Rowhouse Showdown Episode 5: The Bitchin’ Kitchen — Halfway through the competition and killer fatigue has hit two of the three teams. The massive kitchen renovation does not help.This week’s Rowhouse Showdown challenge has the three teams renovating kitchens. All three spaces require extensive refurbishing, so the average budget is $25,000. They have four days to complete the project. What are the tricks of the trade from such an undertaking?
Earmark 90% of your budget for surprises behind the wall.
As is the case with any major renovation, what is hiding behind a wall could completely decimate your budget. There could be illegal/dangerous/bonkers electrical work, unexpected plumbing, or in Team Minnesota’s case a surprise chimney. The goal was to open up the kitchen to create space and flow, but instead time and money had to be used to remove the chimney, add bulkheads and support beams, and fudge on design elements. I thought it was odd at the beginning of the episode when Katie and Dan expressed concern about $25,000 being too limited, but now I understand why.
The devil is in the details, and the kitchen islands created by Teams LSITATYG1 and Clean Hands demonstrated how attention to detail is important. For Ted and Krystal, they wanted three pendant lights hanging above their “lumberjack butcher block” countertop. On the drawing it looked great; in execution, the electric work did not allow for three lights and the measurements for the countertop were way off. As for Geoff and Josh, they used an awesome waterfall countertop design that fit in with their aesthetic beautifully. However, they island was six inches too close to the cabinets/appliances and the dishwasher was placed opposite the oven. Granted, no one is going to need to get into both appliances at the same time, but there was very little space for one door to open all the way.
Do not leave the job site.
Ted and Krystal decided it would be in their best interests to take a day to relax and regroup, maybe go to King’s Island, who knows. They wrote out detailed instructions for the tiler, the floor guys, the electrician, and the plumber. Surprise: none of the work was done properly. Frankly, I’m astonished that production allowed the couple to leave the location—usually contestants are on lockdown throughout filming on shows like this. Even if the work had been done properly, there is still the issue of having two fewer sets of hands doing other things to move the overall project along.
Shocker: Krystal and Ted’s kitchen wasn’t finished and did not impress Kathy Kuo or Jim Bronzie. It probably didn’t help that host Carter Oosterhouse was flabbergasted about the team taking a day off. Geoff and Josh’s kitchen had a gorgeous color scheme and featured smart cabinet choices to take advantage of the tall ceilings. The boys did get dinged for their mis-measured island and B+ grout work. Katie and Dan made the best of their bad situation and created a lovely space, but their efforts to disguise the bulkheads as design features proved to be a distraction.
Team Clean Hands were named the winners—their third win in a row—and will receive a $1,000 bonus next week. Josh caught on immediately that the money is a bonus and won’t be stolen from another team. The reason: Krystal and Ted’s demonstration of being checked out caused the judges to disqualify them from the competition. Lumberjack Sexy Is No Longer a Thing You Guys. The contestants leave and a new team takes their place: Anya and Alena.
Next week on Rowhouse Showdown: The teams get free reign on their respective houses’ bonus rooms. Josh sets his sights on destroying Team New Kids on the Block2, but the stress seems to be doing the work for him.