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Dave and Jenny Marrs from Fixer to Fabulous discover the best possible surprise in a house

Renovation experts love Fixer to Fabulous Dave and Jenny Marrs Help homeowners transform outdated, rundown homes into dream homes. And sometimes, if they’re lucky, they stumble upon the best surprise a home can have: entire rooms that the homeowners didn’t even know were going to waste.

In the episode “Builder Grade to Craftsman”, Customers Patrick and Ashley Fitzsimmons have been married five years and live in Patrick’s three bedroom, three bath bachelor pad. They think it’s high time to get the house working for both of them, and they’re willing to shell out a whopping $300,000 to do it.

While most of us don’t have that kind of budget, we can use some of her creative tips to update our own home room by room. Check out the lessons Dave and Jenny taught us this week.

Forego beige in build quality

Beige, build quality exterior
Beige, build quality exterior


When Dave and Jenny pull up in front of the Fitzsimmons’ house, the first thing they notice is the beige, build quality exterior.

“I think it was built in the early 2000s, when we still thought brown was hot,” says Dave. “It needs some help.”

Ashley agrees. “I feel like we live in beige country,” she says.

Strike up the Craftsman qualities

Exterior with new Craftsman features
Exterior with new Craftsman features


“This house wants to be artisan, but it’s not quite that, so we’re just going to really own it,” says Jenny.

They will wrap around the front pillars in a Craftsman style, creating an arbor over the garage. It’s a beautiful embellishment that people don’t always think of.

Dave builds the arbor out of pine with cedar corbels and paints it the same color as the siding.

“It’s going to be a real architectural feature,” he says.

Get a door that can withstand sun damage

New fiberglass front door
New fiberglass front door


Upon examining the exterior, Dave and Jenny discover that the wooden front door has been irreparably damaged by the sun over the past 20 years – and it can’t be repaired.

But Dave has a solution that will lead the fight against sun damage in the future.

“We can get Craftsman steel doors or stained fiberglass that look like wood that the sun doesn’t kill,” he says.

You are choosing a beautiful Craftsman style fiberglass door that will look perfect and last a long time.

Never leave adequate headroom unused

Huge unfinished attic
Huge unfinished attic


Patrick and Ashley take Dave and Jenny to their garage and lower an extension ladder from the ceiling, which reveals a real surprise upstairs: up there is a huge unfinished attic measuring at least 20 square meters with plenty of headroom.

It’s the perfect place for a home cinema, the Marrses agree. Patrick and Ashley have an extensive DVD collection and watch a movie every night. They would love a place where they can invite friends over to watch them too.

“There are a lot of houses with weird dead spaces that can be converted into living space,” says Dave.

Whether it’s in the attic, basement, garage or beyond, you never know where some decent headroom might be hiding.

Create the ideal home theater

Home cinema to dream of
Home cinema to dream of


With the budget so huge, Dave and Jenny decide to go all out with home theater. They go to a real movie theater for inspiration – because it’s for work and the kids are at school, they don’t feel guilty about watching a movie in the middle of the day.

They have a whole list of Fitzsimmons Theater must-haves, including a slick AV theater system (worth $14,600), organized shelving for their alphabetized DVD collection, movie posters, subtle lighting, stadium seating — even a blanket that looks like the night sky.

“When we visited the theater, Jenny had this really cool idea to put a starlight ceiling on the Fitzsimmons home theater to really give it that cinematic feel,” says Dave.

How is the last renovation of the Marrses going?

Patrick and Ashley are thrilled with their new kitchen, living room and master suite, but they are absolutely thrilled with their new theater. Who wouldn’t?

“We are so grateful that Dave and Jenny took our house and made it the perfect home for us,” says Ashley. “I couldn’t have imagined anything better!”

Truly her work that week was a real box office hit. Both thumps up!


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