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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: A Budget To Burn

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[ Singsongy ] Whoa, secret passageway!

California newlyweds Megan and Robbie

are ready to buy their first home,

but even with a $1.3 million budget,

finding a place with everything they want may be a tall order.

These countertops are, like, up to my knees.

Welcome to 1975.

Yeah, seriously.

This looks like my grandma's house.

-Ooh, it's little. -There's a little guy.

You're gonna have to, like, limbo on in here.

[ Laughs ]

NARRATOR: Once they find a house, they'll need to tackle

some major projects and problems to make it their own.

How much is that gonna cost?

-We're looking at $12,000. -Oh, my gosh.

There's a problem.

Yeah? What's that?

NARRATOR: But if they can survive the struggles,

they'll wind up with their dream home.

I could not be happier. The house looks awesome.

[ Doorbell rings ]



I love how this has got bar and garden stuff.

It's such a good combo.

I'm Robbie, and I manage a sales team for an Internet company.

I'm Megan, and I'm an English teacher.

We also have two cats, Dexter and Oliver.

They're fat and fluffy.

What do you think of this guy?

We're wine shopping, Robbie. Stay focused.

All right. Focus.

We met online about five years ago

and pretty much never stopped hanging out ever since.

And now we've been married for a year.

Do you guys want any toast?

Our lease was up, and so we're currently crashing

with my brother, Cobb,

who has graciously taken us into his living room

while we look for a house.

-Do you have a knife over here? -Yeah, sorry.

Oh, it's good.

It's a little tight, but we're making it work.

NARRATOR: So with a budget of $1.3 million,

they're anxious to find their first home,

and they'd like to be in a walkable neighborhood

with plenty of shops and restaurants.

But in L.A.'s pricey real estate market,

they know they'll have to take on some projects.

Megan is definitely more handy than me.

I remember actually in the first week we were dating,

there was a problem with my toilet,

and Megan just popped the top open --

[ Laughs ]

...and fiddled around and fixed it.

I'm a handy woman.

Also, my mom and dad built their own house,

so it's in our blood or in my blood to do a house project.

I really like a California Craftsman.

I love a big front porch and how symmetrical they are,

and then on the inside,

I would like to have, you know, more traditional touches,

kind of some wainscoting, some crown molding.

I would love something like this for our house.

Type of home I'm looking for with the exterior

is something that reminds me of where I grew up in the Midwest,

so I really like a traditional style.

On the inside, I'm more interested

in a mid-century modern style,

so something that lets in a lot of light, clean lines,

open spaces.

I'm also quite a tall guy.

I'm 6-foot-7, so I think high ceilings

would be imperative for us.

NARRATOR: They'd also like 3 bedrooms and 2 baths

with a spacious master closet.

I have a shoe collection,

and I would like them to live somewhere,

so I would definitely be looking for larger closet space.

I also really love reading, and I would really love

to have some built-in bookshelves.

I have a lot of books,

and I would love to have them all around me.

I think you wouldn't do bookshelves if you could choose.

I think books are great to be read

and then passed on to someone else to read.

He called books reading trophies,

which killed my English teacher heart. [ Laughs ]

[ Laughs ]

This is an interesting kitchen.

I like this open shelving, but I don't know about

this tweedly-dee thing down here.

-Tweedly-dee? -It's too tweedly-dee.

I really like cooking, so I'm looking forward

to having more of a chef's kitchen,

definitely an island,

get everyone in there for some wine nights

and just gather around.

And also higher countertops

so I can actually help in the kitchen.

It looks like a pathetic excuse for a yard to my mind.

We're the Goldilocks of yards?

That's right, just right.

I have recently taken up gardening,

particularly succulents,

so I'm looking for some backyard space

where I can plant my plants and get more into that.

The other thing I was really interested in is a pool.

I've always been a swimmer, so it'd be really fun to be able

to just jump in your pool out back.

I think the biggest challenge we're gonna face

is just the competitiveness of the market.

So many people want to move to L.A.

So many people want to move into homes.

With all this pressure and just the limited inventory,

it's just gonna be really aggressive.

NARRATOR: Today, Robbie and Megan are

seeing a traditional home in Silver Lake,

about 40 minutes from his brother

and a short walk from shopping and dining.

This is it.

Not a Craftsman, but it's kind of cute.


-I like the porch. -Mm-hmm.

I do love the carport.

In case we get a massive RV, we can park there.

How big is this house?

2-bedroom, 1.75 baths,

1,556 square foot, $949,000.

Not bad.

But the average price point for a home like this

in this neighborhood is a little closer to $1.2 million,

so I think we can expect a bidding war on this one.

It's gonna be pretty competitive.

I love the style, but the house only has 2 bedrooms,

and I don't love the idea of getting dragged

into a bidding war.

A friend of ours got pulled into one,

and the house ended up going for $200,000

over asking, which is just crazy to think about.

-Wow! -Oh, man.

Look at these floors!

Look at this view, beautiful.

And Robbie didn't even hit his head on the way in,

so it passed that test.

Yeah, we have to keep an eye on that.

Look how beautiful the light is in here.

