Here’s how much it costs to be on HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper’


If you’re a fan of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper,” you’ve likely fantasized about what it would be like for Chip and Joanna Gaines to rehab your very own home. But it might not be as fun as it looks. That’s because appearing on the show actually costs participants a hefty sum for all those fabulous upgrades. In fact, contestants must be willing to spend at least $30,000 on renovations to appear on the show.

Additionally, all homes must be purchased before filming, and the home must be based within 40 miles of Waco, Texas. And that’s not all! Homeowners must also purchase all the furniture used for staging.

It’s not all bad news, however. Homeowners do get a deal in that the renovations are typically done at cost. In exchange, HGTV pays the Gainses the 10 to 15 percent profit they normally would have charged the homeowners, plus overhead.

“The dollars we receive are comparable to what we would see on a project for anyone,” Chip Gaines told the Waco Tribune-Herald. “But the exposure is more tangible.”

And all that exposure also goes to the homeowners, who sometimes find it too much to handle. Due to nosy neighbors, show contestants Dave Morrow and his wife, Dr. Marla Hendricks, actually turned their renovated home into a vacation rental. The couple then renovated a separate home for themselves.

Who tends to rent their HGTV-styled home? “They’re mostly women in their 50s and tend to be big ‘Fixer Upper’ fans or Baylor-oriented,” Morrow told Waco Tribune-Herald.“[The home’s interior] is very Zen. We keep it like Joanna does—no clutter.”

Other “Fixer Upper” homeowners utilize vacation rental sites like VRBO and Airbnb to cash in on the popularity of the show.

Although the current season of the show was its last, diehard fans are in luck, because it turns out “Fixer Upper” is getting a spin-off.  Set to debut March 28, “Fixer Upper: Behind the Design” will take viewers behind the scenes of Chip and Joanna’s design process.

[h/t: Apartment Therapy]

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Kate Streit

Kate Streit lives in Chicago. She enjoys stand-up comedy, mystery novels, memoirs, summer and pumpkin spice anything. More.

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