November 27, 2022
Chip and Joanna Gaines Return With Their Most Royal Undertaking But: ‘Fixer Higher: The Fortress’

Hear ye, hear ye! The king and queen of dwelling renovations, Chip and Joanna Gaines, are again with a brand-new present, “Fixer Higher: The Fortress,” by which they restore one in all Waco’s most prized properties.

“This fortress is without doubt one of the most spectacular properties in your complete Waco, Central Texas, space, and I’ve wished it for twenty years now,” Chip explains within the premiere episode, “We Purchased a Fortress!”

But Joanna says that this Nineteenth-century property, which has sat vacant for many years, wants a ton of updates.

“The stability I’m attempting to do is that it’s not so good that folks can’t see their precise life on this area, but it surely’s a bit of bit elevated ’trigger you’re in a fortress,” she explains.

Chip and Joanna Gaines Return With Their Most Royal Undertaking But: ‘Fixer Higher: The Fortress’
Joanna and Chip Gaines go over their recreation plan for the fortress renovation.

(HBO Max)

The 4,300-square-foot, four-bedroom, 3.5-bath deserted edifice reigns supreme with potential, however with defective plumbing and electrical programs, a broken pool, and different issues, the Gaineses have their work reduce out for them.

“You purchase this home, you’ve acquired to place a number of thought into precisely how that is going to work itself out, as a result of this is a gigantic enterprise,” Chip warns.

Fortunately, he and Joanna start with the fundamentals within the first of this six-episode sequence, and their plans for the area comprise loads of knowledge that may apply to any property—even these far humbler than this one.

In case you’re craving some Chip-and-Jo-approved inspiration in your subsequent renovation undertaking, heed the teachings we’ve gleaned from their actions so far.

Outline your purpose and don’t overlook it

Chip and Joanna plan out how to keep the wood paneling on "Fixer Upper: The Castle"
Chip and Joanna plan to protect as a lot wooden paneling as attainable.

(HBO Max)

Chip and Joanna state the endgame of this actual property enterprise a number of instances all through the episode: “The primary purpose with the fortress is to revive it again to its authentic glory after which promote it to somebody who can name it dwelling,” Joanna says.

In different phrases, as excited as they’re to deal with this fortress, their purpose is to become profitable promoting it. This implies they’ll have to observe their {dollars} and never let private feelings have an effect on their design selections.

Chip does his finest to get Joanna to take that pledge, teasing, “We’re flipping this. We’re not residing on this. Say, ‘I do know we’re not residing on this!’” 

Establish monetary pitfalls early

Chip inspects plaster on "Fixer Upper: The Castle"
Chip checks out the plaster restoration work.

(HBO Max)

It’s no shock the dilapidated fortress wants a number of work and an enormous price range to deliver it again to its authentic kind. Chip’s reasonable perspective—“a undertaking like this will bankrupt any individual”—affords him and Joanna the good thing about planning forward for attainable cash pits.

The plaster work particularly presents a number of issues.


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“Anytime you’re remodeling plumbing or electrical, with plaster, it takes longer, it’s a bit of pricier, and also you’ve acquired to be extra methodical. It’s an artwork kind,” Joanna says. “Crown molding, the ceiling, the partitions, all of that’s going to take much more time than we’re used to.”

The Gaineses count on this renovation to take 11 months. Time is cash, however realizing from the beginning {that a} renovation requires additional weeks or months for craftsmanship and sourcing supplies means you’ll be able to anticipate and plan forward for these issues slightly than be shocked by costly, sudden setbacks.

Chip and Joanna find light fixtures on "Fixer Upper: The Castle"
Joanna finds authentic lighting fixtures that she plans to reuse.

(HBO Max)

Hold what you’ll be able to

Joanna inspects a fireplace on "Fixer Upper: The Castle"
Joanna preserves one of many fortress’s authentic hearth mantels.

(Magnolia Community)

Joanna has Chip take stock of things already within the fortress.

“Simply know that a number of that is truly going to save lots of us cash, as a result of I don’t must go purchase new stuff,” she explains. “I need to use the unique stuff.”

The crew finds fairly a treasure, together with lighting fixtures that simply should be rewired and cleaned up, and spare boards of wooden paneling that Joanna plans to place again up within the elements of the home that had it earlier than.

The fortress’s solid-oak door, narrow-plank hardwood flooring, and a fire mantel that Jo declares “essentially the most beautiful mantel I’ve ever seen” will all be salvaged as nicely, giving the Gaineses a lift to their backside line.

Do your historical past homework for inspiration

Chip and Joanna learn about the castle's history on "Fixer Upper: The Castle"
A neighborhood historian teaches Chip and Joanna in regards to the fortress’s previous for inspiration.

(HBO Max)

For a property this particular, Chip and Joanna search assist from an area historian at close by Baylor College. Professor Stephen Sloan pulls up previous images and newspaper articles in regards to the fortress written from the time of its 1913 grand debut. He additionally shares particulars, like how the palatial place took 24 years to construct.

“Listening to the historical past and the guts of the unique individuals who had the imaginative and prescient for it, that’s the form of stuff that will get us actually enthusiastic about restoring it to its rightful place and honoring it,” Joanna says.

It’s lesson to us all that referencing previous images of a property or studying a enjoyable truth about its earlier inhabitants may spark some distinctive design concepts and the motivation to see them by.

Steadiness historic accuracy with fashionable residing

As a result of Chip and Joanna need to restore the fortress as intently to its authentic state as attainable, they aren’t messing a lot with the prevailing flooring plan. They’re, nevertheless, repurposing some rooms for contemporary residing.

Again within the day, the kitchen was housed within the basement. Now, Jo’s inserting it on the primary flooring, the place there’s a aspect door for residents to “are available in together with your groceries.”

She’s additionally making cohesive design decisions, like tying within the wooden paneling that’s so outstanding within the residing and eating rooms by bringing it into the kitchen. Including wallpaper above the trim additionally helps to mix the present and traditional decor traits. 

“Hopefully that is as near historical past as attainable,” Joanna says. “I need individuals to step in and also you don’t know the distinction between 1900 versus now.”

Put together for setbacks and maintain a humorousness

Chip sits on top of the castle on "Fixer Upper: The Castle"
Chip appears to be like out to his kingdom from atop the fortress.

The ultimate scene on this episode options Chip perched on high of the fortress, declaring along with his signature model of goofy humor, “I really feel just like the king of the world up right here!”

Joanna jokes that Chip comes off extra like a courtroom jester than king, however even she joins in on the fantasy of residing like royalty.

Regardless that the Gaineses received’t be shifting in, she says, “I’m going to fake like I’m for a bit of bit as a result of I like it a lot.”

Be it a fortress or a cottage, renovations of all magnitudes usually lead to stress, so it appears smart to observe Chip and Jo’s lead of leaning into the enjoyable wherever you’ll be able to.

New episodes of “Fixer Higher: The Fortress” air on the Magnolia Community, HBO Max, Discovery+, and the Magnolia app.