The Ultimate Fixer Upper Fan Guide

I accidentally became a Fixer Upper expert. I'm not going to lie, I rarely watch the show. We don't have cable and Netflix is a little slow updating the episodes {you can find season 1 and 2 to stream or if you are a super fan you can purchase the episodes here}. I actually learned about Fixer Upper when I had a few people tell me that I looked a little bit like Joanna Gaines {see for yourself a little side by side and you decide}. I ran into her mom at the Silo's once and she didn't once think I was her daughter, so I'm not sure she's my doppelganger. My Fixer Upper expertise kind of started when my oldest son started to consider college at Baylor University.  I started talking to any and all Baylor grads about their experience and as we talked, several of them geeked about about their love of Fixer Upper, this new hit HGTV show featuring two Baylor alumni that was blowing up. One of those grads introduced me to season 3 client Jaime Ferguson who was kind enough to give us the inside scoop on what it was really like to be a Fixer Upper client. None of us could have imagined but that interview blew up the internet. It was really the first glimpse of it's kind that allowed Fixer Upper fans the chance to imagine what it would be like if they were clients of the hit TV show.  Since then, I've met or talked to several more Fixer Upper clients, visited Waco three different times, shopped Magnolia Market and eaten my weight in cupcakes from the Silos Baking Co. I have read bios, watched videos, scoured the internet and found out all kinds of interesting information from getting never before seen photos of the flip that made them famous to creating lists of must see things to do and see if you find yourself in Waco. So now, I've put together this ultimate fan guide to Fixer Upper. Even if you have seen every episode, I bet you will find something you didn't know. 

magnolia, magnolia market, silos, waco, texas, chip and joanna gaines

Ultimate Fan Guide to Fixer Upper

magnolia, magnolia market, silos, waco, texas, chip and joanna gaines

1. The whole house is remodeled...unless you don't want it to be

Client Jaime Ferguson said that her whole home was remodeled, even rooms you didn't see on their episode. Those rooms were mostly cosmetic updates like new carpet, paint, etc... However, Rachel Whyte said that they wanted to tackle a few of the projects on their own. There were two rooms and two bathrooms the Whyte's chose to tackle on their own. In hindsight, they wish they had just worked those rooms into the budget. 

2. You don't get to keep the furniture

I think if there was anything that broke the internet about the exclusive Fixer Upper interview that I did, it was this. I know I wasn't the first source to expose the fact that when Joanna Gaines comes in to work her magic, it's all just staging. Most of the homeowners have their own furniture already, but some clients opt to keep some of the decor items. The home is staged for the reveal and then the homeowners are given a price list and they can make the decision on what items they want to keep. Most no longer have the budget after the remodel to keep too much though!

3. The homeowners furniture is worked into the design

Fixer Upper client home tour

Occasionally, the homeowners furniture is worked into the design. Jaime had a big blue buffet that was precious to her that was used in the design of the home. This image was taken during the staging. You can see what it looks like in their home now that they have lived there for a bit. 

4. Custom made items for the couple are gifted to them

music room

I get this question all the time. In nearly every episode, Joanna works with local craftsmen to create one of a kind items for the homeowners. It could be a special metal sign made by Jimmy Don or a table crafted by Clint Harp. Those items are gifted to the homeowners. 

5. The home is already purchased before the filming starts

photo by: Rachel Whyte

While it's fun to see inside three houses that are would be contenders, Fixer Upper clients already have their fixer upper under contract or already purchased before becoming clients of the show. David Ridley actually looked at the home he bought a year prior to purchasing and as luck would have it, a real estate agent contacted him when it became available again. He bought the home before applying to be a client on Fixer Upper.

6. You can tour around Waco with past Fixer Upper clients

If you are a huge Fixer Upper fan and you find yourself planning a trip to Waco, Texas, the first thing you should do is book a trip with Waco Tours. Season 3 Fixer Upper clients Luke and Rachel Whyte and David Ridley saw a need in their city to reach the visitors that were coming to Magnolia Market and wanted to show them around a town that they loved. I had the chance to sit down with the three of them and I can promise you, you are going to want to book this tour

7. The improvement of Waco can't be credited totally to Fixer Upper

I have been mistaken myself and given credit to Fixer Upper for breathing new life into Waco. About ten years ago, long before Fixer Upper, a committee was formed called City Center Waco. Plans were started to reclaim downtown Waco. In fact, the Gaineses received a large tax incentive through this project as part of their Silo renovation. While many of us remember Waco because of the Branch Dividians, thankfully, Waco is now known as Fixer Upper Country. 

