Hi guys! Andy here!
When we meet people and talk about what we do it can get pretty complicated. We usually start out talking about our crazy blended family and the fact that we have possibly the cutest small human ever to dance her way across the face of the earth.
Obviously we bring up the fact that we love old homes and are on a mission to save as many as possible while we still can. We talk about our book, our love of travel and people, and that we have a show on HGTV and DIY network that airs pretty regularly. The best way to catch it is to follow us on Instagram where we announce air times and set your DVR’s to record any “Old Home Love” shows that air.
This seemed like a great time to do a blog post and answer some of the most common questions that we get about the show, so whether you’ve seen it before or this is the first time you’ve even heard of us, hopefully this will help with anything you wanted to know. If you have additional questions ask in the comments and we will do our best to answer!
1- How did you get a show on HGTV?
This question is easy to answer. Shortly after starting our Old Home Love instagram account (our friends and family were sick of us flooding our personal account with old house pics) we were contacted by a production company that produces content for DIY network and HGTV. Apparently they hire people to browse social media all day and contact people who seem to do interesting stuff (I’m sure that I’m describing the job perfectly).
We know a lot of people who have been contacted like this and it’s pretty common so we didn’t think it was a big deal. We set up a Skype interview for the next day and went back to work. We did the Skype interview the following day and it was super fun. You do need to know that Candis “staged” the interview. The background was beautiful, the light was perfect, and the camera angle was flattering.
The video call was scheduled for fifteen minutes, but at an hour into the call Maria (the casting producer) said that she really had to end even though she didn’t want to. She was super nice. She told us not to expect much, but that in a week or two somebody should reach out.
We went back to work immediately after but 25 minutes later the phone rang. It was the president of the production company calling to set up a “sizzle” shoot. That entailed sending a small crew to Utah to follow us around for a day and film us doing what we do. They were here within a couple of weeks and we were filming! Apparently that’s pretty rare, especially how fast it all started rolling. The day was crazy and we scheduled all of our crews to come work at the same time and then filmed all our kids at our home.
It was insane.
They took the footage they got that day and made a four minute highlight reel. That reel went to a meeting at the network where they watch 30-40 of them at one time and pick a couple to take next steps with. Those steps can take different shapes. They can tell the production company to do the sizzle again with different emphasis. The show can be green lit for a pilot (most common) to see if it will perform well and go to season. The show can also get a small first season right from the sizzle, and that’s what happened with us. We got a “4-pack” ordered and off we went. Our production company was beyond thrilled and we officially went into pre-production.
2- Did they just follow you around and film what you do?
Ha ha ha ha. Excuse me, sorry, hahahahahahahaha. The simple answer is no, they did not. We had to put on hold six renovations that we were working on just to focus on the shoot for a couple months. We had to go buy a new old house that we had not touched so that we could film the entire process start to finish. Every day was meticulously scheduled out weeks in advance. The actual work was real, it was just hyper focused for the show only for those two months. We did things we would normally do, but it was all about doing it for camera. It was honestly really hard, and after the cameras stopped rolling and after the kids were asleep, we would get a babysitter and come back to finish everything that we showed on camera. I’m tired just thinking about it.
3- What did you do with the kids?
At the time we filmed, Candis was pregnant with Kit and all the boys were in school. We tried to get home as early as possible every day and spend our normal quality time with the boys. It was hard, because we usually spend so much time with the kids every day, but we were upfront about the priority of family time. We were typically home by 5 everyday (but then back to work, see above :)
4- Was the timeline on the show real?
Absolutely! We restored that entire home in five weeks, two days. We had to bring in extra help every day. It was insane and cost a lot more than we would like, but we did it.
5- Do they pay for the project?
Production pitches in a small amount per episode, but those funds were quickly swallowed by the additional demand that filming places on a renovation (see number 4). We bought the house ouselves and were definitely not motivated by money to do the show.
6- Did they tell you what to do or say?
The short answer is no…..and yes. We would work and talk as they filmed then they would sometimes have us do things over or say things again in a different way just for filming. Any lines they fed us were basically shortened ways to say something we had just said. We tend to talk a lot when explaining things about old homes and they helped with that. They did try to make me use the word “critter” once and I said no. There was one moment where they tried to stage a little “conflict” between us and let’s just say…they only tried that once. Everything was honestly pretty natural, we just had to learn to avoid saying brand names and other things that are unique to TV. “Please hand me the reciprocating saw” is ok. “pass me the Sawzall” is not.
7- Why did you paint the original wood trim?
WE DIDN’T. We get it fellow old home lovers. This is the top question we got from people who really care about old homes and we appreciate it. The answer for this one is simple: Here in Utah, these pioneer homes were made (most of the time) using pine for all of the wood trim. The pine was not great quality and was usually painted from the beginning. When we scrape down the layers on the wood we can see that the original layer is paint, not a varnish like you would see on other hardwoods. The trim in this home has always been painted and in some shots the ugly brown paint they used last can look like wood, prompting anger from some viewers. We promise that we will never paint over original finished wood surfaces. EVER.
8- Do the buyers get to keep the decorations and furniture?
No, unless they want to buy it of course. We had to provide all staging and we spent over $15,000 to do so. Yikes.
9- Did the family end up buying the house?
No, they did not. When we filmed that episode we genuinely hoped they would (hence the real emotion), but jobs and school prevented them from moving to Utah and they didn’t go through with the purchase. We have since sold it to a family who truly loves and appreciates it. As per the usual.
10- When does your show air and on what channel?
HGTV and DIY network actually split the cost of our show and it airs on both networks. It’s pretty random, but we know that the next airing on DIY is Feb 22. Just keep an eye on the listings, or better yet, watch it HERE now!
11- Did Candis really go into labor while filming?
YES! She was a total trooper. Beyond all human comprehension, she was able to do all of this while she was 9 months pregnant. She produced, designed, managed and worked SOOO hard for this project. We were absolutely determined to succeed and we did whatever it took to be good little foot soldiers.
A lot of people don’t know this about our business, but Candis is the lead on the construction side and design and she oversaw all of the construction of this house even though they wouldn’t let her use power tools on camera! It was pretty hilarious. I just try to help where I can and she’s catching me up on her 14 years of construction experience. Candis went into labor on camera and we were desperately trying to finish the last couple of reveals so the crew could go home for Christmas. We literally had Kit while the after shots were being filmed.
12- What is the future of your show?
We have to be fairly vague for now about this question. Our show did extremely well (THANK YOU to all those who watch) and it opened up even more opportunities than just HGTV. We are filming and working so hard right now and can’t wait to share every. little. detail soon. I guess you’ll have to trust us, but we promise you’re going to loooove it.
Overall the show was a fun experience, we learned a lot about working in a super stressful environment and the importance of being kind to each other, having patience and staying positive no matter what is going on around you. I also learned, much to Candis’ disapproval, that I have a talent for calling all sorts of animals onto the set while we are filming interviews (causing us to have to start the interview over while my poor pregnant wife has to continue to stand.) So if you need to coax a cat, dog, chicken or goat across the street to join you for any reason, I’m available.
If you watch the show, we’d love to hear what you think in the comments!!!
Thank you so much for following along! We love you, be kind to each other.