Fixer Upper: Tackling 'The Beast'

Chip and Joanna take on their biggest fixer upper to date when they help furniture designer Clint Harp and his wife Kelly turn a ready-for-the-wrecking-ball junk-heap of a house into a beautifully restored gem.

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson for Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson for Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson for Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson for Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson for Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson for Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson for Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson for Getty Images

Rustic Chic

Chip and Joanna Gaines created this bright and stylish kitchen from a once-disastrous space that had warped floors and a ceiling that was falling in.

Beaucoup Storage

Carrara marble countertops, new wood floors, a custom island and lots of cabinet storage make for an all-new kitchen that's both comfortable and cook-friendly.

Relaxed and Casual

The renovated kitchen now opens onto this dining room with newly refinished wood floors, walls painted in soft gray and vintage-look farm table in distressed white finish.

Renewed Grandeur

The refurbished foyer features a repaired stairway and a beautiful wood bannister that's more than 100 years old.

Creative Transitions

Chip and Joanna combined two spaces that had once been a downstairs bathroom and storage closet to create a private reading room just off the main living area.

Serene Retreat

The new reading room is a cloistered getaway with twin upholstered chairs and walls painted in deep, rich blue.

Meet the Harps

Fixer Upper aficionados will recognize the clients in this project. Clint Harp is the carpenter and furniture designer responsible for many of the one-of-a-kind furniture creations included in Chip and Jo's renovations, and he has appeared frequently throughout the series. He and his wife Kelly were in search of an affordable home in the community of Brook Oaks. The fixer-upper they took on was indicative not only of their creative vision but of their downright bravery.

Before the Renovation: "The Beast"

When Clint and Kelly Harp first laid eyes on the home's exterior, they thought Chip and Jo had sent them to the wrong address. "What really struck me first," said Clint, "were the bullet holes." The situation inside was even worse.

Before the Renovation

First Impressions:

  • Clint: "This is horrible."   Kelly: "It's pretty bad. It's so bad."
  • Joanna: "I feel like this is like a crime scene. I'm very scared of what I'm gonna find."
  • Chip: "It's got the essential three B's. It's big, it's butt-ugly and it's within their budget."

Before the Renovation

The kitchen had holes in the ceiling and in the floor, visible water damage, broken cabinets and ample evidence of rodent infestation.

Before the Renovation

Joanna summed up the state of the pre-renovation kitchen thus: "This is a little overwhelming. It's a lot overwhelming, actually."

Before the Renovation: The Walk-Through

Chip, Jo, Clint and Kelly explore the first floor to assess damage and get a feel for the scope of a potential renovation.

Before the Renovation: The Vision Thing

Though in an alarming state of disrepair, the house, which was built in 1913, has good bones, lots of room and potential for an impressive restoration. Joanna suggests reconfiguring the front room. "Make it really wide," she says, "so you can look into the breakfast nook. Make this room the grand thing that it once was in 1913."

It's Demo Day!

Once Clint and Kelly took the giant leap with the 1913 house, the real challenge for Chip and Joanna was about to begin. "This place not only needs a demo," said Chip, "it needs an exorcism." 

There are more behind-the-scenes pics from this episode. Be sure to also check out the companion gallery: "Tackling the Beast, Pt. 2 - Behind the Scenes."

Demo Day

The kitchen floor was so damaged it was warped and bowed. Chip enlarges an existing opening to determine whether the damage extends to the supporting joists below. 

Demo Day

Piles of debris had to be removed before standard demo could get underway. Tearing out of the drywall exposed areas where rodents had built nests and chewed through electrical wiring.

A Romantic Interlude

Chip takes a break to show that, no matter how big the job, there's always time for romance.

Demo Day

Chip strikes a heroic pose as demolition on the living room nears completion. For this particular project, "demo day" turned out in reality to be "demo week." 

Before

"The Pit" -- as Clint and Kelly first described the house -- was in need of a radical deep clean and complete overhaul. But it did have a few things going for it:  It was spacious, with more than 2700 square feet, five bedrooms and three baths. The asking price was only $15,000 (essentially the value of the lot alone), and the location was close to the Harps' shop and studio.

After

A complete overhaul was precisely what the exterior received with a new roof, enlarged windows, new paint and fresh landscaping. In the end, Clint and Kelly were able to negotiate a purchase price for the house of only $10,000 and used the remaining $100,000 of their total budget for the renovations.

Before

Prior to the renovation, the front deck, stairs and railing were unsafe and in serious disrepair.

After

Once bigger renovations like plumbing, electrical upgrades and new kitchen were finalized, Clint and Kelly opted to use some of their remaining budget for a front porch with new steps, railings and columns. The colonial style portico is in keeping with the home's original architecture.

A Carpenter's Front Door

The front door height was raised to eight feet for a more dramatic entrance. Clint Harp handmade the beautiful new door using reclaimed wood.

