They’re not demanding lavish dressing rooms or full-time assistants, but Chip and Joanna Gaines apparently are becoming stars on HGTV.
The cable channel on July 10 aired the finale of “Fixer Upper,” a series that features the Gaineses converting aging or problem-plagued houses into dream homes for clients. But already, filming has begun on a 13-home second season that the network likely will begin airing in January, Chip Gaines said in a phone interview.
“Can this go on indefinitely? That is the million-dollar question,” he said, with a laugh.
The Gaineses and High Noon Productions in Denver collaborate on the filming of “Fixer Upper,” and they already have identified three homes on which to work their magic. Chip Gaines politely declined to identify their locations, saying his silence is to protect construction and film crews from interruptions.
This time around, he said, he and Joanna want to find more homes outside the Waco city limits but within a 30-mile radius.
“We had projects in West and Robinson during the first season, but now we’re looking at Hillsboro, Clifton and Lorena,” he said. “Of course, two-thirds of the homes will still be in the city of Waco, but we’re trying to expand our scope, and we think this could create even more interest.”
Already, he said, the Gaineses get feedback on the program from “across the country, even around the world.”
“This has turned out better than we could have expected in so many ways,” he said. “The only disappointment is that we can’t do all we would like for our longtime local clients.”
Besides filming a successful TV program, Joanna Gaines has reopened Magnolia Market, a boutique and home interior emporium at 3801 Bosque Blvd. She had closed the doors about five years ago, as the Gaineses focused on raising their four children.
The couple also owns and operates Magnolia Homes, a homebuilding company whose products include Magnolia Villas at North 46th Street and Bosque Boulevard.
The HGTV website calls the Gaineses, both Baylor University graduates, “the can’t-be-stopped couple.” They have worked on more than 100 homes together, combining Chip’s great instinct for real estate and Joanna’s unique eye for design, according to the site’s description of its stars.
Patrick Jager, longtime executive producer of “Fixer Upper,” predicted last year that America would fall in love with the couple.
“They have that spark, that ‘it’ factor,” Jager said. “I went to college in Texas, and I know the wonderful personalities Texans have.”
Others involved in production have said the Gaineses’ engaging approach to working magic on homes could keep “Fixer Upper” on HGTV’s hit list for quite some time.
Behind the scenes, the “Fixer-Upper” concept works like this: The production company or the Gaineses find people willing to spend at least $30,000 to renovate a home they plan to buy.
The Gaineses prepare a detailed estimate of what the improvements will cost, and the would-be homeowners make payments as each phase of work winds down.
When the transformation is complete, the network pays the Gaineses the 10 to 15 percent profit they would expect to receive on such a task, plus overhead.
“The dollars we receive are comparable to what we would see on a project for anyone,” Chip Gaines said. “But the exposure is more tangible.”
Meanwhile, the homeowners come out looking good from a financial standpoint “because they are basically getting the work done at cost,” he said.
With that in mind, he said, he wants the public to know the program is looking for 10 more homes with which to complete its second season of programming.
Anyone interested should call Magnolia Homes at 254-235-6111 to discuss requirements.
“We don’t want all empty-nesters or all families with kids. We want a mix,” said Chip Gaines, adding there really is no limit on how much can be spent on a project.