It's amazing.

Lots of great details, you know, the molding, and then in here,

in the dining room, you see the wainscoting goes around?

Oh, yeah. I love this.

Yeah, Megan actually is a big cook, so...

Oh, yeah?

...a dining room is an important piece of the equation,

but the kitchen is looking a little iffy in there.

Welcome to 1975.

Yeah, seriously.

This looks like my grandma's house.

These tile countertops...

Yeah, they're kind of short, too.

I feel like, if I'm gonna really cook in here,

I'm gonna have a tough time.

I feel like, if we actually took out this whole wall

and opened this up and really connected the kitchen

to the dining room, that could be pretty awesome.

Wait, look at this. [ Laughs ]

-It's a blender! -Check that out!

Hello, 1975.

[ Machine whirring ] -Very cool.

Works. Anybody want a smoothie?

NARRATOR: Just off the kitchen, they see the master bedroom.

Okay, that's weird.

You don't like coming from our kitchen right to your bedroom?

Well, I guess it's a shortcut. This is really pretty, though.

Look at these built-ins.

Although I don't think that's that much closet space.

Might not get the job done.

NARRATOR: Down the hall, thy see the full bathroom.

Back to 1975.

Yeah, this might need a little work.

Got that '70s character.

This sort of bomb shelter of a shower over here.

Is there even a light?

-Nope, no light. -Just a cave.

-Just a shower cave. -[ Laughs ]

NARRATOR: Just next door, they see the guest room...

-This is actually pretty big. -Yeah.

NARRATOR: ...before heading downstairs

to see the finished basement.

This is, like, your party zone.

I know. It's even got a fireplace. That's fun.

Look at this bar area. Let's get in here.


Could be fun for, like, ladies' wine night.

Can I get you guys something? [ Laughs ]

This bonus space totally makes up for the lack

of a third bedroom.

If we remove the wood paneling and the '70s linoleum,

that would give it a much more mid-century modern vibe,

and it would be a great place to entertain.

This is actually a pretty big laundry room.

It's got the bathroom off of it.

It's a little outdated, but I think it'll work.

NARRATOR: A door off the laundry room leads to the backyard.

-This is huge! -Look at this, Robbie.

You have your pool back here.

I feel like it's more of a koi pond.

Huge lot, like, over 15,000 square feet.

If you did want to do a pool, there's definitely room.

It's gonna be a lot of work back here, though.

I was gonna say, this is a lot of yardwork,

but I do love plants, so this could be fun.


The potential for this backyard is amazing.

We have the space to do whatever we wanted,

but first we'd have to take out the koi pond

and that weird dog cage and landscape the whole thing,

which is gonna take a lot of money and a lot of work.


Really nice hardwood floors.

It's got a great view, really good light in here.

Silver Lake, cool neighborhood.

Kitchen is definitely gonna need some love.

The kitchen's bad.

That bathroom is gonna need some love.

It does have that cool '70s basement, though,

and then it has the backyard,

which I think is great and a challenge.

The other thing about the house is,

I was kind of thinking about a pool,

but I feel like the biggest thing

we're just gonna have to consider

is where the price actually ends up.

As you said, if it gets into a bidding war,

that could really just start to fall outside of our budget.

NARRATOR: So Ryan has lined up a home

that he thinks will have more of what they're looking for.

ROBBIE: It's definitely a statement piece.

-Maybe too statement for you. -Possibly.

COBB: Are you making an omelet or just eggs?

NARRATOR: Newlyweds Megan and Robbie are crashing

at his brother Cobb's apartment in Culver City, California

while they search for their first home.

With a budget of $1.3 million,

they've already seen a traditional

listed at $949,000,

but it didn't have a pool, and they worried that,

in the popular Silver Lake neighborhood,

the house could go into a bidding war,

which would leave them with less money

to update the kitchen and bathrooms.

So their agent Ryan has asked a colleague

to show them her listing in Glendale, California,

a more suburban area about 45 minutes from his brother.

Oh, cute, although not my Craftsman.

Have to be open-minded, Megan.

Yeah. It's your traditional, though.

That's right.

This house is just about 2,400 square feet,

3 bedrooms and 1 3/4-bath in the main house,

and there's also a 3/4 bath out in the pool house.

It sounds like there might be a pool in here to check out.

This is listed at $1.17.

The price leaves us a decent budget

for any renovations we might need,

and having a pool would be great,

but we can't really walk to anything from here,

so I'm not totally sold on the neighborhood.

Wow, cool! These floors are great.

Nice headroom, like it.

Look at this fireplace!

Personally, I would probably update

the fireplace a little bit.

I kind of like how eclectic it is.

It's definitely a statement piece.

Maybe too statement for you. [ Laughs ]


The formal dining room.

This is a cute little room.

Look at this bookshelf area, this cute little reading nook.

KIM: This is the kitchen.

As you can see, it's been remodeled in the '90s, I'd say.

It looks pretty '90s.

It might be fun to update the cabinets

a little bit to make them a little more stylish.

I was thinking maybe a slightly darker cabinetry

and a lighter countertop I think could look good.

