I'll Watch Chip and Joanna Gaines Do Anything, Including Remodel a Texas Castle

Hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines, as seen on Fixer Upper: The Castle.
Courtesy of Magnolia Network
Courtesy of Magnolia Network

Even if you've never picked up a hammer, there's something incredibly satisfying about home renovation TV shows. Chip and Joanna Gaines are some of the most recognizable faces of the genre, with five seasons of "Fixer Upper" and one season each of spinoffs "Fixer Upper: Welcome Home" and "First Time Fixer" to their names — not to mention the array of related interior design shows on their Magnolia Network.

Their latest — and perhaps most ambitious — project was the renovation of a dilapidated castle for "Fixer Upper: The Castle." As a big fan of the original series (and anything Joanna does, to be honest — I may or may not have used her line of paint in my living room), I quickly binged the six-episode series on Max.

Like the other shows in the "Fixer Upper" universe, "The Castle" is set in the Gaines's hometown of Waco, TX. Instead of renovating a rundown barn or mid-century farmhouse for a local family, though, the couple purchased a stone manor house known as the Cottonland Castle. Construction first began on the property in 1890, but wasn't completed until 1913. The castle changed hands multiple times, before being more or less abandoned as a permanent residence in the 1990s.

As Chip says in the series finale, "this project was the fixer upper of all fixer uppers. These historic restorations are a totally different ball game." The 11-month project included a laundry list of repairs, from removing decades of dirt and grime from the stone exterior to refinishing the original wood paneling and damaged plaster molding throughout the home. Any new materials had to be period appropriate, from antique tiles sourced from a French chateau to hardwood planks the exact width of the original floors.

Hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines pick out floor stains and fit imported furnace, as seen on Fixer Upper: The Castle. QXPK 100
Courtesy of Magnolia Network

Image Source: Courtesy of Magnolia Network

"Fixer Upper: The Castle" certainly ups the ante from the original series — after all, older homes come with more surprises and renovation challenges. For longtime fans, it's also a reminder that the more things change, the more things stay the same: Chip is still having way too much fun on demo day, and Joanna is still agonizing over the choice between two nearly identical wood stains.

Ultimately, their dynamic is why so many viewers — including myself — can't get enough of the Gaineses. Sure, the beautifully styled interiors Joanna creates are downright dreamy (even if you're not into the farmhouse chic look), and sure, it's nice to daydream about a sprawling farm property even if you're miles away from homeownership. But the show's secret sauce is undoubtedly the couple themselves — and I'd watch them do just about anything.

Next on the couple's agenda? Remodeling a 50,000-square-foot historic hotel in downtown Waco. "Fixer Upper: The Hotel" is coming to Max this November, and guests will be able to actually stay in the renovated Hotel 1928 starting in October. I don't have a trip planned to Waco anytime soon, but I'll definitely be watching.

Subscribe to Max to stream "Fixer Upper: The Castle" and many more shows from Chip and Joanna Gaines.