HGTV's Mina Starsiak Breaks Down What Gives A House 'Good Bones'

The phrase 'good bones' comes up often in the design and real estate world, usually signaling a home that boasts either impressive or sound architecture. A well-built home, made of solid materials and good structural engineering will endure through time, despite changing home styles, design trends, and real estate fads. HGTV's "Good Bones" host Mina Starsiak Hawk recently shared with some of the things that she, as both a home buyer and designer, looks for that signify 'good bones' in a potential home. According to her, many criteria are based on the integrity and endurance of the overall structure.

Elements to look out for include concrete foundations, porches, rooflines, and any sort of stag or irregularity in the structure. While a home may be in need of remodeling to fit modern needs, many of those changes are purely cosmetic and aesthetic. None will do much good if the integrity of the home is compromised by flaws and shoddy construction.

What to look out for

Mina Stariak Hawk suggests buyers focus on four big-ticket items, which include the structure, the foundation, the framing, and the roof. She uses the example of a cracked or sagging concrete porch as a bad sign. It not only impacts the functionality of the porch or patio itself but it could be an indication of a larger problem with the home's entire foundation. Typically cracks or shifts signal that moisture is causing an issue somewhere in the foundation, which can be very costly to fix. It's also a fairly good sign that other issues may crop up due to shoddy construction or poor planning.

You should also look carefully at the roofline for any sagging. It could signal a need for structural resupporting which could spell trouble, particularly if you intend to do extensive remodels like opening up rooms and removing walls. These alterations could make the problem worse. Rebuilding a foundation or extensive roof and structural repairs can often eat up a budget faster than anything that is purely cosmetic.