A Former Fixer Upper Client Just Revealed Some Very Interesting Behind-the-Scenes Secrets
Wait, you don't actually get to deal with the Gaineses directly?
By Taysha Murtaugh
We've already revealed a lot about what it's like to be on HGTV's Fixer Upper: Do clients get to keep the furniture? Sure, if they buy it. Do Chip and Jo renovate the whole house? You betcha! Still, there's so much we don't know about actually appearing on our favorite home renovation show. Thankfully, Rachel Teodoro, the blogger behind Holy Craft, just interviewed a homeowner who was featured on the show—and y'all aren't going to believe what she found out!
Teodoro is pretty connected with Waco, Texas, residents: She's the same insider who originally unveiled some other big behind-the-scenes secrets. So we weren't surprised when she got in touch with Lindy Ermoian (from season three's "Coastal Calm in the Country" episode) and learned a few interesting things:
1. You don't actually work one-on-one with Chip & Joanna.
If you had visions of you and your husband appearing on Fixer Upper and becoming BFFs with the Gaineses, you might want to sit down for this one. Ermoian says the clients communicate mostly with the design assistants—not with the HGTV stars themselves. But the good news is, you might get more of a say in the design than you thought. Ermoian told Teodoro that the team was diligent about running design ideas past her.
Overall, Ermoian had only nice things to say about the hosts and their work. Unlike others on the show, she and her husband still live in their fixer-upper and don't plan on leaving or renting it out.
2. The homeowners are acting.
It's been established by former clients and the Fixer Upper application itself that most clients have already purchased or are under contract on their home before filming even begins. Of course, that means the whole house-hunting sequence at the start of each episode is often fake—especially in Ermoian's case. Remember how she realized it was her grandma's old house when Chip and Joanna took her and her husband Chris on the tour? Ermoian already knew. In fact, the previous owners of the 1971 ranch house in Hewitt, TX, were actually her parents. No wonder they gave her such a bargain!
3. Chip doesn't really do that much demo.
He may famously love Demo Day, but Ermoian says she and her family never saw the contractor himself swing a hammer—at least not from the outside view. (Oh yeah, she and her husband were staying next door, so the reveal wasn't a complete surprise to them, like it seems in the show.) Of course, Chip's likely juggling multiple projects, so it makes sense he'd delegate some tasks, even demolition-related ones.
Joanna, meanwhile, actually does the staging herself, with the help of her design team. So we're guessing those shots of her rewarding herself with cupcakes and kisses from her babies are as real as can be!