HGTV does a wonderful job of making their shows look genuine and real for the viewers. What runs like a well-oiled machine, many fans don’t realize all the behind-the-scenes activities that go on while shows like Fixer Upper, Flip or Flop, or Property Brothers are being produced.
In the specific case of Property Brothers, the show features two brothers showing home buyers a house that has everything they want, except the first home is always well over their budget. Alternatively, other houses are then showed to the home buyers without all the bells and whistles, but also how it can be renovated into a dream home. They “negotiate” the purchase of the home of their choosing with one brother, then renovate with the other. Using their charm and amazing skills, the show has taken off and has expanded to include many other successful HGTV shows featuring the duo.
Drew and Jonathan Scott, the stars of Property Brothers, Brother vs. Brother, and Property Brothers at Home, seem like two guys born and raised ready for the spotlight. They are arguably two of the channel’s biggest celebrities, and both were working on becoming stars before they got their big break. But what were they doing? If you think you know everything there is to know about these twins, you probably don’t.
We’ve put together a list of 15 things that might surprise you; from how the show is made to a more personal and in-depth look at the process everyone goes through, even to some side details about the twins. We’ve completely renovated how you view one of the most popular shows on HGTV.
Enjoy, comment, and share with others who love the show as much as you do.
15. Making Multiple Episodes
The process of completely renovating an older house into a newer-looking one takes time. Far more time than the brothers actually have to move from project to project and from episode to episode as quickly as they air on HGTV. There’s only one way to feasibly meet this demanding schedule.
The show employs three to four experienced crews who work on the house from start to finish for 4-7 weeks maximum. Local contractors do most of the work, and Jonathan shows up for only small portions of the project (even though it appears that he was there the entire duration). What we, as viewers, see on the show is a sped-up timeline of the actual events. It’s the only way to have both brothers on the show and move them from house to house so quickly. In actuality, couples rarely spend much time with the brothers at all. Of the many weeks the crew is there, the stars might be on set for about one week.
14. Must Qualify To Make The Show
If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to be a part of the show, here is what you’ll need if you want to work with the brothers. First, there needs to be two of you. The show doesn’t accept single homeowners or home buyers. Your duo can consist of a spouse, a friend, or a family member, but you can’t be on the show alone. You also need to have $65,000 worth of a renovating budget from which to work with. Finally, there is a 25 percent contingency fee because something unexpected always goes wrong.
The show wouldn’t work as it’s produced without all of these qualifiers being met. One other thing that’s a must is the willingness of home buyers to get in and help. If you’re not willing to get your hands dirty helping where the professionals need you to, then there’s no chance that they’ll take you.
13. Kitchen Or Bathroom?
While there are multiple crews, there still isn’t really enough time to work within the constricted time limits of the show and renovate an entire house. Although the show tries to make it seem like they have worked on the whole property, the truth is that they ask participants to choose the four rooms they want the renovation budget to cover. Everything else gets left untouched.
Even more interestingly, homeowners also have to choose between the kitchen or the bathroom. They can’t renovate them both! The twins have said in interviews that this is because bathrooms and kitchens are traditionally the two most expensive and time-consuming rooms when it comes to renovating a home.
12. How They Choose The Houses
You might think that when you first watch the show, Drew (the real estate brother) just magically comes up with different houses for the homeowners to choose from before they purchase and that they just sort of pick one. That’s not entirely accurate as to how the first part of the show works.
On the application for the show, space is provided for home buyers to put an address of a house they are seriously interested in. This is meant to act as an example of the type of home they have an eye for and perhaps give an indication as to their style preferences. Sometimes, buyers who apply for the show are already closing on a house or have already purchased it! This means that in some cases, the other homes are for show and Drew knows what he’s looking for going in. The house hunting and the negotiating for the price of the home, for the most part, is completely staged. It’s why the negotiation often goes so smoothly (it’s already a done deal).
11. Fake The Shock
Even though a couple acts shocked when they find out that the first home is well outside of their budget, the producers have already let them know that the first house is not an option. Everyone is aware that there is no way they can afford the house based on the budget they’ve listed on their application and the financing they’ve secured to be on the show. The reactions from couples when they learn the price isn’t a shock at all, but they’re told to act as though it is.
This revelation, along with the fact that most of the home buyers are already fans of the show, means they completely understand the process before they start filming. It’s kind of like dangling candy in front of a child and then snatching it away.
10. Hidden Treasures
You can imagine that when you renovate as many houses as the brothers do, you’re bound to have some interesting stories or find some interesting things. In a few cases, the team has found treasures that were buried in the homes they are tearing apart. The previous homeowners either didn’t know they were there or the items were passed from homeowner to homeowner.
On more than one occasion, the brothers have found a safe hidden in the walls. They got the safes open, found pictures and personal items, and then located the owners or still living family members of the previous owners and returned all the items. It’s one of the perks of the job that the show never really discusses.
9. Leaving A Piece Behind
You wouldn’t think that taping so much of every renovation would mean that either brother would forget their experiences working on each home. After all, they can always go back and watch the footage. But, it hasn’t stopped Jonathan from leaving his mark on almost every project he works on. And, this is behind the camera.
