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Chip and Joanna Gaines said their Cottonland Castle renovation in Waco, Texas is their longest project to date. It’s also the most exhausting undertaking the couple has ever been involved in and they’re proud of how it all turned out.

Chip and Joanna Gaines smile at an AOL event, with Chip wearing a dark button down shirt and hat and Joanna wearing a white top.
Chip and Joanna Gaines | Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic

Chip and Joanna Gaines said Cottonland Castle renovation was ‘our longest project’

During an October 2022 interview with ET, Chip and Joanna shed a little light on just how involved the castle renovation was.

“This was our longest project by a long shot,” Chip said. “It was fascinating. This thing took on a life of its own and it took longer, it took more money. I would say that’s partly why we’re so proud of it now that it’s in the rearview mirror.”

Chip added, “But during the project, it was exhausting and tiring and complicated.”

Joanna said that the project took three years to complete. “We bought it, we planned a year of design, research, figuring out where we needed to get the materials, and then once we finally pushed go it was almost a year of construction,” she explained.

Even though Chip said he and Joanna “are wildly efficient” and experienced with tight budgets and timelines, the castle provided more challenges. “This house would not allow for that. It wouldn’t allow for the budget that we created for it,” Chip explained.

Chip Gaines dreamed of buying the castle for 20 years

This project didn’t just land in their laps, as Chip explained how he wanted to buy the castle for two decades.

“For the last 20 years he’s been trying to buy the castle,” Joanna shared. “He got to the point where he wouldn’t tell me anymore when he was putting an offer in because I said, ‘I don’t want the castle. Don’t buy the castle.’”

The castle was on the market a number of times — and the timing and finances finally lined up for the Gaines. “The irony is that the only time I could have actually afforded it was the time it actually was accepted,” Chip said. “And now here we are.”

He added, “But the other three opportunities probably would’ve bankrupted us. And I mean that literally. We would have immediately sunk the entire ship.”


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Chip and Joanna aren’t sure what’s next for their castle

With the years of work behind them, what do they have planned for the castle? According to the Gaines, they’re not sure.

Joanna wants to sell it but Chip isn’t so sure, saying that it was their plan to sell it but he also doesn’t want to make any hasty decisions.

“When I think about owning a piece of history … I mean, this is a project that I was pursuing for 20 years,” Chip said. “The reality is we need to sell it and we should sell it.”

He added, “But I wonder if it’s not one of those things 10 years from now you don’t look back and wonder, ‘Gosh, should we have kept it? What if somebody in the family wanted it?’”