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‘Rock the Block’ Reveals One Hot Outdoor Upgrade That Won’t Add Any Value to Your Home


This week, HGTV’s “Rock the Block” has taken its design battle outdoors, challenging four design teams to spruce up the exteriors of their Charleston, SC, homes.

The goal, host Ty Pennington explains, is for these competitors to spend their renovation budget on whatever will raise their property’s value, whether that’s paint, siding, landscaping, or other outdoor features.

In the end, their work will be assessed by guest judges Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen E. Laine, the stars of “Good Bones,” who will grant one winner an extra $5,000 reward to use on the next, and final, challenge.

"Rock the Block" home with unfinished exterior
“Rock the Block” home with unfinished exterior


With only two more challenges to go, the four teams go all-out to make their curb appeal shine. Check out what these designers do, and learn some great advice you can apply to your own home and yard, too.

When it comes to color, go big or go home

Blush pink house
Blush-pink house


Jenny and Dave Marrs from “Fixer to Fabulous” are contemplating a bold move.

“We’re still thinking of painting the house pink,” says Jenny. “But it is a risk.”

“Think about Rainbow Row,” she says, referring to a famous street where all the houses are painted in vivid hues. “Think about Charleston. Where else can you get away with a pink house? This is a huge risk, but I feel like it works in this town.”

The judges agree, to a point.

“I respect the pink decision,” Starsiak Hawk tells them. “But you didn’t commit enough. It’s kind of like a light, skin color tone that just misses the mark.”

The team gets dinged for not being sufficiently color-committed.

A hot tub doesn’t add value

Hot tub and wall mounted TV
A hot tub and wall-mounted TV


The $4,000 Dave and Jenny won last week for creating the best FROG, or finished room over the garage, is burning a hole in their pocket.

Dave’s bright idea is to build a pool, but “we can’t do a pool in a week for $4,000,” he says ruefully. Not even a container pool.

“So why not blow it on a sweet hot tub?” he wonders. “I think it will add to the value and everyone’s going to freak out.”

He and Jenny install a tub, along with a flat-screen TV on the wall where it can be easily viewed by soakers. Yet while hot tubs were popular in the 1970s and ’80s, today’s buyers are not so enamored with them. And the judges are not thrilled.

“Functionally, I think it’s a great selling point, if that’s what the person wants,” Starsiak Hawk says. “But just across the board, hot tubs really don’t add value to a home.”

Grow your own vegetables

Planter boxes
Planter boxes


Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas of “Bargain Block” have yet to win a challenge, so this one’s essential.

“An edible garden will hopefully add to the appraisal,” says Thomas. “We’re going to create some planter boxes for an edible garden that buyers will absolutely love.”

They do a first-rate job of it. They lay down a gravel bed, build the boxes on top of that, add rich soil, then plant in-season herbs and vegetables.

The judges dig it.

“I can imagine a family in that backyard, and they wouldn’t have to add anything for it to be a fully functional, very fun backyard,” says Laine.

It’s one of the brightest highlights of the “Bargain Block” team’s backyard. But it’s not the only one…

A pergola adds protection from the elements

Patio with pergola
Patio with a pergola


This is an especially big challenge for Bynum and Thomas, because they don’t usually do backyards in the downtown Detroit houses they remodel.

“We don’t have the budget,” Thomas explains.

But they have poured a cement slab out back where they intend to make a relaxation area, and they realize a slab and a lounge are not enough.

“Our idea was to add a pergola to it to kind of create a more intimate space there, somewhere that would be a great place to go and hang out,” says Bynum.

The judges love it, pointing out that shade and protection from the elements are essential for relaxation.

A living wall adds foliage while saving space

Living wall
Judging the living wall

“In our backyard I want to make sure we’re adding a lot of things that are unique and also sustainable,” Lyndsay Lamb of “Unsellable Houses” tells her twin sister and business partner, Leslie Davis.

“It’s really important to us that we put in ways to enjoy the backyard, and that living wall is a way to do that. You can get food, and it’s low-maintenance,” Davis says.

They add a self-watering device on a timer, then plant lettuce, herbs, and more. It’s a garden and art all in one!

A Juliet balcony is nice but not necessary

Juliet balcony
A Juliet balcony adds interest.


Mike Jackson and Egypt Sherrod of “Married to Real Estate” have covered their exterior with white-washed brick, which they believe will add overall value to the home, but it creates a rather blank canvas.

To brighten it up, they decide to add some pops of color and interest via the landscaping. Lovely purple hydrangea bushes help, as do tall crepe myrtle trees.

Another way to liven up their sturdy exterior is to add a Juliet balcony.

“We’ve got to add the balcony. It’s going to be romantic, nostalgic, and beautiful,” says Sherrod.

But the judges don’t appear to agree with her 100%.

“I do not like a Juliet balcony,” says Laine. “I am not a fan.”

But she concedes, “I love this one, because it belongs here.”

“I also think it was a good idea to give the front of the house a focal point and do something a little different,” adds Starsiak Hawk.

Who wins this round of ‘Rock the Block’?

Multi-toned exterior
Multitoned exterior


While Laine and Starsiak Hawk find a lot to love on everyone’s exteriors, Sherrod and Jackson’s home wins the day. This is largely due to their clean-white brick facade, as well as the fact that they raised the cement slabs in the back to meet the interior floors, making it feel as if the walk-out patio extends the size of the home.

Prize winning patio
Prize-winning patio


The duo from “Married to Real Estate” have a definite $5,000 advantage going into next week’s final challenge, when the winner of the whole shebang will be announced. Stay tuned!

The post ‘Rock the Block’ Reveals One Hot Outdoor Upgrade That Won’t Add Any Value to Your Home appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

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