While he’s found plenty of items, he likes to leave items behind—time capsules that mark the history of working on the project. It’s become a secret tradition of his, and he works with his clients to find that perfect memento that he or they can revisit to remind themselves of the experience. He first got the idea by finding a time capsule in the wall of a home he was renovating. He loved it and took it upon himself to do the same from there on in.
8. No Procrastinators Wanted
Yes, each homeowner needs to fill out an application to be on the show. But more than that, there are some expectations that are not necessarily written into each agreement. Applicants can’t dilly around with their decisions. As a home buyer on the show, each duo has understood that things have to move quickly, and the right couples on the show are the ones who are quick at making decisions. The show is so tight for time as it is. Producers don’t have the patience for people to ponder over things.
Once they commit to that stipulation, the buyers have to be free to film for at least eight full days total, out of the six to seven weeks of renovation. And home buyers have to prove that they already have finances and funding lined up to buy a home and renovate it. All the money comes from the buyers with the exception of some of the furniture that finish off the house. No upfront money means no show.
7. Furniture Stays
On similar programs like Fixer Upper (also on HGTV), their show is notorious for not letting couples keep the furniture you see on the show and forcing homeowners to either buy Joanna’s decor or fill the home themselves. Granted, she has nice taste and many of the homeowners probably go for some of her stuff after falling in love with it, but The Property Brothers take a different approach.
Drew and Jonathan don’t believe in asking homeowners to fall in love with a renovated room and then take out all the furniture once the show stops filming. Part of the budget includes the furniture and the decor as is displayed on the show. Jonathan actually went so far as to call the process of taking out the furniture a “jerk move” and stated that he would never do that to a client unless they didn’t like the decor choices.
6. Identical Voices
Fans of the show are pretty good at telling one brother from the next, but it’s not always so easy. In fact, even Drew and Jonathan’s mother has trouble, especially when they are talking to her on the phone. You see, Jonathan and Drew have very similar voices; so similar that even their mom has a hard time recognizing them.
The twins spilled the beans on her secret way of figuring out who is who. Jonathan says his mother has admitted that he uses bigger words than Drew. Drew then joked that the revelation caused him to seek therapy.
5. Nobody Knew They Were Going To Be Twins
In an interesting backstory, there were never supposed to be two brothers at all. In fact, nobody seemed to know until Drew came out that there were even twins in there. Because their parents didn’t do an ultrasound and the heartbeats were in-sync, everyone assumed that mom and dad were having one big baby. One brother said, “The nurse said, ‘I think there’s another one!’ My mother said, ‘Oh sh-t,’ and then I came.'”
It would be difficult to do the show without both brothers. So thankfully, things worked out the way they did. These Canadian born and raised boys stand out. They’re actors, entrepreneurs (their first successful business venture started when they were SEVEN years old), and they couldn’t have possibly been as successful as they are if they weren’t twins.
4. Not Just Stars Of Property Brothers
Before they landed on this show, Drew and Jonathan were already making moves to become big stars. They started out starring on the Canadian series Breaker High. On their own, Drew had a role on Smallville, and Jonathan was on The X-Files. But, neither of them was too sure where their acting careers were going to take them so they looked to real estate as a backup plan.
They flipped their first property in University and made about $50,000 profit. Realizing that there was something to it, they went back to school for construction and design. Their company took off, and they’d planned to go that direction instead of acting. It was right about that time when they were approached to do Property Brothers. People know them from the show, but they were already mini stars before their breakout role.
3. Performed A Cover Of Flo Rida’s “My House”
If you didn’t think that acting and directing was enough for these two brothers to sink their teeth into, how about music? Apparently, both are big into car karaoke and one day heard Flo Rida‘s “My House” and thought it would make a great country song. It didn’t take long before they decided they wanted to record a cover.
They brought a ton of people over to their house in Las Vegas and shot a video. The best part is that all proceeds go to benefit St. Jude Kids.
The brothers are not shy about getting involved in country music. From hosting the CMA fest to being big fans of the genre. The video includes several cameos from country artists like RaeLynn and Lindsay Ell, but also a few surprising guests like comedian Carrot Top and Evan Bass and Carly Waddell from Bachelor in Paradise.
2. Entrepreneurs At Age Of Seven
When they were seven years old, their father told them to get a job. Instead of doing what a normal seven-year-old kid might do which is deliver flyers or wash cars, they worked with their mom to start a business called JAM Enterprises (short for Jon, Andrew, Mom). They created a product similar to those hangers that weave nylon around it and had a little rose on it.
They sold bunches of them and eventually hooked up with a woman who owned a bunch of American paraphernalia stores in Japan. She bought crate loads of them, and they made a sizable profit. When you consider that they were also renovating their own bedrooms at a young age, it is easy to see why these guys are successful at what they do.
1. Involved In A Bar Fight Scandal
One of the brothers, Jonathan Scott, made headlines after an attention-grabbing bar fight in North Dakota in June. What really happened that night is unclear, and there are multiple versions of the story. But, reports at the time stated that the fight broke out when the bar closed and Jonathan and others became upset when their drinks were taken away.
Allegedly, the bar’s bouncer had to put Jonathan in a headlock to remove him from the situation and Jonathan later called 911 to report an assault. There were no charges filed due to a lack of evidence to suggest assault, and Jonathan later came out and told Fox News, “The press sometimes jumps onto something. For me, the funny thing is I was just trying to help somebody in that situation. I’m the type of person like on our shows, we’re helping families.”
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