Fleeced: $350k Ranch Renovation

Where did the money go? I just don’t see it. Spent $350k and the showpiece was an Ikea kitchen? The money went into fancy light fixtures? I just don’t see it. Sorry, but sounds like you were fleeeeced – From the Star Ledger:

N.J. Home Makeover: Livingston ranch undergoes $350K gut renovation

Hayley and Scott Prochazka bought a ranch-style home in April of 2013 and started renovations in July of the same year — little remained untouched.

They had lived in a Short Hills cape for six years before deciding to move to Livingston, Hayley’s hometown. While the Prochazkas, both 35, waited for their new Essex County home to be renovated, they lived with Hayley’s parents in the same township. Post-renovation, they have a modern, airy abode for their family, which includes sons Braden, 6, and Cooper, 3, and Aubrey, their 10-month-old daughter.

“We just wanted it to be really open and bright,” she says of her 5,000-square-foot home, which was built in 1966. Many of the rooms were dark, so while no part of the house was completely demolished, mostly every room got completely made over, which required the removal of a few walls. The ceilings were also raised by a foot.

“We didn’t think we were ripping it down to the studs,” Hayley says, but that’s pretty much what happened.

The kitchen, already white, was whitened up some more, thanks to an Ikea cabinet installation. The eating space was also updated with an infusion of Bosch appliances, including two ovens and a refrigerator. Gray wall tile complements the fresh cabinets and kitchen island.

The gut renovation of the property took 13 months — they moved into the home in January of 2014, before the makeover was complete.

$350,000 to $400,000. The Prochazkas had planned to spend $150,000 but costs rose once they realized the extent of the renovation they desired.

Some of the most obvious showpieces of the house are the lighting fixtures, designed by Artemide and Estiluz. Scott works in commercial lighting, so his expertise came in handy in this arena, while some other pointers came from Hayley’s sister, an interior designer. The Prochazkas also went all out on the windows, replacing each and every one in the house.

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20 Responses to Fleeced: $350k Ranch Renovation

  1. grim says:

    By the way – raised the ceilings by a foot? You were probably better off buying a teardown and building from scratch, you’ll never recoup that kind of cost. Ever.

  2. joyce says:

    (from last thread)

    What would we do without you always taking the time out of your day to remind us you don’t have the time to correct us?

  3. Comrade Nom Deplume, the loan snark says:

    [2] Joyce,

    “What would we do without you always taking the time out of your day to remind us you don’t have the time to correct us?”

    How about think for yourself?

  4. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I agree.

    350k on a renovation and you have ikea cabinets? Are these people serious.

    grim says:
    April 4, 2015 at 6:31 am
    By the way – raised the ceilings by a foot? You were probably better off buying a teardown and building from scratch, you’ll never recoup that kind of cost. Ever.

  5. chi says:

    This reno screams grandma passed away and left junior with too much. What a distorted mess. Unsellable. It will very quickly look dated.

  6. Fast Eddie says:

    They went from Short Hills to Livingston? How dare they! Don’t they know Braden, Cooper and Aubrey are names prevalent to Short Hills exclusively?

  7. Liquor Luge says:

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

  8. homeboken says:

    So this couple bought a $950,000 ranch in Livingston, dropped $350,000 rehab to get it to look like that? So they now have a $1.3mm basis and a $24k per year tax bill for an ikea kitchen and a trendy set-up that will not capture any sort of resale value ever. Great choices all over the place in this article.

  9. Juice Box says:

    re # 9 – driveway, landscaping, pool etc could easily have gone north of 100k

  10. POS cape says:

    From the original Ledger article:

    “We were a little inspired by Mad Men,” Hayley says.

    Like all the Tony Soprano house renos, it won’t age well.

  11. Liquor Luge says:

    Just another harbinger of the impending apocalypse.

  12. McDullard says:

    NJT from last thread…

    Most of the people I know that changed jobs are in the science and IT domains (mostly jumping to finance, general data science in different industries, etc.) Some are in the IT-business analyst roles and they are also able to leave their jobs and find ones they want. That said, there is news of jump in retail wages too.

    I think the issue of income inequality is getting fixed — it is a bit delayed but retail raising wages is a good sign. I will parrot some liberal talking points — it would be great to have a bigger stimulus, some single-payer like insurance and fewer tax cuts at the top.

    A lot of pain was from unrelenting GOP opposition. They’ve gone all Eddie on Obama so far (i.e. anything Obama does is bad), and also focused way too much on abortion and “religious freedom”. They’ve spent way too much time on repealing obamacare (irony being that even opponents like it for themselves but not for “others”).

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  14. NJT says:


    I have noticed an uptick in high end specialty IT jobs recently. Unless it’s .gov though (and you’re willing to relocate) the stability and bennies aren’t there. A couple months ago I passed on a gig working for a major hotel chain for…wow, a VERY good wage (1999 like). Couldn’t guarantee me a year.

    Even the major defense contractors are not what they used to be re: stability and bennies.

    On a positive note the H1B fad/fraud/scam in IT is finally wearing thin. Still stickin’ to the FT Landlord plan.

  15. Liquor Luge says:

    The only fun to be had when it all comes crashing down again will be watching the anon/Punkin set shit their pants when it finally dawns on them that the “recovery”!was nothing more than a PR campaign for a total sham.

  16. McDullard says:

    Clot, if and when such a crash comes, most of us will be hit, and it won’t matter if we support the red team or the blue team. The ones that are well connected will be fine independent of what team they support.

  17. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [16] Not a problem. Punkin wears Depends and anon never leaves the commode.

  18. Ragnar says:

    Assuming the next president is Republican, the lefties and the lamestream media will suddenly be able to see everything that’s wrong with the US economy. Because then they can say it will be his fault, not Oblamer’s.

  19. Libturd at home says:

    The next president will still be blue team. But it really doesn’t matter now does it.

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