‘Home Inspector Joe’ opts for a bathroom design choice you must see


Joe Mazza, the host of HGTV’s new show “Home Inspector Joe,” finally finds a home with very little trouble. That is, until the renovation begins.

In the episode “Stone Home Stuck in Time”, Mazza and her go-to designer, christmas gatsmeet their new client, marlonwho hopes to create a homestead where he, his mother, sister and brother-in-law can live.

Marlon buys a beautiful $535,000 home in Hopewell Junction, NY – and although at first glance it appears the 1970s home is in good shape, Joe is surprised to discover that the patio needs to be completely replaced, which will cost at least $20,000.

Marlon had originally hoped to spend no more than $115,000 on the renovations, but with all the repairs, this project ended up costing $148,500, well over his maximum budget. It’s an expensive renovation, but in the end, it’s worth it.

Read on to find out how Gatts and Gazza are updating this old home, and in the meantime, pick up some tips for redesigning your own future home.

Reuse Mid-Century Features

This dated lobby needed an upgrade.


When Mazza and Gatts see the house for the first time, they are happy to see that it has been well cared for. One problem remains: the space is seriously dated. It looks a bit like a time capsule.

“So much 70s material,” Gatts says, as she enters the entryway. “Anything that was maybe popular at that time, they just put it here.”

updated entry
After: Noel Gatts was able to retain some elements of this entry.


Still, Gatts likes some of the materials in place. She keeps the tiling as is, but reuses the stone planter as seating, which she notes is “so much more useful than artificial greenery.”

Everything shows that even an outdated house can have salvageable features. Retro flooring and new bench help this home retain its mid-century character.


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Pull the carpets before you move in

the living room
The green carpet was in pretty good shape, but Joe Mazza wanted to remove it anyway.


In the main salon, the 70s theme continues, with carpeting. While Marlon, Mazza and Gatts agree that the shag is still soft and has held up well, Mazza points out that when buying a home, it’s best to replace carpet, regardless of its condition.

“You move into a house – get rid of the carpet,” Mazza says. “You don’t know what they were doing here before you lived here.”

Its purpose? Carpets can harbor mold or allergens.

the living room
After: Light hardwood brightens up this living room.


Mazza and Gatts rip out the carpet and replace it with a more contemporary flooring: pale hardwood, throughout the house. With the renovation complete, Gatts and Mazza are proud of the transformation.

“Do you remember what the house looked like before? Straight out of ‘The Brady Bunch’,” Mazza says, showing Marlon the finished product. It’s a great example of how new flooring can give homeowners peace of mind and a whole new look.

Not all signs are worth keeping

The woodwork made this room dark.


While the living room has lots of windows, Gatts notices that the room looks like a cave.

“It’s because of the woodwork everywhere,” she says.

When Mazza goes to inspect it, he finds that a large part of the panels are coming off the wall, indicating that it is not real wood, but a cheap alternative.

“It’s like 4×4 sheets that they taped to the wall,” Mazza explains. “And over time, it just starts to pop, like that.”

After: Now the room is bright and fresh.


While many homeowners would love to keep (and even paint over) the mid-century paneling of their homes, it’s clear that this particular feature isn’t worth keeping. The team is removing dark panels, giving the space a brighter look with fresh white paint.

While the wainscoting gave this room texture, the crisp walls give this 1970s home a timeless feel.

Make Old Wallpapers Modern

bathroom with wallpaper
Noel Gatts wants to keep this bathroom wallpaper unique.


When Gatts sees the bathroom for the first time, she is impressed by a surprising feature: the wallpaper. While most designers would just take it off, she thinks that authentic mid-century look is worth keeping.

“We want to show off this wallpaper, we don’t want to hide it,” she says. “This is in perfect condition.”

But she brightens up the rest of the bathroom, pulling out the red rug in favor of light hardwood and replacing dark countertops with light marble and a clean white vanity.

When the bathroom is complete, Marlon and his family love the look. Gatts acknowledges it was a “bold” decision to keep this wallpaper, but she’s glad she did.

“It’s so dynamic, so fun, and the way we made it work was we brightened up other things,” she says.

bright bathroom
After: The new white vanity and countertop help offset the dark wallpaper.


Beware of dark spots on your patio

old railing
The old patio and railing needed to be replaced.


Marlon loves the large patio on the roof of his house, but when Mazza goes out for the first time, he notices a major problem with the concrete slab.

“Do you see how dark it is here?” said Mazza, pointing to a slight hollow in the patio. “This whole area is a low point. So when this was poured, it was not properly leveled, so that the water drained off the patio. So you get standing water here, and it compromises this whole concrete slab.

If the patio is not repaired, which would cost at least $20,000, the whole thing could collapse, he warns. Additionally, he notes that the railing is unsafe and in desperate need of improvement.

new railing
After: This new railing highlights the great view.


The crew gets to work, breaking up the existing concrete and replacing it with a new slab that runs away from the house, so that rainwater runs down the roof. Mazza then adds a new solid glass balustrade, which accentuates the beautiful view of the house.

While that new patio and railing is definitely an investment, Marlon is happy to move his family to a structurally safe home. This is a significant upgrade, which also looks great.


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