Turn on my TV at any random time and there’s a 99% chance it’ll be set to HGTV because I’m obsessed. Honestly, I can’t think of any home makeover show I don’t enjoy, but lately when I need my home reno television fix, my go-to has been Good Bones. Unlike a lot of house-flipping duos on HGTV, Good Bones follows the adventures of a mother and daughter team as they transform Indianapolis, Indiana one house at a time. The show’s unique family dynamic and hometown feel make it stand out in a sea of fixer-upper shows. I was lucky enough to chat with Good Bones star Mina Starsiak-Hawk recently and we chatted about everything from home renovation tips to what really happens behind the scenes when the cameras aren’t rolling.
SheKnows: You’ve been working with your mom for quite some time now, does work ever affect your mother-daughter relationship?
Mina Starsiak-Hawk: It can definitely be challenging! I’m sure if you told anyone they were going to spend 12 hours a day, every day of the week, with their mom, they’d be a bit apprehensive. But no matter what difficulties we face, we always come back to a good place as a team. Plus, we both love what we do so it’s even better to get to do it with each other. The pros always outweigh the cons!
SK: Have you ever purchased a house that you totally regretted?
Mina: We buy most of the houses sight unseen, so that itself can be nerve-wracking. Usually, something happens in my brain as soon as I walk into a house – I can see the floor plan and know right away what I want to do. There was one time that I walked into a home we had purchased and nothing happened! I was like, “can we give it back?!” That’s not an option, but by the time we got all the demo done and I could wrap my brain around it a little better, it turned out to be one of my top 20 favorite homes.
SK: What are your top 3 remodeling tips for someone who is working on their first fixer-upper?
Mina: First, know your skill set and stretch yourself in places that are safe. For example, if you’ve never tiled before, try tiling your backsplash and the worst-case scenario is that you take it off. If you’ve never removed a wall that’s structural, don’t do that, as it can cause significant damage to your home. Always know your limits and when to get professional help. Second, have a reserve of money and time! If additional repairs or projects pop up, you want to make sure you have the means to take care of them properly. Third, be patient! Remodeling usually takes longer than expected, so it’s important to roll with the punches.
SK: Let’s say someone wants to give their living room a makeover, but they only have $50 to spend. What would you suggest?
Mina: I think the biggest bang for your buck is always paint. You can get a gallon for around $30, plus supplies, and completely change a room. Then, you can move your furniture around or bring in a rug from another room and you’ll feel like you have a brand-new space. If you want something more out of the box, you can get a roll of painter’s tape and create a pattern, like stripes, on the wall.
SK: Obviously on TV it seems like these houses get renovated pretty quickly but in reality, we would assume it’s a much longer process. How long does it typically take to flip a house?
Mina: In reality, the best-case scenario is three months. We’ve even had some that take up to six months! There is so much work that goes on behind the scenes that people don’t get to see, so don’t let those 42 minutes fool you!
SK: What are some other aspects of the house flipping process that we don’t get to see on television?
Mina: There are so many non-glamourous things that you don’t, and don’t want, to see – like port-a-potties! One of my favorite parts of our process and dynamic that doesn’t get shown is the pranks – they film a lot of them but none have made the cut so far, so stay tuned to see if any of them make an appearance in season four.
SK: How would you describe the style of your own home?
Mina: I love Charleston, so the outside of my home reflects that – second-story wrap-around porches, beadboard and all of the charm. I’d call the inside of my home ‘clean comfy’ – the walls are clean and uncluttered but my décor and furniture are full of textured wood and pillows, and comfy accents that make it cozy and inviting.
SK: We see all of the projects you’re working on with your mom, but are you working on any renovations in your own home right now?
Mina: It’s funny you ask – my husband was just talking to me last night about my honey-do list and how it’s piling up. I really need to give the fence in my backyard some love and have a side patio that I temporarily built with PVC that needs to be rebuilt with sturdy wood. We get crazy 60 MPH winds here, and it recently blew over! I also just finished a few projects with Lowe’s to get my outdoor space ready for spring. It’s so important to get to work as soon as the season starts – you’ll end up with so much more time to enjoy your house and landscaping once it’s finally warm and prevent super inconvenient things, like your plants not rooting properly due to quickly increasing temperatures, from getting in your way. As a Midwest girl, I know it can be daunting to get outside in early spring if it’s still a little bit chilly but it’s worth it, trust me.
SK: What are some of your favorite tips or projects to spruce up a home in the spring?
Mina: Spring always feels like a much-needed fresh start, and I love breathing new life into my outdoor space every season. I recently did a few fun projects at my home with Lowe’s that are great for everyone to do and will make all the difference in starting the season on the right foot.
First, I love getting a variety of flowers, a fresh bag of mulch and sprucing up my garden beds. I don’t know about you, but my yard usually looks super drab after a long winter – and this is a great way instantly make it feel more alive. When you’re picking mulch, it’s important to use a premium variety that will help control moisture and reduce water use, and ultimately help your plants live longer. When it comes to picking flowers in early spring, look for hardy flowers like pansies and perennial herbs that can withstand low temperatures – just watch for cold snaps to protect new plants.
Grabbing some new outdoor décor is another great way to spruce up your house, whether you just need a few new pillows and planters or a brand-new patio set. Lowe’s is offering up to 30% off patio sets for Memorial Day so it’s the perfect time to treat yourself! If you’re on board to do something a little more permanent, try painting your front door a fun, new color.
SK: We love following all of the adorable Jack updates on your Instagram! What’s the funniest thing he has done recently?
Mina: It’s tough to choose one thing because everything he does is funny and cute! He’s been a little snotty lately (thanks, spring) and obviously doesn’t know how to cover his mouth yet, so he has sneezed and snot-rocketed onto Steve’s face a few times, which is pretty hilarious.
SK: I’m sure you’ve been asked how do you juggle working and being a mom a million times by now. Why do you think men never get asked that question?
Mina: I was actually getting a lot of questions about this last week on Instagram! I posted a story talking about my tips for juggling it all, but prefaced it by saying that no one has ever asked my husband about this! It’s so silly, but it’s one of those generational things that has stuck around a little longer than it should. The good news is that people are slowly getting out of this mindset, but there’s still progress to be made.