- Season 3 of Good Bones premieres on April 3 at 10 p.m. ET on HGTV.
- Mother-daughter team Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak own a home renovation business that fixes up houses in the historic Fountain Square neighborhood of Indianapolis, Indiana.
- Unlike other before-and-after shows, Good Bones aims to keep it real and gritty, showing the unglamorous aspects of home renovation.
Unlike many of their house flipping counterparts, Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk, the stars of HGTV's Good Bones, are refreshingly candid about the costs, unglamorous tasks, and hard work required to renovate homes. Viewers have become accustomed to watching seemingly effortless before-and-after transformations on the network, but this mother-daughter team excels in keeping it real and gritty—despite being one of the network's top-rated programs with more than 13 million viewers. And we love them for it!
The two started their home rehab business, Two Chicks and a Hammer, back in 2008 after investing in and flipping a couple of houses in their historic Fountain Square neighborhood of Indianapolis, Indiana. Prior to that, Karen, 57, worked as a defense attorney, and mom-to-be Mina, 32, worked as a waitress, according to .
A few houses and years later, a talent recruiter from HGTV saw their work on Facebook and approached them in 2014. Now, the third season of their series is set to premiere on Tuesday, April 3 at 10 p.m. ET on HGTV. Here's why the series is the most honest and down-to-earth home show on television right now.
1. They show the crew they work with on each home.
Very rarely do we get to see the team that works behind-the-scenes to make every transformation possible on HGTV. Not only does Good Bones show these key players, but they're a huge part of the show. The demolition and construction crew, which is led by Mina's half-brother Tad and made up of a cast of other quirky characters, are interviewed and highlighted in each episode.
2. They're candid about home renovation—and what it's really like to work on television.
Karen and Mina have spoken honestly about the support, funding, and products they receive. When they first started, they didn't get anything from the network or big brands, but that changed later in the season. "We did receive a couple of products that were integrated later—not from the network, from brands—things we would never have been able to afford," Mina told . "We can't afford to put a $5,000 tub in a house in Fountain Square yet."
3. They're also upfront about how broke they are—even now.
Each renovation project requires an average of an $150,000-$180,000 investment from the pair. The two are penny pinchers and even joke about the fact that they can't yet afford proper Port-a-Potties on their project sites yet. "We're not rich yet," Karen told . "I'm still deeply in debt."
4. They're entirely self-taught.
They didn't learn about real estate or construction by handing their projects over to pros—their experience comes from years of hard work. And when something needs to get done, they learn how to do it themselves. "We read books, we watch YouTube videos, and we read directions," Karen told . "It's the 21st century, all of the information is out there, the question is, do you have the skills sets and are you willing to take the time to put the effort in?"
5. They don't like to be called house "flippers."
These two have made it clear that they're not in it for a short-term, quick turnaround profit. They're committed to improving the neighborhood—however long that takes. "We don't flip houses—that's not what we do," Karen told . "We truly are rehabbing neighborhoods. If we were flipping, we wouldn't strip down to studs, install new electrical, new HVAC, new plumbing, or whatever else needs to be done. This is rehab. These houses need a good 12-step program."
Their jobs are made even more meaningful by the fact that they both live in the area where they overhaul homes. "We've both been living here for years now, and I think that really helps the neighborhood rally behind what we're trying to do," Mina told . "Because we're in it for the long haul."
6. They rehab the worst homes.
The projects they choose to work on are never in decent shape. These two get giddy at the sight of decaying and crumbling homes because there's nothing they can't fix. They purchase homes for as little as $7,000, but never spend more than $30,000 on a home, according to .
7. Their day-to-day is not so glamorous.
Karen and Mina get their hands dirty. In their series, you'll see them unload broken freezers with rotting meat, clean up human waste, and do all the messy things usually not shown on television.
8. They're not too busy to work with fans.
In fact, you can hire them to work on your home or fixer upper. If you live within 100 miles of Indianapolis, they'll provide in-person consultations, and if you live further away, you can schedule Skype consultations with the pair.