HGTV and Fixer Upper fans probably know Chip Gaines as an infallible renovation pro, but the truth is, even the most seasoned vets make mistakes.
While promoting his new book, Capital Gaines: Smart Stuff I've Learned Doing Stupid Stuff, Gaines explained to Good Housekeeping that he once made a major gaffe — maybe his biggest, ever — and how he's very grateful that Joanna, his wife and partner in renovation, is all about forgiving and forgetting.
While looking back at all he's learned during the countless home renovations that he and Joanna have done, both for the show and before they achieved their status as home-improvement royalty, one stood out above the rest for good reason: It's a big one.
"Hands down, the time I misunderstood Jo's direction and demoed the wrong wall. I took that thing down all the way to the studs before I realized what I'd done," he told Good Housekeeping. "I've never been so glad that Jo doesn't hold a grudge!"
Chip explained that after the wall came down, he and Joanna worked together to come up with a solution. He may have gotten some ribbing from her at the time, but he says that they've moved on and he's made plenty of other mistakes since. With so many other lessons, it makes sense that Joanna would put something like a misidentified wall out of mind.
The pro offered some tips for fans and at-home renovators, too, drawing from his own experiences. He says that it's worth shelling out more cash for top-quality materials and adds that being realistic about expectations is the most important part of a reno. Knowing exactly how much money to spend, how long something is going to take, and just what's involved will keep things in focus and keep people from skipping steps, taking shortcuts, and making mistakes.
Even though he's been through the process over and over, Chip says that the feeling of accomplishment never gets old. That personal satisfaction coupled with the knowledge that he's helping people out is what keeps him going. Thankfully, fans can't get enough, which means there'll be plenty more Fixer Upper coming their way.
"I'm proud of every project Jo and I have done for different reasons, because when you think about the gravity of these families entrusting us with their home," he says. "It's pretty powerful what we get to do."
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