8. Chip really is that goofy

There are people who really want to find fault with Chip and Joanna Gaines. However, everyone I meet and talk to can attest to the fact that Chip and Joanna really are just as authentic in real life as they are on their hit show. It seems like what you see is what you get and as much as people try to, they just can't seem to find anything negative to say about them. Chip really is that goofy and Joanna really is that reserved and thoughtful. They are a strong Christian couple living out their strong Christian beliefs the best they can.

9. The Gaineses give back

My son started attending the same church that Chip and Joanna attend. When we went to visit one Sunday, we actually sat behind Joanna's parents. I looked around the large auditorium style sanctuary and noticed a lot of familiar faces. Many of the churches attendees have been clients on Fixer Upper back in the day when the show was struggling to get clients. On just about every episode a small local business is featured. Local artisans that make the necklaces Joanna wears {Summer Ellis}, coffee shop owners {Common Grounds}, and those Waco shirts with the X? Those are made by Congress Clothing. Heck, look at Clint Harp's success. He's now got his own spin off show and a booming shop. Chip and Joanna didn't have an easy start and want to help as many small local businesses as they can. 

10. A blog post was Joanna's lucky break

Chip and Joanna are no strangers to house flipping. They had been doing it for years before a photographer friend of Joanna's shared some images of the most recent flip that the Gaines couple had done {a house they reluctantly called home after literally selling the one they lived in out from under them}. The remodel was featured on and a producer from High Noon productions saw it and gave Joanna a call. You can see never before seen side by side pictures of the flip that made them famous.

11. There really is something just a little bit different about Waco

It seems like Fixer Upper viewers notice something different about Waco just from watching the show. David Ridley told me that one of the clients on his Waco Tour had mentioned that they were drawn to the area because of the show. They just knew there was something they had to experience for themselves. Could it be the fact that Waco is being covered in prayer? Could it be that in the past, Waco was known as a destination for healing and restoration because of it's artesian wells that used to draw people to the town? Whatever it is, you may just need to head to Waco, Texas yourself to see if you can figure it out!

That's a pretty darn good start for the ultimate fan. Did you learn anything new you didn't know? Anything you have been dying to know? Leave a question in the comments and I can see if I can get the answer for you. In the meantime, you can find more information in these Fixer Upper posts that should help you fill in the gaps.

The Flip that Made Them Famous
Exclusive Interview with Season 3 Fixer Upper Client Jaime Ferguson
Inside a Fixer Upper Clients Home {after the staging}
How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Waco, Texas
11 Things You Didn't Know about Fixer Upper and Waco, TX
20 Places to Visit in Waco, TX {thinking beyond Magnolia Market}
Is it Worth a Special Visit to go to Magnolia Market
5 Things to Know Before you Visit Magnolia Market

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Unknown said...

It all sounds good & looks great but the furniture is not for the people to keep with the house. If they want it they have to buy it which makes the cost even higher. Also the price all these shows say the house is worth now is a bit optimistic. It's only if the people sell the house & it depends on the market at the time of sale. The houses do look good once they are completed though.

Kris said...

So happy to hear that Clint Harp has his own spinoff show! I love him and he is super talented. What is the name of his show?

Kris said...

Fact #5 was my "learned something new". This is really interesting to me - that the clients already own the home. So when it's filmed, they've already walked thru that home several times? And what about the other 2 empty homes they walk through? Did the Gaines' buy those for their own flips? I've always wondered why all of the homes they walk through are completely empty (there have been 1 or 2 exceptions). Would love to hear more detail about Fact#5.

rachelteodoro said...

Kris, Clint's show is called Against the Grain. It looks like it's on the DIY network. I don't have cable so I don't know much more about it. I just love that the Gaines' have really helped other small businesses find success too. It's fabulous!

Deb Plapp said...

I think it would be great if some of the homes Chip and Joanna revamp could be on a house walk tour!

Unknown said...

I love your blog. I did know that the furnishings were not included and were for staging but I wanted to find out about Clint Harps designs. I am under the belief that they are “gifts” from the show and the homeowners don’t have to purchase them. That would be pretty crappy if they did. And if they can’t purchase them, where does his merchandise go? Joanna’s warehouse? Please let me know if you can find this out. I really appreciate you bringing the Gaines family and personally in the spotlight. I’m just sad this is their last season.

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