Comedy and construction: The Property Brothers on home renovation tips, dating and more

June 23, 2024 | Talking home projects and design trends with Jonathan and Drew Scott (WTOP's Rachel Nania)

WASHINGTON — In the past five years, Jonathan and Drew Scott have become household names among home improvement fans.

On their HGTV show “Property Brothers,” the real estate agent and licensed contractor duo prove to couples in search of modern abodes that a little TLC — or in some cases, a total demolition — can transform an older, run-down property into the home of their dreams.

Their sledgehammer skills and keen eye for functional design make the show educational for DIY viewers, while their charming personalities and undeniable good looks make it entertaining.

On Saturday,  the Scott twins will appear at the Capital Remodel + Garden Show at the Dulles Expo Center to field questions from fans and share their best home renovation tips.

But you don’t have to wait until this weekend to hear from TV’s darling brothers.

WTOP had a chance to chat with them before the big event about everything from what to look for in a fixer-upper property to their new country music single. Here are some of the highlights:

So you want to buy a fixer-upper …

Before you cash in your savings and sign on the dotted line, Jonathan Scott says pay close attention to to what can and can’t be changed in a fixer-upper property.

A prime example: location.

Hardwood floors and subway tiles can help you achieve the look you’re after in a home, but even the most expensive materials won’t make you happy with your surroundings.

“Find a neighborhood that you think has everything for access and amenities that you want,” he says.

And try to find a property where the footprint of the house gives you the size that you need. Interior renovations are easy, but adding on additions and levels introduces a number of headaches into the process.

“That’s where a renovation can go way out of control, budgets can inflate and it can become a big problem,” Jonathan says.

Get a thorough inspection and educate yourself on the problems you’re about to inherit, Drew adds. One way to avoid a “money pit” is to make sure there are no major issues, such as problems with the home’s structure, electrical and plumbing.

How much do you really need for renovation costs?

There’s a lot of magic that happens on TV, but skipping the cost of a major renovation project isn’t one of them — even for the couples featured on “Property Brothers.”

In fact, most of the buyers on the show are required to have renovation budgets of $65,000 to more than $130,000 to complete the project — and that’s with quite a few freebies thrown in.

Jonathan and Drew don’t charge for their time, so the homeowners save on realtor and contractor fees. Plus, the network throws in anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 of free appliances, flooring or handcrafted furniture.

The twins say they are often asked about the budget “norm” for renovation projects, but there is no single answer: It all depends on what you hope to accomplish. Completely gutting your kitchen and replacing it with a custom design will run you thousands more than picking out cabinets from a box store and installing them yourself.

Jonathan says the best thing you can do is study your options — from the counters to the grout. “You want to research all of your materials before you even break the wall open.”

About style: What’s in?

Jonathan says one of the home design trends he’s most excited about is the return of color to the home’s interior.

“Everybody’s been very neutral for a very long time, and I love that I am seeing a lot of really bold, vivid patterns and colors,” he says.

The brothers say you will also continue to see reclaimed woods and antique pieces woven into modern designs, as well as technology in the home — like refrigerators that can send you photos of its contents.

And as far as layout goes, the “open concept” continues to reign supreme. Jonathan says 99 percent of buyers are looking for an open floor plan for their living, eating and kitchen areas. Offices, playrooms, and yes, bathrooms, can be closed off, however.

What’s next?

As if hosting three shows isn’t enough for the Scotts (in addition to “Property Brothers,” Jonathan and Drew also have “Brother vs. Brother” and “Buying and Selling”), the two have their first book, “Dream Home,” due out in April. They also recently wrote and recorded two country songs.

“Basically what happened is I haven’t had any luck in my dating life. So I heard that women love musicians, so that’s why we decided to record the song,” Jonathan jokes.

Really, the brothers say they grew up singing on their ranch in Colorado and recently got back into it when they were paired up with a Nashville-based writer and producer.

Want to say ‘hi’ at the Capital Remodel + Garden Show? They’re ready for you.

Entertaining crowds is not new to Jonathan and Drew. Before the brothers got into real estate and landed their shows, they were actors, specializing in improv and comedy.

“We love being live in front of a crowd. It’s a whole different energy,” Drew says. “It’s basically just like everybody hanging out with us for an hour.”

Expect the stars to answer questions about some of their biggest jobs, show behind-the-scenes videos and dole out tips for your current projects.

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