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Home > Backed By The Bros > Backed By The Bros: Money Pit Turned Stunning Short-Term Rental

Backed By The Bros: Money Pit Turned Stunning Short-Term Rental

backed by the bros premiere episode 1

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Did you catch the premiere of our new show, Backed By The Bros?! It was chock-full of drama, to say the least. Between impossibly tight budgets, discouraging past renos, and incompliant building plans, Drew and Jonathan had their hands full backing this reno. Right up until the very end, we were on the edges of our seats! The couple followed some of Drew and Jonathan’s suggestions, but other times, they decided to go their own way. Would it all work out in the end? There was no guarantee.

The two potential backings couldn’t be more different from one another—one couple were career home renovators who were dealt an awful hand, and the other couple were first-timers who needed the Bros to help them solve their accessory dwelling unit (ADU) woes. After meeting both and learning more about each couple’s specific situations, Drew and Jonathan had a lot to discuss.

The Potential Clients


James & Isabel

Seasoned flippers for the past seven years, this couple had plans to tear down a fixer-upper under some loud power lines on the outskirts of NoHo. James and Isabel wanted to turn that single-family home into an apartment building. However, they jumped the gun a bit too soon, spending nearly $100,000 on potential builders and designers before their plans for the tear-down were denied by the city.

On top of that, there were two illegal additions added to the home by the previous owners that were ordered to be removed ASAP. They pulled from their five kids’ college funds and totally emptied James’ retirement and 401K. The Bros were this couple’s final chance to come up for air and finally get this house off their hands for good.

Leanne & Ronato

Leanne and Ronato are a divorced couple who still owns their family home together. When the couple bought their home, they thought that turning the large garage into an accessory dwelling unit one day could be a great idea to earn some extra cash. Now, 20 years later, they were hoping to make that dream a reality.

With Leanne working two jobs, she was hopeful that having the extra income from a rental might help with her monthly payments. However, their lofty rental price goals and unrealistic reconstruction budget are holding them back from making any decisions. They looked to the Bros for guidance to navigate this project successfully.

So, Who Will Drew and Jonathan Back?


So what’ll it be: A family of seven’s crumbling money pit, or a divorced couples’ potential ADU garage reconstruction? With only one crew available, the Bros can only back one family—and it’s an impossible choice.

In the end, Drew and Jonathan decided to back James and Isabel. This home made a huge dent in their lives, both in their pockets as well as in their family’s well-being. And because the couple already had plans and permits in place, the Bros knew they could get their crew in there to help them seal the deal and finally wash their hands of the property. Drew and Jonathan had the resources, and James and Isabel had the determination to make it happen.

Plus, they still offered Leanne and Ronato all of their most helpful tips, advice, and encouragement while they embarked on their journey and plans for their ADU.

Getting Started: Plans, Permits, and Potential


After calling James and Isabel and telling them the good news, Drew and Jonathan contacted their crew and designer Gianna to help back the project. The Bros provided free construction and design materials, as well as design and project mentorship, for six weeks. James and Isabel agreed to put $100,000 into the reno, along with some sweat equity and their own contractor.

The team got right to work designing and planning out exactly how they were going to turn this worn-down, dysfunctional property into a light, bright, and open space that would become the perfect short-term rental property for families. It was a total gut reno—they essentially had to rebuild the property’s interior from the bottom up. This meant everything from new windows, plumbing, and landscaping, to tearing down those illegal additions and re-configuring the home’s layout. We got tired just watching!

It didn’t go off without a hitch, though. In fact, the couple disagreed with a few of the Bros’ suggestions. There were disagreements on layout, design, and more. For example, James and Isabel wanted to convert one of the bedrooms into two, turning the space from a three-bedroom into a five-bedroom home. Drew and Jonathan discouraged the idea since it would mean that there wouldn’t be space for another bathroom. In the end, the couple didn’t follow their advice. However, there were some things that James and Isabel did take their advice on—and it all turned out to be worth it in the end.

From totally reworking the floorplan, to smart budgeting strategies, pivoting on unexpected hiccups, and finally putting it all together, the final result was nothing short of fabulous! And because of all the sweat equity, work and materials, and the Bros’ backing, James and Isabel saved a whopping $78,000 on their renovation. Now, the couple can finally move on and look forward to the future of this beautiful short-term rental.

Shop the Look

Check out the decor, furniture, and more seen in this episode–and get it for yourself!


wdt_ID wdt_created_by wdt_created_at wdt_last_edited_by wdt_last_edited_at Room Item Type Product Name Company Product Code / Sku
1 Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM WHOLE HOUSE STAGING N/A SPRUCED HOME N/A
2 Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM WHOLE HOUSE FLOORING PYRITE LVP VILLAGO PYRITE LVP
3 Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM KITCHEN APPLIANCE 24 in. Slide-In Stainless Steel Pocket Handle 45 dB Dishwasher SHARP SDW6747GS
4 Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM KITCHEN APPLIANCE Sharp French 4-Door Counter-Depth Refrigerator SHARP SJG2351FS
5 Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM KITCHEN APPLIANCE 30 in. Gas Convection Slide-In Range with Air Fry SHARP SSG3061JS
6 Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM KITCHEN COUNTERTOP BORGHINI LUX REVOLUX BORGHINI LUX
7 Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM BATHROOM WALLPAPER MARILYN DARK BLUE FLORAL TRAIL SCOTT LIVING 4034-72135
8 Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM BATHROOM VANITY OBERMAN 60" BLACK CHERRY SCOTT LIVING 5227390
9 Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM Kelly K. 29/05/2024 11:18 AM BATHROOM VANITY ESTERHAUS 36" BROWN SCOTT LIVING 5227566

Living Room Redesign


Brand-New Bathrooms


A Stellar Kitchen Remodel


The Backyard Relaxation Station


Don’t forget to catch our new series, Backed By The Bros, every Wednesday evening at 9:00 pm ET/8:00 pm CT, streaming on MAX and airing on HGTV.

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