Stairway, BEFORE

The existing foyer stairs were in a sorry state of disrepair, and the low ceiling made for an awkward entrance.

Stairway, AFTER

The drop ceiling and a dividing wall between the stair and living room were removed, reviving the home's original dramatic foyer.

Foyer, BEFORE

Over the years, some of the stair's balusters had been damaged or destroyed.

Foyer, AFTER

New spindles were custom created to match the old ones. With the dividing wall removed, some of the former elegance was returned to the foyer and staircase.

Foyer, Detail

Foyer, Detail

Living Room, BEFORE

Living Room, AFTER

In the living room, the original hardwood floors were retained and refinished. The drop ceiling was removed, bringing the ceiling back to its original height.

Living Room, BEFORE

Living Room, AFTER

Joanna created a bright, clean space with soft gray wall paint, white trim, rustic accents and comfortable furniture with white linen slipcovers.

Living Room, AFTER

With the partition removed, the stairway now opens both onto the foyer and living room.

Living Room, Detail

Living Room, Detail

Living Room, Detail

Joanna repurposed a vintage mantle as a visual statement piece in the newly renovated living room.

Living Room, Detail

Living Room and Dining Room, BEFORE

Living Room and Dining Room, AFTER

The framed doorway between the living room and dining room was removed, creating a single contiguous space.

Dining Room, BEFORE

The partition between the kitchen and dining room made the dining space feel confined.

Dining Room, AFTER

Removal of the wall gives both rooms a new sense of space and flow. Since the wall had been load bearing, new lam beams were added to provide enhanced structural support.

Dining Room, Detail

In the dining room, Joanna used an old headboard, salvaged from the trash left at the house, to create this decorative display shelf.

Dining Room, Detail

Dining Room, AFTER

A white farm table and dark metal chairs provides a sleek look and sharp contrast in the dining room. Joanna scoured her warehouse for just the right chandelier for the neo-rustic setting.

Dining Room, Detail

Green wreaths mounted on framed metal screens serve as wall art with a country flair.

Kitchen and Dining Room, BEFORE

Kitchen and Dining Room, AFTER

Kelly opted for Carrara marble for the countertops and white subway tile.

Kitchen and Dining Room, BEFORE

Kitchen and Dining Room, AFTER

New cabinets are painted bright white and accented with contrasting black cabinet hardware. The kitchen was large enough to accommodate a new island with a three-by-six-foot marble top for additional prep space.

Kitchen, BEFORE

Kitchen, AFTER

The base of the kitchen island and cloaked vent hood were custom made by Clint. The finished space is highlighted with rustic style sconces and pendants, new recessed lighting and industrial metal barstools.

Kitchen, BEFORE

Kitchen, AFTER

The island provides additional seating and open shelving. White cabinets spanning one wall and extending almost to the ceiling provide generous kitchen storage.

Kitchen, BEFORE

Kitchen, AFTER

A new stainless under-mount sink and marble countertops offer quite a dramatic improvement over the prior kitchen.

Kitchen, BEFORE

Kitchen, AFTER

Floating shelves provide additional storage that's conveniently within reach.

Kitchen, AFTER

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Your Cookie Awaits

Kitchen, Detail

An industrial metal rack holding green glassware makes for a visually impressive wall display. 

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

A small desk tucked into a nook at one end of the kitchen cabinets provides an ideal spot for consulting recipes in a cookbook or on a laptop.

BEFORE

Aside from being in bad shape, this downstairs bathroom was awkwardly placed and deemed unneccessary. It's part of what would become the new reading room off the main living room.

AFTER

One of the things on Kelly's wish list was a room done in tranquil blue. Her wish was granted in the form of this private getaway for reading and relaxing. The chandelier seen here is the companion piece to the one used in the dining room.

Reading Room, Detail

Front Exterior, BEFORE

Prior to the renovation, the home's front entry was flat and unappealing.

Front Exterior, AFTER

The porch and stairs, coupled with the columns, railing and custom door, provide a new entry that's worthy of the home's dramatic restoration.

Side Exterior, BEFORE

Side Exterior, AFTER

The enlarged windows, new roof, fresh paint and contrasting trim provide the house with a dramatically improved appearance from all angles.

The Reveal

Chip and Joanna lead Clint and Kelly to the site of their newly renovated fixer upper.

The Reveal

The Reveal

The Reveal

Chip and Joanna pull back the "before" photo banner to reveal just how far "The Beast" of a fixer-upper has come.

Before

After

The Reveal

The Reveal

The Reveal

The Reveal

Kelly checks out the decorative vintage mantle in the newly refurbished living room.

Your Hosts

And the Final Group Portrait...Before...

...and AFTER

Want to See More Behind-the Scenes from This Project?

Want to see more of Clint, Kelly, Chip and Jo? Check out the companion gallery, Tackling the Beast, Pt.2 - Behind the Scenes,  for 40+ on-location snapshots from this episode of Fixer Upper.