I do feel like we might need more counter space, though.

If you were to push this back to where the laundry is

and repurpose the laundry room, you'd have this larger space.

You'd be able to put an island.

Yeah, I like the idea of a new island or something.


So this is the open family room off the kitchen.

MEGAN: This is a great fireplace.

-Yeah. I love that. -Look at this.

It's got kind of a mid-century modern thing going on.

What do you think of this?

Yeah, this thing is kind of in the way.

The layout of the family room is a little weird.

That column is right in the middle of the room,

so I'm not really sure where I would put my furniture.

NARRATOR: French doors off the family room

lead to the backyard.

MEGAN: This is a great space for entertaining.

Is that a pizza oven?

-Yes, it is. -Oh, my gosh.

I love how they've landscaped it

with the flagstone and everything,

took out the grass.

It'd be really easy to maintain.


Should we take a look at the pool?

-I'd love to. -Let's.

MEGAN: It's really pretty back here.

All right. Here's your pool.

ROBBIE: This is honestly, like, exactly what I had envisioned.

You could be reading. I could be doing laps.

KIM: Then you have a nice little pool house, cabana.

Oh, this is fun.

It can be a cool little spot

to put our parents if they came to visit.


Super helpful to have another bathroom, too.


If people are hanging out in the pool.

NARRATOR: Back inside, they see the 3/4 guest bathroom.

-Oh, wow. -Oh, it's little.

Sure is a little guy.

You're gonna have to, like, limbo on in here.

[ Laughs ]

Whoa. Little cramped in here.

NARRATOR: Just next door, they see the first guest room.

ROBBIE: That's a little tight for a bedroom,

but I think this could work as an office.

NARRATOR: They head across the family room

to see the master bedroom.

This also has a fireplace.

Wow. This is a house of many fireplaces.


My only concern, though, is that, since it goes all the way

through to the living room,

do you think we would hear people in the other room?

I kind of like it. I think it's a cool feature.

And also the nice walk-in closet.

Oh, wow. Nice.

NARRATOR: Next door, they see the second guest room...

This is an amazing window.

I would want this bedroom. [ Laughs ]

NARRATOR: ...and the hall bathroom.

Oh, wow.

These floors and all this pink trim.

Oh, my god! Look at this.

This is very much your style and not mine.


This bathroom is a total gut job for me.

It needs to be opened up,

renovated and just definitely not pink.


I feel like there's just a really good feel

and curb appeal with the house. -Mm-hmm.

There are still some updates

that we would want to do to the house.

Yeah, I feel like that kitchen really needs to be

brought out of the '90s.

I also think that the layout of the family room

is a little weird.

I'm not quite sure where we would put

couches and stuff like that.

Yeah, I think you like the bathroom.

I am less crazy about the bathroom.

And we haven't even talked about the backyard.


We've got your pool.

It'd be so fun to have entertaining party space

back there.

There's some really great things about this house,

and I do like it, but I kind had my heart set on a Craftsman.

Do you think we could see one of those?

Sure. I will get working on that.

NARRATOR: So their agent Ryan has asked another colleague

to show them a home that's more Megan's taste.

So what year was it built?

1913 build.

That's pretty old!


What exactly is a sonnet?

-What exactly is that kimono? -Asking for a friend.


NARRATOR: With a budget of $1.3 million,

newlyweds Megan and Robbie

are ready to buy their first home.

They saw a traditional in Silver Lake

priced low for the trendy area at $949,000,

but it didn't have a pool, and their agent warned them

that a bidding war could drive the price much higher,

leaving them worried about having enough money

to do all the work needed in the house.

So they saw another traditional with a pool

listed at $1.17 million,

but the kitchen and bathrooms needed work,

and it wasn't walkable to any shops or restaurants.

Plus Megan wanted to see something more her style.

So their agent has asked another colleague

to show them a Craftsman near popular bars

and restaurants in Mid-City,

about 10 minutes from Robbie's brother.

MEGAN: This is beautiful with those columns, this pergola.

It's so pretty.

What year was it built?

This is a 1913 build, so it is an old home.

Yeah, that's pretty old.

-It's 3,450 square feet -- -Wow.

...just under $1 million.

Oh, that's a pretty big home for under a million.

This isn't really my style, and a home this old

makes me worry about some of the hidden issues

that we could run into behind the walls,

but it is a good price, so it would leave us

with a decent amount of money for renovations.

Wow! This is so good!

Look at these beams. Look at this molding.

I love how the ceilings are nice and high.

I'm not going to be hitting my head every two seconds.

Is this a library? Ah, it is!

This is amazing, all these built-in bookshelves.

I think we're in Megan heaven right now.

Found it.

NARRATOR: Just off the living room,

they see the dining room.

-It's a good flow, I think. -Mm-hmm.


This is really great, some cheese and charcuterie.

Yeah, this'll work for all the wine parties.

-Absolutely. -All right.

Well, next we have the kitchen.

It's pretty, but it's pretty small.

These countertops are, like, up to my knees.

[ Laughs ]

I don't know how I'm actually going to,

like, cut anything here.

This is a great marble, though,

but there's not that much storage.

