Is ‘Windy City Rehab’ Real? Why Some Fans Don’t Think So

HGTV has a new Fixer Upper. It’s renovation series, Windy City Rehab follows Alison Victoria’s vintage restorations in historic Chicago neighborhoods, such as Bucktown and Lincoln Park. And while it has sparked the attention of home renovation fans across the country, some fans wonder: Is Windy City Rehab real? Find out what we know about the reality home renovation series, plus why some believe the show is fake, ahead.

Is ‘Windy City Rehab’ real?

Alison Victoria Windy City Rehab
‘Windy City Rehab’ follows Alison Victoria’s Chicago renovations. | HGTV

As with most Fixer Upper-style shows (including Fixer Upper itself), Windy City Rehab showcases both real and more TV-worthy moments. And, while Alison Victoria’s experiences while renovating historic Chicago homes are mostly real, some fans believe the so-called drama that comes along with certain scenarios — like whole staircase debacle in episode 6, Skyline Penthouse — might be dramaticized for plotline purposes.

Unlike other home renovation shows, Windy City Rehab touches on some very real situations, especially when it comes to business and finances. That means, there’s a lot more focus on the risk factors of fixing up the 19th- and 20th-century homes. “It’s my dream to flip houses in my hometown of Chicago,” Alison shared with HGTV. “But, renovating homes in this price point leaves a ton of money on the line. These are high-stakes projects that could spiral out of control at any minute. It’s big risks and big rewards,” she added.

4 things to know about ‘Windy City Rehab’

The business and risk focus aren’t the only components that set the HGTV series apart from other home renovation shows. Take a closer look at what Windy City Rehab is all about and how Alison adds a unique and modern touch to these vintage Chicago homes, below.

1. The homes are as old as 1880

When we say “vintage homes” we don’t just mean homes build in the 70s and 80s. The homes Alison Victoria renovates in Windy City Rehab can date all the way back to 1880. And, the newest homes she remodels have a time stamp of 1980. Most of the homes featured on the new series are duplexes and condominiums. However, she has also renovated penthouse apartments and single-family homes.

2. Something old, something new

Alison Victoria puts her own unique spin on the home renovations and always looks for ways to blend old and new. The renovation guru typically salvages what she can from the original space (including some stunning fireplaces and stained glass windows) then hits up antique shops and salvage spaces to find pieces from the exact time period as the home. In her efforts to blend modern and vintage, she has discovered light fixtures from old Chicago theaters, gorgeous bathroom sinks from decades ago, and more.

3. She uses a lot of brick

In true city fashion, Alison loves exposed brick. And, she uses it for many of her home renovations — especially on the exterior to restore some of that old Chicago charm.

4. Alison has a business partner

Alison isn’t the only one that calls the shots on Windy City Rehab. She works with her business partner, Donovan Eckhardt. He is often the lead contractor on their projects and helps bring his expertise to many of their renovations. Alison describes Donovan as the calm and level headed one, which helps balance out her “tornado” like personality.

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