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Chip and Joanna Gaines embarked on a huge Fixer Upper renovation of the Cottonland Castle in Waco, Texas and there were plenty of challenges along the way. Chip says the “scariest” part for him was exterior work but the couple certainly had their work cut out for them renovating a historic property.

Chip Gaines smiles and waves sitting next to Joanna Gaines smiling
Chip and Joanna Gaines | Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Chip and Joanna Gaines reveal the ‘Scariest’ part of the ‘Fixer Upper’ castle renovation

The Fixer Upper stars renovated the Cottonland Castle, which was built in 1890 and took 23 years to complete. Restoring the castle while maintaining the historic home’s character wasn’t an easy task.

During an October 2022 interview with ET, when asked, “Was there ever a point where you’re like, ‘We’re getting out,’” Joanna said, “Every time I walked in the door for the first 75 percent of the project.”

Chip admitted the “scariest part” of the renovation wasn’t anything on the inside. “The exterior stuff, like the stone, was the scariest decision for me, because if you mess that stone up, you know, it’s like a facelift gone wrong.”

Joanna added, “More than it being on Fixer Upper, more than anything, we wanted the neighbors to be proud of what we did with this thing.”

Chip added, “It turned out great and we’re proud of it.”

The castle is the ‘longest project’ Chip and Joanna have ever worked on

Chip and Joanna’s castle renovation took three years for the whole project. “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.”

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

Joanna broke down everything that was involved in those three years. “So three years total. 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 and Joanna are efficient and no strangers to “really tight budgets, tight timelines,” he admitted, “This house would not allow for that. It wouldn’t allow for the budget that we created for it.”


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They’re not sure if they want to sell the castle

Now that they’ve got the castle renovation in the rearview mirror, the Fixer Upper stars have to make a decision about what’s next. While Chip said they bought the property with the “intention” to sell it after the renovation, he’s not sure if they’ll follow through with that.

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

Chip 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?’”