-Is this a pantry? -Check it out.

Ooh, secret passageway. Where does it go?

-Upstairs to the bedrooms. -Got you.

Is that the only staircase, or...

There's two staircases, but it's kind of fun

to have that dual access.

I'd want to add some mid-century style to this kitchen

and get all-new cabinets and counters

and definitely make everything taller.

Wow, so the fridge has its own room, huh?

Well, like, what is this space?

I don't really get why these are divided.

I feel like I would just want to knock out this wall

and then put in my island

and kind of continue the kitchen this way, you know?

Yeah, I feel like, if you could connect everything

and make it one sort of more open space,

this would be a lot more functional.

Right now, the fridge feels a little lonely out here.

-Yeah. [ Laughs ] -[ Laughs ]

NARRATOR: A door off the dining room leads to the backyard.

MEGAN: It's a little small.

Although I do feel like, if we put some more plants in here,

it could be improved upon.

But I don't think it's big enough to put a pool in.

Probably right. Maybe a hot tub.

That's true.

NARRATOR: Back inside, they head upstairs...

Robbie, you might want to watch your head.

Yeah, seriously, very tight squeeze.

NARRATOR: see the first few guest rooms.

Oh, my gosh! This is massive.

This is like a basketball court in here.

NARRATOR: Down the hall, they see another guest room

and the guest bathroom.

This bathroom definitely needs some work.

It's a little weird our guests would have to go

all the way upstairs to use it.

Maybe we could add a half bath somewhere downstairs.

We definitely have the square footage to spare.

All right. Welcome to your master suite.

Wow, this room is big, too,

and I like the window bench over here.

-Yeah. -That's really cute.

We do have some closet space here.

MEGAN: Oh, wow. That's really nice.

This is like its own room.

ROBBIE: We can all walk in here.

Another really special feature is this sitting room.

Oh, look at this cute little nook!

I love this. This is so nice.

Here's your en suite master bath.

I like this. Look at this crazy Art Deco light.

I know. Look at this crazy clawfoot tub.

I can fit under the shower for the first time in my life.

Oh, wow.

It's kind of weird that, in a bathroom this big,

there would only be a single vanity,

so I guess we could just seal off this door here

and then do a larger vanity of there maybe.



I think this is a great house, the library,

the reading nook...

The kitchen, I think we need to do some work on.

It feels a little bit dated.

And the bathrooms, I think I would want to remodel them.

I do really want a pool.

I don't know if there's enough space for a pool back there.

And it might be a bit big for us.

I'm a little concerned about the fact

that the house is from 1913

and find out some things are not as they seem.

A lot to think about with this one, so...

NARRATOR: Since all the homes they saw have the potential

for the open kitchen they want,

Robbie and Megan will need to decide

what's more important to them,

having a pool or being in a walkable neighborhood.

Where's your head at?

NARRATOR: And once they agree on a place,

renovations begin.

But a costly electrical issue

could cause this renovate to go up in smoke.

The wiring of the house, it can cause fire.

Oh, my gosh.


NARRATOR: Robbie and Megan have been staying with his brother

in Culver City, California

while they search for their first home.

With a budget of $1.3 million,

they've toured several different places,

and now they have to decide which one is the best fit.

I feel bad for Cobb.

We've been in his place this whole time.

Yeah, I feel bad for us 'cause we've been

in his place the whole time.

-Fair, fair. -Yeah.

So what about that traditional with the carport?

That one was at $949,000, although Ryan did say

that it might go into a bidding war.

That house, to me, had a lot of potential.

I didn't love the carport.

I thought that that looked pretty wonky from the street.

I really like that neighborhood.

I think Silver Lake is great

with all those shops and restaurants.

The kitchen is really outdated.

The downstairs is really outdated.

The bathroom is really outdated.

The bathroom.

The backyard is huge!

You don't get that kind of space in Los Angeles.

That one worries me.

There's a lot of work that needs to get done.

Let's talk about that traditional with the pool.

It was at $1.17.

The area, Glendale, while really nice,

it is a little bit far

from the cool restaurants and bars.

I don't love that kitchen.

The layout is really weird.

Remember that pole right in the middle, that column?

Yeah, yeah, that was kind of odd.

But what about that pink bathroom?

Mmm, I am not in love.

The house has an amazing backyard.

-There's no denying it. -I know.

That pool was phenomenal.

But I felt like, for the price, it wasn't gonna leave us

a ton of room for renovation,

and it was gonna need some work

to really get to where we want it.

NARRATOR: And the saw a Craftsman in Mid-City

listed for $999,000,

near popular shops and restaurants.

I just think this house had so much charm, the library...

I know.

But not crazy on the backyard. I thought it was too small.

It does also need some TLC.

That kitchen is really old,

and then there's 2 bathrooms upstairs.

We'd want to remodel those.

But I felt like, for the price, it would leave us

a ton of room for renovation.

However, it is a much bigger home than we need.

I don't know. It's a Craftsman.

I kind of had my heart set on a Craftsman.


Where's your head at?

It's the traditional with the carport.

Me, too.

