These Are the Rules You Have to Follow to Get Cast on ‘Fixer Upper’
If you’re a fan of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, you probably dream of Chip and Joanna Gaines decorating your dream home. It may seem like a fantasy, but if you’re willing to agree to the terms, you could actually get cast on Fixer Upper and meet Chip and Jo in real life!
But Fixer Upper hopefuls won’t find casting info on HGTV’s website. Instead, they need to visit the show’s production company website: High Noon Entertainment. There, the company reveals all the details of getting cast. Below, check out the most surprising guidelines you must agree to in order to get cast on Fixer Upper, including one unusual financial rule you must follow (on page 10).
1. You have to buy a home within a 40-mile radius of Waco
Anybody who’s watched more than a few episodes of Fixer Upper has probably noticed Chip and Joanna don’t stray too far from Waco, Texas. So, if you want to get cast, you need to buy, or plan to buy, a home within a 40-mile radius of the city, according to High Noon Entertainment’s casting call. Fortunately, there are plenty of neighborhoods and suburbs to choose among. So if you like the area, you’ll likely find a neighborhood that’s right for you.
Next: Is your personality right for Fixer Upper?
2. You have to be ‘outgoing, energetic, and fun’
High Noon Entertainment’s casting call says potential Fixer Upper stars need to be “outgoing, energetic, and fun!” (Or at least able to seem that way on camera!) The most fun homeowners on Fixer Upper are those who keep up with Chip and Joanna, including Chip’s notorious sense of humor. If that sounds like you, you could be a great fit for the show!
Next: Are you already an interior-design aficionado?
3. You have to ‘be in need of expert design and construction help’
The Fixer Upper casting call explains that eligible homebuyers need to “be in need of expert design and construction help for your new fixer upper home.” Translation? If you’re already big into interior design and home renovations, this isn’t for you. One of the big secrets behind Fixer Upper: Chip, Joanna, and their crew are in charge of the renovation. They’ll do their best to design a home you and your family will love. But ultimately, you must relinquish control of the project if you want to be on the show.
Next: Do you love all the furniture Joanna includes in the homes?
4. You won’t get to keep the home decor
Nearly all of the furniture and decor will be removed when you move into your new home. Joanna stages most of it, with the one exception being custom pieces she’s made specifically for your family (like a monogrammed, rustic sign). You will have the option to purchase a lot of the staged items, but considering your spent budget, this likely won’t get you most of the pieces you love.
Next: The age limit you may not have considered
5. You have to be at least 21 years old
For most Fixer Upper fans, this rule is no problem. Our apologies to precocious youngsters who have saved up their money and want to buy their first house in the Waco area, but Chip and Joanna can’t help you out until you’re legal. We have a feeling that this is a pretty standard rule in show business, so you may need to bide your time if you’re intent on having your moment in the HGTV spotlight.
Next: The grunt work behind applying for Fixer Upper
6. You have to answer detailed questions about the house
When you fill out the application for Fixer Upper, you’ll have to answer a lot of questions about the house you’re purchasing. (If you just want to move to Waco and haven’t settled on a specific house, you’re off the hook — at least for now.) You’ll have to give basic information, like the square footage and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. But you’ll also have to describe the style of the home, research parking restrictions, explain any structural issues, and find out if your neighborhood association requires extra approval.
Next: Know your boundaries — and hope they follow them.
7. You have to specify if anything is off-limits
When Chip and Joanna plan a renovation, they often knock down walls and make other major changes to homes. The casting call asks homebuyers interested in appearing on Fixer Upper to specify if there’s anything off-limits in the home. Don’t want Chip and Jo to knock down walls, rewire the home, tear out the carpeting, or make major changes to the exterior? Then let the producers know. (And keep your fingers crossed it doesn’t work against you when they cast people for the show.)
Next: You need to do this even if you already bought your house.
8. You have to go on a fictional house hunt with Chip and Joanna
The casting call’s questions confirm a key detail about Fixer Upper: Those house-hunting scenes at the beginning of each episode are definitely staged. The producers want to know all about the house you’re purchasing or you’ve already purchased. To appear on the show, you must give up your fantasy of getting Chip and Joanna’s help choosing a house. In fact, former participants report you have to already be under contract to appear on the show.
Next: You need to be an open book for producers.
9. You have to answer detailed questions about your family
The casting call also asks some pretty specific questions about your family. You have to tell producers about who will live in the home and the ages of your children. They want to know about your family’s hobbies and activities. The producers ask whether you have pets, and they want to know your occupation and why you’re moving to the area. Plus, they ask about the neighborhood and type of home you’re moving from, and even ask if there’s a time-sensitive reason why you decided to move.
Next: The unusual financial rule you must agree upon
10. You have to spend at least $30,000 on the renovation
Here comes the painful part: To be eligible to appear on Fixer Upper, you must have at least $30,000 to spend on the renovation in addition to the cost of buying your new home. The casting call also specifies your “financial contribution should be proportional to the amount of renovations your new home will need.” The upshot? If you buy a huge old house that needs a lot of work, even $30,000 may not cut it.
Next: Get your camera ready.
11. You’ll also need to share photos of the home
The producers also want to see lots of photos of the home you’re buying or thinking about purchasing. They especially want to see photos of the kitchen and living room. And they also request photos of the family room, bathrooms, backyard, and front of the house. Interestingly enough, they don’t specifically ask for photos any bedrooms. Because they don’t always renovate all the rooms in a house, the bedrooms sometimes get left out of the show.
Next: A good way to keep Chip and Joanna informed
12. You must think carefully about what you dislike about the home
Once you choose a home, the producers want to know all about what you like and dislike about it. The casting call asks whether the backyard needs any improvements or presents any problems Chip and Joanna need to solve. Producers want to know about problems with the home’s curb appeal. They ask, again, about the style of the house. Then, they also ask applicants to describe their dream home and explain how the home they’re purchasing could become their dream home. The producers add, “Please be descriptive (feel free to send tear sheets of things you’ve dreamt of for the space).”
Next: Don’t mention your hatred for shiplap.
13. You have to describe your design style
One of Joanna’s biggest challenges on the show is to design a home that reflects the style of both members of a couple. So the producers try to get on that task from the beginning. When you answer the casting call, you’ll need to describe your design style and elaborate if your partner’s style is different from yours. Of course, the producers also want to know what you dislike in the design of a home. (Our advice? Try not to mention of the impractical things Joanna puts in every Fixer Upper house.)
Next: Update your family portrait.
14. You have to share photos of yourself and your family
The casting call also asks Fixer Upper applicants to upload photos of themselves and their family. This is probably as good a time as any to think about what’s likely to happen if you get cast on Fixer Upper and your home is featured on the show. The Gaines family has lots of fans, so your home may become an attraction for curious passersby. Some Fixer Upper homeowners have even opted to rent out their homes, or sell them altogether, because they didn’t like all the attention.
Next: It may help to have a degree in marketing.
15. You really have to pitch your family’s story
Think that a cool house is enough to get you on Fixer Upper? Think again. Casting gets competitive for this HGTV hit. So you’ll need to be strategic about how you fill out the casting call. The document asks applicants, “Hundreds of people will be applying to Fixer Upper. Why should we pick your family/your home? What makes your family unique?” Producers also want to know, “If you are chosen for Fixer Upper and we help you turn your situation into the right house that’s in the right location, what would this mean to you and your family?” You’ll probably need to think long and hard about how to answer those questions.