beautiful woodwork was in pretty sorry shape. But it's so much [a] part of the character of this house, we just thought we had to bring it back to its former glory." All the work on these wood features definitely paid off because, when the house was finished, Starsiak Hawk and Laine got to show off a stunning entryway.

A faulty foundation made this Good Bones renovation cost more than expected

In the Season 4 episode "New House, Old Spirit," Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine bought a horrible home for only $4,000. "The house is in really terrible shape, so even though it's a cheap buy, it's gonna cost a lot to fix," Starsiak Hawk said. There was even a big hole in the middle of the ceiling that had exposed the house to the elements, leading the floors to seemingly melt into the ground. It was so bad that Starsiak Hawk stated that it made the house look like "a zombie apocalypse movie set."

However, these Good Bones flippers had no idea how much work would need to be put into this place. The house had such dire foundation issues that Starsiak Hawk and Laine were forced to demo the whole structure. With a clean slate, they rebuilt the house. And in the spot where the hole was, they built a beautiful ground floor master bedroom. The new home cost $200,000 to build, but at least this new house is in good shape!

When Mina and Karen bought this house, it was only partially constructed

In the Season 4 episode "Big Money in Fountain Square," Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine purchased a partially-built home for $100,000. The house needed a lot of work, seeing as how most of the walls weren't even up. There wasn't even a staircase, so Starsiak Hawk and Laine needed to take a ladder up to the second story in order to inspect it. While the interior of the new build was off to a good start, there was not a lot of curb appeal. "It's lacking some dimension," Starsiak Hawk said. So, they decided to add a front porch, which added some interest to the exterior and gave the home a more welcoming feel.

To finish off the look of the house, the Good Bones team installed a wood-tone railing and a metal roof to help the new porch stand out. Starsiak Hawk and Laine ended up spending $250,000 on this renovation, but the extra money they put into the porch was probably some of the best spent.

It wasn't a cheap fix when this Good Bones house fell down mid-renovation

Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine ran into big trouble in the Season 5 episode "The Cottage Catastrophe." The cute little house they bought for $20,000 fell down mid-renovation, so the team was forced to rebuild the entire house. This was a hug — and expensive — setback, but luckily there was a silver lining. "We had some more options once we weren't wed to an existing foundation plan," Starsiak-Hawk stated. So, they were able to turn their petite, one-story cottage into a two-story house, with some added mudroom storage off of the staircase and a third bedroom, as well as two additional bathrooms. 

Starsiak Hawk and Laine ended up spending $210,000 on the home, but it seems that the money was put to good use, as the new house ended up looking amazing. While the original house looked spooky and dirty, it became bright and airy thanks to the Good Bones team. Plus, that extra bedroom with its own bathroom added a ton of value to the home.

Mina and Karen turned this hoarder house into a beautiful Victorian

In the Good Bones Season 5 episode "Victorian in Old Southside," Starsiak Hawk bought a house for $20,000. The place looked cute at first, but Starsiak Hawk then warned her mom that this would be a difficult flip. "It's a little deceiving because when we pull up, the outside, you're gonna be like 'Oh, that's cute as a button, it's fine.' The inside's a whole 'nother story," Starsiak-Hawk said.

Of course, the house was a mess. Not only had it sustained fire damage, but the place was filled with trash. They needed to make this place feel homier, and one way they did that was by spending big bucks to transform the trash-filled kitchen into a welcoming cooking space with a massive island, marble countertops, and double-stacked cabinets. "Before, you walked into the space just through a doorway and it was a bigger mound than it was in the front so you couldn't see anything," Starsiak-Hawk explained. "We pulled the kitchen up to the space that was likely the dining room, and then obviously everything's new." They ended up spending $210,000 on this beautiful renovation.

This trashed old biker bar became a lovely home thanks to a hefty budget

Good Bones' Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine did one of their most expensive renovations in the Season 5 episode "Old Biker Bar." While they spent $35,000 on a gross old house filled with trash (via Apartment Therapy), they were intrigued by the rumor that this house was once used as a biker bar. As they dug through the trash, they decided that the rumor was true, since the layout seemed to work for a bar. However, they had to figure out how to turn this bar into a single-family house.

Unfortunately, much of the old house was just too worn out, so they tore down the back of the house and added a new addition. "The original portion, this front like 4 or 500 square feet, is the only thing that we kept and made a huge addition on the back," Starsiak Hawk shared, "but from the street, it still has the same shape and façade." The mother-daughter team spent a total of $230,000 on this renovation. It was a big investment, but that money went a long way.

Karen and Mina built this house from scratch, so, of course, it cost a lot

In the Good Bones Season 5 finale, "The Gloriously Glam House," Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine built a house for a couple of friends. They bought the empty lot for just $3,000 and then built a beautifully custom house with a stylish garage door and a lower level den with a wet bar. They didn't always stick to the original plans with this house, changing their minds and switching styles to work with the future homebuyer's tastes. However, all their changes were beautiful choices, especially the new ceiling feature. "The vault wasn't on the plans either, we decided midway to vault," Starsiak-Hawk said. "Obviously the right choice."

This custom build ended up costing a shocking $350,000 (via Indianapolis Monthly), which is more than Starsiak Hawk and Laine have ever spent on a Good Bones renovation. It was a lot of money, but the new owners were thrilled to have their brand new, custom home.