But I'm kind of surprised.

I really like that neighborhood, and the property, it's so big,

and it has so much going for it, you know?

We can really do something with the yard.

Yeah, I agree.

It's the one house that we saw that has the best bones.

I think we do it.

Let's get over to Silver Lake.

That's right.

[ Doorbell rings ]

[ Saw whirring ]

All right. Let's clean some of this up.

Be careful!

We got the house!

We are so pumped.

We just moved in a couple days ago,

so we're still living out of boxes.

Robbie can't find his nosehair trimmer.

Yeah, it was a little bit of a crisis of, uh...


...of nosehair.

-Sorry for TMI. -[ Laughs ]

NARRATOR: But that wasn't the only trouble.

They also got hit with a bit of a shock

when it came to the $949,000 listing price.

We had to go into a bidding war, like Ryan said,

so there were 16 other offers on the house.

It ended up costing $1.32 million,

which is a lot of money,

so we may be eating ramen for the next few months or years,

30 years. -30 years. [ Laughs ]

NARRATOR: And having blown the budget on the sale,

they'll have to take money out of their future

retirement accounts

to find an extra $50,000 for renovations.

No, that's good, but it's not gonna be enough

to do every room in the house right now,

so we have to kind of just pick and choose.

[ Saw whirring ]

So we decided the first area

that we should focus on was the backyard.

We found out that the trees and the low brush

needed to be cleared out because of an L.A. fire code.

I'm really excited for the outdoor space.

I'm excited to build the deck

and really take advantage of the views downtown.

And then upstairs, I kind of want to work on the fireplace

in the living room, putting some tiles on there

and then building a window bench by the bay window

just to kind of use that space.

NARRATOR: They're also planning to give the hall bathroom

a facelift, and they've got big plans for the kitchen

I would like to open up the kitchen

and make it a more cohesive space

with the rest of the house, so definitely take down the wall

between the dining room and the kitchen.

Also the countertops, they're a little bit low

for my tall stature. -[ Laughs ]

And so I'd love to raise those up.

We're bringing a designer into the kitchen

because it would be really helpful

to have someone's opinion on how to move things around.

So let's start with this wall

'cause I know that you really wanted it to come down.


Unfortunately, we cannot touch the wall at all.


After we went up into the attic,

we realized that the joists upstairs

are running perpendicular,

and when they hit the wall, they run parallel,

which means that this wall

is bearing an unusual amount of weight,

and because it's above a basement and built on a slope,

it's basically holding up your second story.

-Okay. -Okay?

All right.

I am beyond disappointed, but it looks like losing the wall

isn't an option without getting into a huge

construction project we can't afford.

I guess we're stuck with it.

It's kind of weird that you guys can enter

through your master bedroom through your kitchen, right?

-Yes. -It's a little awkward.

It's extremely awkward.

I'm proposing that we totally close this up.

We make it a master closet.

Oh, my god. [ Laughs ]

That way, you'd gain three more uppers --


...and then you'd have three more lowers here.

Okay. You're making up for the loss of the wall.

That's really good.

NARRATOR: Gabrielle suggests adding open shelving

between the two windows to bring in more light,

relocating the fridge to the far wall

and removing the peninsula to make room for an island.

-Oh, wow. -Oh, my god. I'm pumped.

-That's so good! -Wow, did not think about that.

I did not think we would get an island.

So also, I know you were really concerned

about the height of the countertops.


So I'm proposing that we raise the island a foot.

Ooh. That's amazing.

I can actually, like, help Megan out with some cooking things now

because I'm not cranked over.

So you're not, like, bending over.


NARRATOR: To add some of Megan's traditional feel,

Gabrielle is recommending hardwood floors

and Shaker-style cabinets.

-That's black. -That's black.

-Oh, my gosh. -I do like the Shaker style.

-I think that's cool. -Yeah, I like the shape.

It's definitely more bold than we had envisioned.

You have so much natural light in here.

It's a perfect opportunity to go a little bit darker,

and when you see the rest of the room,

I think you're really gonna like it.

-Yeah. -Okay.

For your backsplash, behind the range,

I thought we could go with dark black subway tiles.


I think I always had a lighter backsplash in mind,

so I think I have to simmer on it for a little bit.

-Okay. -Let it marinate.

Let it marinate.

And other kitchen-related verbs.

[ Laughs ]

I knew the black was going to be unexpected,

but I really wanted to push them out of their

comfort zone a little.

I don't want them to have the same kitchen

that everybody else has.

NARRATOR: But to brighten up the space,

Gabrielle is proposing a marble-look quartz countertop.

I do like that a lot.

Yeah, that's, like, level-10 happy.

Are you happy?

Whew! Okay.

NARRATOR: To incorporate Robbie's

mid-century modern vibe,

Gabrielle suggests brass cabinet pulls

but with an antiqued finish.

-That's really nice. -Yeah, I like the color,

and I kind of like the slightly faded look of it.

Okay, this is the final touch,

and I know that we talked about possibly doing wallpaper,

so I really ran with it.

I did a custom print.

-Okay. -All right.

-Are you ready? -Let's see it.

