Cincinnati renovation duo Colin and Christina Beck are best known locally as The Renovated Family on Instagram. But the two recently took a short break from their company, Vero Home, to bust down walls and test their DIY chops on HGTV’s latest home reno show, Flipping Showdown.
The show premiered November 17 and airs on Wednesdays (the Becks posted a sneak peek of their reno on Instagram). On the show, hosted by HGTV’s Ken and Anita Corsini, three teams are assigned homes to flip on a budget, with the winners taking home the grand prize of $100,000.
We caught up with the charismatic couple to learn more about what it’s like starring in an HGTV show hundreds of miles away from home, in Atlanta.
Tell us about Vero Home and the work you’ve done here in Cincinnati.
Christina: We started flipping houses on the side of our full-time jobs in 2016. Colin was in an outside sales job and traveling most of the week, so we were kind of weekend-warrioring it. We started with, let’s buy a house and pay off some of our debt. And so we did one. I think because we were so hands-on with it, we were able to make a pretty decent profit.
Colin: One led to another one and we continued doing it on the side until 2019, when we were like, hey, let’s go all in. I quit my full-time job and we started really trying to wrap things up and flip as many as we could.
Let’s get right into Flipping Showdown. How were you scouted to be cast on the show?
Christina: When you [flip houses] and post pretty before-and-afters [on Instagram], it’s not terribly uncommon to have production companies reach out to you. They’re usually looking for something pretty specific. The couple of companies we talked to before really never turned into anything. So when we got another message on Instagram, it was like, oh, I don’t know that this is going to turn into anything.
Colin: When they pitched the show to us—when they said you’re going to flip two houses with two teams over a six-week show—I was like, let’s go! That sounds like so much fun.
How does something like this really happen? What are we not seeing?
Christina: Now, having seen an episode, it’s like, Holy cow, this is fun! What everybody is getting to see is a pretty crunched version. Once we got started, it was go, go, go. There’s three houses and three teams, so it’s kind of crazy. Everybody run and grab your house, figure out what needs to be done on it, here’s your budget, and get the best after-rehab value you can. They provided a general contractor, but it was up to us to design it, order things, manage the project, and manage the budget in the timeline. So it really was very true to form in terms of how you flip a house.
What’s a common misconception about flipping homes?
Christina: A general misconception about flipping houses is that it’s lipstick on a pig—that you just go in, [replace] carpet and sell it for a profit. We often hear: It’s just an easy way to make money. But the reality is we really care about the quality of the house. We know that this is somebody’s home when they move into it. If we have the opportunity to fix something behind the walls that needs fixed and make sure that the mechanicals are working well to have it be safer and cozier and a more beautiful place to live in, we’re going to do that. And that does cost money. Budgets are a tricky part of this. That’s maybe what’s different from this show. Flipping here in Cincinnati, we set the budget and we get to decide how much we spend on a house, and therefore how much profit we make. In the show, Ken and Anita set the budget and the expected profit and timeline. We had to make choices based on those set parameters.
Tell us a little bit about the behind-the-scenes experience—no spoilers!
Christina: A huge part of this was getting to know our film crew—they were following us around for everything. You see people doing work and then they’re standing outside talking about it. We might’ve been putting up a beam in a house and as soon as we got done, they would say: Come out and tell us how you felt about that. Most of the time, the [interviews] happen in the moment. They call them “on the flys”—OTFs. Even now, I joke with Colin. We’ll be in a house and I’ll say: Wait. Hold on. I need to OTF about this. We were constantly talking about why we’re doing it, how we feel about it—it was like mini-counseling sessions. It was great.