‘Fixer Upper’ Secrets Exposed! What Is It Really Like To Be On Chip And Joanna Gaines Hit HGTV Show?

Chip and Joanna Gaines are well-known for inspiring fans with their renovations on Fixer Upper – but is their show what it seems? From landing a spot on the show to what happens after the big reveal, here’s what it is really like to be on Chip and Joanna’s hit HGTV series.

According to Fox News, you have to be under contract with the home before Chip and Joanna will agree to do the renovation. This isn’t how things play out on the show. A typical episode starts with the couple showing their customers three homes. The clients then pick out one of the homes to renovate. In reality, each client has already placed an offer on one of the houses before the cameras start rolling.

“You have to be under contract to be on the show. They show you other homes but you already have one,” David Ridley, a participant on Season 3 of Fixer Upper, shared. “After they select you, they send your house to Chip and Joanna and their design team.”

Wet Paint reports that you don’t have to buy a house in Waco to land a spot on Fixer Upper. You do, however, need to be within 40 miles of Waco or you will not qualify for a renovation from the Fixer Upper couple.

Once you get on the show, Delish reports that you are expected to create a budget and a Pinterest board to help Chip and Joanna make decisions without you. The budget for renovations needs to be at least $30,000 and you will probably only meet Chip and Joanna a few times during the entire process – on real estate day, design meeting and the big reveal.


“You have to sign off on your budget at the beginning and we actually didn’t have any surprises come up during filming,” Rachel Whyte, a photographer in Waco who works with the couple, explained. “The budget goes towards your wish list, but the design team will also make decisions about what they think the home needs to be a TV-worthy renovation.”

Whyte added that it was uncomfortable being around the cameras, especially since her and her husband Luke weren’t used to the attention. She also revealed that producers had them repeat their reactions for the camera, though she assured fans that they didn’t fake anything.

According to Cheat Sheet, Chip and Joanna really do ask the homeowners to stay away during the renovation process. This helps to keep them out of Chip and Joanna’s way and also leads to a genuine surprise during the big reveal.

When it comes to the big reveal, Chip and Joanna don’t always renovate the entire home. Instead, the couple adheres closely to the budget and only focuses on rooms that are vital to the renovation process.


“At times, we only work on rooms that are of priority to our clients and that work within their budget. Some homeowners want to finish off their other rooms on their own since it is mainly cosmetic (paint and carpet),” Joanna admitted.

The big reveals are usually filled will brilliant designs, but homeowners aren’t allowed to keep all the new furniture and decorations. They are given the option to buy whatever pieces they want, but this is often out of the budget of most of the clients.

Despite these differences between what it showed on camera and what goes on behind the scenes, Chip and Joanna have built a successful show on HGTV. In fact, AOL compares the couple to another famous celebrity duo: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Not only are they both stars of their respective networks, but their reality shows aren’t always what they seem.

New episodes of Fixer Upper air Tuesday nights on HGTV.

[Featured Image by HGTV]