-Let's see it. Wow. -Wow. It's very mid-century.

-I do like that a lot. -Yeah.

Did you just come up with this?

Yeah, and I printed it on a vinyl,

so you'll just be able to wipe it down.

So where would that go?

It goes behind the open shelving,

and you'll be able to see through it there,

and then it'll come over, and it stops right at the subway tiles.


It's gonna be used as your bottom backsplash in the areas

besides the range.

-I do like that a lot. -Yeah.

I really pushed with design for you guys

because I thought you were a little bit more open,

and out of everybody that I've ever worked with,

would be like, "Okay, this is crazy,

but I'm willing to, like, hear you out."

I do appreciate the effort and going a little bit

outside of the norm. -Yeah.

-You trust me? -I trust you.

-Let's see what it looks like. -Okay.

I really like the direction of this kitchen design,

and if we could just tweak the cabinet color

and the tile color to be a little bit lighter,

I think we'd be really on board with it.

NARRATOR: So, with most of the design agreed on,

the next day, the crew and Robbie dive into demo.



NARRATOR: But as the crew gets deeper into work,

their contractor Omri discovers an issue.

When we tried to disconnect power,

we realized that the entire kitchen sits on two circuits,

and that's not to code.

So what does that mean?

That means that you're gonna have to rewire

the entire kitchen.

-Really? -Yes.

So how much is that gonna cost?

If it's only the kitchen,

we're looking at about $2,500.

And if it's not only the kitchen?

I mean, I can check and let you know.

I don't feel very good about that.


NARRATOR: In the meantime, the crew continues gutting

the kitchen down to the studs, and a few days later,

Omri has an electrical update for Megan.

The wiring of the house are cloth-wrapped.

That sounds flammable.

Actually, it is. It can cause fire.

You have to rewire the entire house.

Oh, my gosh.


Okay. Five letters for glyceride.

NARRATOR: Newlyweds Robbie and Megan

are living through $50,000

worth of renovations to their new

Silver Lake, California, home.

They're updating the kitchen and hall bathroom

as well as building a deck in the backyard,

but their contractor, Omri, just told Megan

that all the dated wiring

in the house needs to be updated.

How much is that gonna cost?

We're looking at $12,000.

Oh, my gosh.

-It is mandatory. It's unsafe. -[ Sighs ]

All the wiring in the house is cloth-wrapped,

which is highly flammable.

$12,000 is a huge chunk of the budget,

but we have no other option.

We have to fix it.

It just means that some of the projects we have,

like the yard, they're gonna get put off

until we save some more money.

NARRATOR: So while the crew gets to work

on updating the wiring,

Megan and Robbie focus their attention outside.

I feel like we should keep it as intact as we can

in case somebody else might want it.

If someone were gonna put that in their truck,

they would want the poles separate from, like,

the sheet of chain link, right?

I think they'd just put it on top of their truck

and hashtag not my problem.

We had to give up the deck for now, which is a bummer,

so we wanted to make the rest of the yard

as amazing as it can be.

I want to plant some succulents and clean up

what's already there,

starting with clearing out that gigantic dog cage.

I'm telling you, you're not gonna be strong enough.

I saw you. Move.

It goes like this.


I got it. [ Laughs ]

That's so irritating.

-Okay. -I got it.

-You got it? -Do this.

This is a lot better for short people.

All right. Let's rotate it down.

There we go.

NARRATOR: Back inside with the wiring complete,

the crew adds drywall to close off the new master closet

while, in the hall bathroom,

Megan gets started on removing the '70s wallpaper.

Feels good.

[ Sander whirring ]

NARRATOR: And in the kitchen, with the new hardwood floors in,

Gabrielle has brought by some new cabinet

and backsplash options for Robbie and Megan.

I know you guys were a little hesitant

to bring in the black cabinets,

so I went ahead, and I made another sample for another color

that is a little bit of an in between.

It's a lacquered charcoal gray,

which actually complements

the rest of the kitchen very well,

especially the marble countertops

that you really wanted, Megan.

-That's nice. -Looks awesome.

So originally, I presented the dark subway tiles to you,

which we're a little hesitant on.


So I actually brought three different options for you today.

First one is a standard white hexagon tile.

-I love these. -I like it.

And then the next one is more of a texture tile.

I feel like it might be too busy 'cause they're kind of small,

and there might be a lot going on with the wallpaper as well.

The countertops that we decided to go with,

I think, would look really pretty standing up the range.


I know it's a little bit pricier to do that, but I do think

that it will significantly make this back wall

a little bit more elegant.

Is it, like, extremely more expensive?

This is going to be about, like, $1,800.

I love that, personally.

Yeah, I think we'll definitely go with this.

Yes! I'm so happy.

-I'm so happy. -I do, too.

-This is beautiful. -Yeah.

NARRATOR: And Gabrielle has a new discovery

that the crew found

under the floorboards of the house.

They are the original blueprints of the home.

Oh, my gosh.

And, I mean, I'm an interior designer,

so I geek out on this,

but back in the day when they didn't have

computerized software

to create floor plans, they would do it all by hand.

