"Good Bones" follows mother-daughter duo Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk as they rescue and renovate homes all around their native Indianapolis. "Mina and Karen are home reno powerhouses who keep millions of fans coming back for more," Jane Latman, HGTV president, shared in a Discovery press release. So it makes sense that "Good Bones" is arguably one of the most popular shows on HGTV. According to Discovery, the show’s fifth season garnered more than 22 million views. In 2020, it also scored the top spot as the No. 1 most-watched series on HGTV GO and secured more than 5.7 million views on HGTV’s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages.
Lucky for fans, these powerhouses are coming back for more. "Good Bones" Season 6 is premiering on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 — and it’s bound to be the best season yet. This new season will show Mina and Karen navigate a new baby and semi-retirement, respectively, as well as a brand new crop of homes that desperately need their expert touches. Mina sat down with The List for an exclusive interview in which she dished on the new season of "Good Bones."
Mina Starsiak Hawk reveals why Season 6 of Good Bones is different
This new season is pretty different from all of your previous seasons. Can you explain the big changes in the company and in the family?
Yeah, I mean, obviously lots of changes. I’ve got two kiddos now. My husband and I have both always worked, so that’s a new human for us both to balance. But we’ve been figuring it out pretty well, and the show is just a lot of the really fun, same crazy stuff. The biggest difference I think you’re going to see is of Mom’s retirement, that the rest of team is taking on more of those roles. So I’m not discussing floor plans with her. It’s me and Cory going over that, and then MJ and I doing the designs for the houses. And Mom’s really having her moment to shine with some pretty awesome landscapes at the houses and her usual fun DIY projects, and they’re just bigger and cooler than ever.
What’s it been like for you since your mom’s partially retired? Do you ever wish she’d come back to full-time?
I mean, it’s a double-edged sword both ways. I think for us it got a little stressful at the end, because we’re in such different places in our lives, and I’m like, "All right. Let’s go. I’m building an empire." And she’s like, "Well, yeah, let’s slow down, girl. You’re going too fast. You’re doing too much." So, although it’s definitely been a transition, I think it probably has us both in more comfortable places where we want to be. So, she’s feeling like she has time. Her husband’s been retired for a few years, and so that’s been a little bit of a pull on her to want to be around more. So, she’s getting to do that and is getting to travel, and I’m attempting to build an empire.
Good Bones’ Mina Starsiak Hawk opens up about why rehabbing Indianapolis is so important
Why is rehabbing homes in Indianapolis so important to you? Do you feel that your work thus far has made an impact on the community?
I think it’s something that we stumbled into as a business but then saw how much of an effect it could have, and so it became our business model. So we started in Fountain Square simply because it was close to downtown, and it was affordable, and there were dilapidated properties that we had $10,000 to buy. And then once we’d done a chunk in that area, and you see like, "Oh, okay, we’ve done three on two blocks." And you can see the tipping point there, and it just makes such a bigger difference. We’ve done over 100 houses now in probably a square mile. There’s a couple of outliers, but 100 houses in that small of an area really makes an impact. Whereas if we’d jumped all over the city, it would probably be a more financially fruitful business model, but there’s definitely something to be said for we live in the neighborhood, and that’s where our heart is with the business.
Have there been any specific homes that you’ve redone that you’ve seen a dramatic change in that family’s life?
Well, I mean, with our show, because we’re not renovating for a family that’s already living in the home, it’s a little bit different. When we have the buyers come in at the end, it’s always exciting. But I think probably one of the cooler stories that you’ll see … We didn’t have a buyer for this particular house, but the way the neighborhood is, even if you’ve move out of it, you still have friends that live in it or go to the churches that are in it.
So a gentleman came by the property, because he still goes to church right around the corner and told us all these amazing stories about how he grew up in the house across the street. And his godfather lived in this house, so he pretty much grew up in this house and told us about how he watched the moon landing on the TV in that house. It was a TV that his godfather had won from a sales competition, and they had the original bill of sale from the house and just all this really cool stuff. And we didn’t have a buyer, so him and his wife came and walked through at the end, and it was just really cool.
Yeah, and we also don’t have the deepest pockets, so one of the things that we can offer is that hometown feel where it’s like a lot of people renovating in Fountain Square, the way you’re going to make the most money is to tear down whatever is there and build way bigger. And a lot of people come to us specifically and probably sell for a little bit less, because that’s all we can afford but know that we won’t tear them down. So there’s definitely some meaning in it for the families that are selling them to us some of the time as well.
