Many Fixer Upper fans wonder if the homeowners get to keep all of the amazing furniture they see in their renovated homes at the end of each episode. The answer is no. The show is staged and most of the furniture comes from Joanna’s Waco storefront Magnolia Market. But, some items do stay with the homeowners.
According to Rachel Teodoro, a former Fixer Upper client who appeared on season six of the hit HGTV show, homeowners can choose three pieces of furniture to keep after the show’s conclusion. She also noted that Chip and Joanna would often commission a piece as a gift for the homeowner and include it in their final design. She said that the Magnolia team kept in touch throughout her renovation, sending text messages with their ideas and asking for feedback.
In addition to selecting pieces of furniture, Fixer Upper clients are expected to give the Gaineses input on the final design and layout of their home. The design process is collaborative and often results in some disagreements, but the Gaineses are always willing to find a compromise. According to Teodoro, she and her husband were able to keep two of the three custom pieces that Gaines selected for them. Another perk that Teodoro mentions is the food trucks that visit the set during the last day of filming.
As for the rest of the staging furniture, it gets returned back to the Magnolia Market. However, if a client falls in love with one of the pieces, they have the option to purchase it. It might not be the most cost-effective option considering the average renovation on the show costs $120,993 (via Apartment Therapy).
Even though each Fixer Upper episode ends with a big reveal of the renovated home, the Gaines aren’t finished yet. There are still the finishing touches, inspections and other things that need to be taken care of before a house can be lived in. The Waco Tribune-Herald reported that it typically takes the homeowners weeks to move into their new homes after the show is filmed.
There’s an additional catch to being a Fixer Upper participant that Teodoro didn’t discuss: The homeowners must own their home in order to be featured on the show.
The homeowners must also agree to a maximum budget for the renovation before they are given a contract to be on the show. This budget is usually negotiated with the Gaineses and is discussed before filming begins. The Waco Tribune-Herald reports that a common misconception is that HGTV covers the entire cost of each renovation, but this isn’t true.
Some past Fixer Upper participants have decided to cash in on their experience by placing their renovated houses on the real estate market. This is an understandable choice, especially since these houses tend to sell for much more than the average price of a home in Waco. It also helps that the Gaineses’ work has garnered them national attention and their name is synonymous with home improvement.