This is amazing. Look.

Here's the wall I want to take down.


Hey, that's from, like, 1939, crazy.

So what I was thinking is I want to find a place

to put this original trans paper --

-Beautiful. the kitchen somewhere.

-Oh, such a good idea. -Great idea.

-You love it? -Yeah.

NARRATOR: So while Gabrielle gets the old blueprints

framed for the kitchen,

Megan focuses on the hall bathroom,

adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls and the old vanity.

NARRATOR: And several days later, Megan and Robbie

take on another project themselves,

demoing the water feature in the backyard.

All right. Want to race?

-Let's race. -Hoo!

Oh, my god.




NARRATOR: Newlyweds Robbie and Megan

are living through renovations

to the their new Silver Lake, California, home.

With a budget of $50,000, they're renovating the kitchen

and making small upgrades in the hall bathroom,

but a costly electrical issue

has forced them to take on many of the projects themselves,

including the demo of the old water feature in the backyard.

-Ah! -Are you okay?

Whoever built this thing meant for it stay here forever.

I honestly don't know how we're gonna get it out of here

without killing ourselves.

What do you want to do?

I say we take a pause.

Think we should probably talk to somebody

and see what the actual end game here is,

and then we'll figure it out.

-Okay. -Okay?

One more hit for good luck.

-Nice. -Think we need one more hit.


NARRATOR: Things are going smoother in the kitchen

where the crew is sanding and staining the new hardwoods

to match the original 1939 flooring

in the rest of the house,

and Megan has asked Gabrielle to stop by

for some advice in the living room.

I want to do something with this fireplace,

and I got these tiles

'cause I thought it would be kind of cool

to put tiles all over the fireplace.

-I love a good Moroccan tile. -Uh-huh.

I think it's very trendy for the now.

I don't recommend doing it because,

especially because we're going timeless in your kitchen,

you kind of want to be a little bit more timeless

throughout your house. Am I right?

So the answer is no to the Moroccan tile?

I love the idea of a tile.

Do you remember the hexagon tile

that I showed you for the kitchen?

So they come in different sizes,

and we could play with them if you're into it.

I really like the Morrocan tile,

but I get what she's saying about keeping the style

consistent throughout the rest of the house.

I actually do like that.

It's kind of what I was hoping to accomplish

because I think that's still gonna be interesting.

It definitely adds some character,

which I know that we were trying to maintain in the kitchen.


Yeah, and I think it's a little bit more timeless.

-Good thinking. -Yeah?

That's why you're the designer, I guess.

That's what I'm here for.


NARRATOR: Everyone is pushing forward

on projects throughout the house,

but as Megan and Robbie reach the end of their second month

of living through renovations,

they've decided to call in backup.

The constant dust and debris are really starting to get to us.

We just need this to be finished.

We decided to put the backyard project on hold for a while

and then just focus on the inside of the house.

My parents are actually out from St. Louis,

and they're gonna help lend us a hand,

and a couple of our friends are gonna pitch

in just to get this thing done.

So you'll start with the middle and work toward the sides.


It needs to be precise when you hit the edge.

NARRATOR: While Megan and her mom work out a strategy

for hanging tile on the fireplace,

her dad helps Robbie build bench seating under the bay window.

I hope it went the right way.

Looks good to me.

My gosh, you guys, this looks so good.

Coming together, isn't it?

-Take it for a spin. -It's good.

Her little reading nook.

NARRATOR: And with the bench in, they turn their attention

to replacing the toilet in the hall bathroom.

This kind of reminds me of when we first started dating,

and you fixed the toilet.

Well, I hope you're watching. You can fix this one now.

[ Laughs ]

Having my parents out here to help us

through this renovation has been incredible.

I seriously don't know what we would've done without them.

Team Toilet, let's do it!

[ Laughs ]

NARRATOR: So with renovations back on track

and Megan's family headed home,

the following week, the bathroom shower and tub get an update

with a new coat of white epoxy.

While, in the kitchen, the crew installs the new gray cabinets.

-Oh, my gosh. -Hey!

Look at the place!

-Oh, my gosh. -What do you think?

Holy mackerel. This is incredible.

It's so good. I love this color.

So when do you guys think the kitchen

will actually be ready to cook something?

Within a week and a half,

you guys should have your first dinner.

All right. That's soon.

That is a lot sooner than we thought.

Oh, my gosh. Thank you. [ Laughs ]

NARRATOR: And with the end in sight,

Megan and Robbie scramble to finish their own projects,

starting with the grout for the new fireplace tile.

ROBBIE: Do you have any sense of how

much you're supposed to use?

MEGAN: Think it's like peanut butter.

Come look at this. It looks good.

I like this color.

Yeah, I think it looks really good.

NARRATOR: And things are also looking good

in the master bathroom

where Megan shows Gabrielle the progress.

-Oh, my gosh! -What do you think?

This is crazy!

Ah! It looks so good, Megan!

I'm really impressed.

I need your help because it's kind of --


Mm-hmm. So I was hoping you could pizzazz it a bit.


You've all this space over here.

Maybe we can bring in that open-shelving concept

that we have going on in the kitchen

and apply it here as well.