Mina Starsiak Hawk on the best and worst parts of filming Good Bones Season 6
What has been your favorite moment from filming this new season?
Oh, gosh. It feels like it was so long ago, because we have already started filming Season 7, and it’s like you’ve got to do a brain dump, because there’s not enough room. There were so many fun ones. Cory and Tad, I mean, always have their moments, but Cory actually becomes a homeowner in this season. So there’s some fun, special moments with that.
What has been the hardest part of filming this new season?
I mean, the pandemic. That, obviously, I think that’s everyone’s answer. What was the hardest part of anything this last year? For us, we were in a uniquely tricky position, because a lot of other shows just shut down filming, which made sense. But they’re shows where they’re renovating someone’s kitchen or maybe your backyard, and you can just not do that. You can just wait, but we’re renovating houses. A lot of them were already under contract to close, and it’s like, "Okay, how can you quarantine in your home if your home’s not done?"
And construction is considered one of those vital fields, so we could keep going, but the production team couldn’t. So, it was this challenging balance of making sure we were still able to make some progress and meet deadlines, and they were able to get the footage they needed to make the show that we have. So, it was a tricky dance for … I think it was about six to eight weeks before we got a really good new normal down.
Was going out and being around all of the contractors and being around the film crew stressful for you?
I’m just not that kind of person. 100% probably could be more of a worrier about that kind of stuff, but I’m more of a workaholic than I am a worrier. So, not getting the job done is more stressful than staying home and maybe not getting sick. And, I mean, obviously not to make light of it, because so many people it affected very tragically, but my general health condition and my age put me in a position that if I did get sick, I would likely be okay. And our testing protocols are … We were doing three days a week. The PCR tests and the rapid tests and everything, so if anyone got it, everything was on lockdown for two weeks no matter what. So the network and our production company did a really good job of making an environment that we could still function in.
Mina Starsiak Hawk shares a moment viewers won’t get to see on Good Bones
Is there anything that happened in this new season that the cameras won’t show us but you wish viewers got to see?
Oh my gosh. Every season, so many things. We could make 100 more episodes with everything that gets cut from the show. But there’s only so much time, so. We prank each other all the time, and honestly, I think a lot of people think we see the episodes before they do, but we don’t. So I don’t know what made it or what didn’t, but, I mean, there’s always some ridiculous wrestling match or … Actually, about two months ago … I’m not proud of this … was a poo-flinging fight that I’m guessing will not make the cut, because it was pretty gross. And we probably have a 10-hour long episode.
I have to hear more about this poo-flinging fight. Where did the poo come from?
It was someone walking their dogs, obviously, had left a bag of poop in the front yard, and Tad and Cory … You won’t see this in Season 6, because we already started filming Season 7, and this is when we were doing demo on one of those houses. And Cory and Tad were manhandling me out of the house to make me smell something or do something. I can’t remember what they were trying to get me to do. And were physically … I had my legs splayed on a doorway so they couldn’t push me through it. It got very intense. And then when I finally managed to crawl away, and they were going to grab my leg again, this bag of poo just happened to be right in front of me. And I picked it up and turned around and flung it at Cory, and it broke when it hit him. And then it just went downhill very quickly.
Those are things that probably will never make TV because it’s gross.
I don’t know. That is a classic comedy moment.
It is. And, I mean, HGTV is loosening their belts nowadays with what they’ll let in, so that bodes well, particularly for our show. Because we have a lot of moments that we think are great that maybe aren’t for public consumption.
Mina Starsiak Hawk opens up about her relationship with her mom
Tell me a little bit more about your relationship with your mom. What’s it like working together? Does it bring you closer together or does it create more challenges?
I think with a lot of mothers, daughters, friends … any kind of relationship since I was young, particularly mother and daughter, we had our ups and downs. We had periods where we weren’t close and didn’t really talk much. And then we had periods where we were probably dysfunctionally close. And then you settle somewhere in between there. And I think with her semi-retirement, it’s helped us get a little bit of perspective. We were just in such different places with where we were trying to go with our lives. Particularly the business, and her husband’s retired, and she wanted to slow down and spend time with him, and I’m rearing and ready to go. I’m like, "I’m building this brand and this life." So I think her retirement probably has made things easier for us, because we’re just in such different parts of our lives. But pretty up and down per most … I mean, we definitely have our ugly moments, and those probably get edited out. And we fight like anyone else, but at the end of the day, it’s family, so we’re thick as thieves.
"Good Bones" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV, and new episodes are available to stream the same day on discovery+.