Oh, yeah. I would love that.

Like, right over the toilet here?


Yeah, I think that would be great.

NARRATOR: Several days later, the crew delivers

the marble-look quartz countertop and backsplash.

How's it looking, guys?

-Heavy. -Very heavy.

ROBBIE: The backsplash and countertop look amazing,

but getting these giant pieces up the stairs

and into the kitchen is proving a real challenge.

The piece that goes behind the stove is, like,

five feet long.

It's huge.

Someone just get --

[ Speaking over each other ] -It's all the way up? No.

Oh, man. There's a problem.


NARRATOR: Newlyweds Robbie and Megan

are nearly finished renovating the kitchen

in their new Silver Lake, California, home,

but as the crew brings in the quartz

for the backsplash behind the stove,

their contractor discovers an issue.

There's a problem.

-Yeah? -Yeah.

The outlets, both this outlet,

and let me see the other one.

Yes, the other one as well, they are in the way.

So the backsplash would cover the outlet?

Half of it. Yeah.

So yeah, that sits exactly in the middle.


We're gonna have to move it couple inches

to the right as well as the other one.

So how much is that gonna cost?

No, it was a mistake on the shop drawing.

We're not gonna charge anything for that.

-It's gonna be on us. -Okay.

Yeah, but, guys, we cannot install it.

We're gonna have to put it back.


NARRATOR: So while they wait for an electrician

to move the outlets,

Robbie and Megan do what they can to finish

the rest of the house,

adding towel racks in the hall bathroom,

hanging shelves in Megan's walk-in closet

and fitting the cushion on the benched seating

in the living room.

-Ah! -Ah!

[ Singsongy ] It fits, it fits, it fits!

NARRATOR: A few days later, an electrician

moves the outlets in the kitchen,

and with the kitchen counters and backsplash finally in place,

the crew can hang Gabrielle's custom wallpaper,

and with a few finishing details,

Megan and Robbie can finally cook in their new kitchen.

[ Doorbell rings ]


How's the stew coming along?

It smells good.

-We're done! -Oh, my gosh.

I could not be happier. The house looks awesome.

Mmm! That's good.

We set aside about $50,000 for the renovation,

and we spent closer to $65,000, so we did go over.

Yeah, there were a couple of curveballs

that we weren't expecting.

The biggest one was having to rewire the whole house.

A more welcome curveball was where we decided

to go with a quartz backsplash because it looks incredible.

When we first got the house, the kitchen was like

stepping back in time to the '70s.

The new kitchen is amazing.

It's so fun to cook in there.

I love the counters. I love the cabinets.

It's beautiful.

There's such an amazing sense of space and light in this room.

Like, it is just night and day compared to what it used to be.

Even though I was really wanting this wall to come down,

I'm kind of happy it didn't.

Yeah, it's really nice, isn't it?

Yeah, it kind of creates this cozy kitchen space,

and then we have the formal dining room,

and I think it's good vibes.

I think this is one of the highlights

of the whole renovation

was getting to find these blueprints and --


This thing is awesome.

We were a little concerned about the dark cabinetry,

but I feel like the charcoal turned out so well.

I know! So glad!

-I love it! -Do you love it?

Yeah, I really, really like this color.

This island is amazing.

I could actually help Megan for once now in the kitchen

'cause I can reach things and chop them

and just generally be more useful.

MEGAN: I'm really glad we called Gabrielle.

She did a great job kind of blending our two styles.

I think she was really able to open up our eyes

to some newer stuff that we might not have thought of.

She definitely had a vision with her wallpaper.

I wasn't quite sure. I really like how it came out.

Yeah, it's an awesome pop in there,

definitely one of those situations where you have to,

like, put your hands up on the roller coaster

and hope for the best, and we're so glad we did.

I think I'll put shirts up here, pants down there.

I like that.

I think one of the biggest perks of this whole renovation

is that I wound up with a master-bedroom closet.

It's beautiful, and it's very spacious.

And that bathroom, which was dark --

Also bleak.

Yeah, it looked like a bomb shelter in there.

We really, really like it now,

think it's really light and inviting and airy.

I love what you did with the colors in here.

I think it's really bright.

It looks so much better than it used to.

I know.

I'm really happy with how this fireplace turned out,

used to be kind of just this boring,

flat white part of the wall.

It's definitely much more of a focal point now.

-Dax, don't go. -Stick around.

We're having family time.

It was wonderful having my parents out here to help us.

I think the window bench is my favorite part of the house.

It's such a cozy, interesting, eclectic part of the room now.

We're still working on the backyard.

Phase two would be the deck,

but given the electrical cost,

I think we're gonna have to push that off

for a little while.

-Can I have rosé, please? -Yes.

Now that the house is done,

I think we're really looking forward to entertaining.

We really wanted a house that had good vibes

so we could throw a good party, and I think it's there.

You guys have an extra bedroom in here?

-I might be moving in. -What?

Are you trying to crash all summer?

Might be moving in for a little bit.

-Cub's gonna repay the favor. -That's right.

The Description of A Budget To Burn