What You Need To Know About The DIY Network – House Digest
The DIY Network was a 24-hour home renovation network designed for home project enthusiasts. It was launched in September 1999 and ran until 2021, after which it became the Magnolia Network (via Clark.com). In 2009, a Canadian version of the brand was launched and quickly became a top ten specialty channel (via Cision Canada).
Originally a network under HGTV, the DIY Network was home to several popular home and outdoor renovation shows that brought carpenters, designers, preservationists, and more to millions of American homes. In March 2018, HGTV was sold to the Discovery Channel by its original owners, Scripps Networks, which meant that the DIY Network was also traded in exchanging hands (per Forbes). Though DIY Network’s rebranding to Magnolia was announced in 2019, Discovery Channel merged with Warner Bros to become Warner Bros Discovery, meaning the brand had a new home (via CNBC). With over 20 years of home renovations and DIY content for audiences, the DIY Network boasts a rich history, an extensive list of programs, and some complicated evolutions.
The DIY Network was dedicated to platforming the best home renovation experts from around the country. Thanks to this, audiences have been introduced to some exciting personalities and projects. During its 23-year run as the DIY Network, the brand had hundreds of shows (via IMDb).
“Maine Cabin Masters” is a show about cabin renovations in and around Maine. The show has been on the air for eight seasons. It chronicles the real-life adventure of Chase Morrill and his family as they renovate cabins through their Kennebec Cabin Company business in Manchester, Maine (via Maine Cabin Masters). “Bargain Mansions” is a show that follows host and home renovation expert Tamara Day as she breathes new life into abandoned homes (per HGTV). Viewers follow her as she gives abandoned properties in her hometown of Kansas City a second chance. “Stone House Revival” is another show about revitalizing properties. Hosted by contractor, carpenter, and historic home buff Jeff Devlin, this DIY show takes viewers on a hunt for old, decaying residential buildings to restore. (via Jeff Devlin).
The network is also home to “Ask This Old House,” a home improvement show that has run for 21 seasons and shows no signs of stopping. “First Time Flippers,” as the name suggests, chronicles rookie renovators as they attempt to turn less-than-stellar homes into buildings worthy of a higher price tag. With a ton of shows on the roster, including “Pool Kings,” “House Hacks,” “A Byrk at a Time,” “Building Belushi,” and many more, there’s something for everyone’s taste.
The award for most curious collaboration with the DIY Network would go to 90s pop star Vanilla Ice’s home improvement show, “The Vanilla Ice Project,” which aired for nine seasons from 2010 to 2019 (via IMDb). As the name suggests, the show followed the “Ice Ice Baby” rapper-turned-home-renovator as he flips derelict residential buildings into modern homes. Viewers are treated to Ice’s project challenges, successes, and entertaining interactions with his crew. Focusing on one house per season, Ice is tasked with reviving upscale buildings in Palm Beach, Florida, that have become worse for wear. With each episode, the house-flipper offers pearls of wisdom for aspiring house-flippers (via Realtor.com).
But Vanilla Ice wasn’t the only rapper with a DIY Network show. Run DMC rapper and hip-hop icon Rev Run also had a show on the network called “Rev Run’s Renovations.” The series focused solely on the makeover of the music legend’s 9000-square-foot New Jersey home that he shared at the time with his wife, Justine, and their kids, Jojo, Diggy, and Russy (via HGTV). The family works together to completely overhaul the home using their unique style and own personal preferences.
In 2021, the DIY Network seemed to disappear from TV. This left many people wondering what happened to the home of some of the most beloved renovation shows. In January 2022, it was announced the DIY Network was undergoing a makeover of its own, becoming the Magnolia Network (via Media Play News).
The popular husband-and-wife duo Chip and Joanna Gaines are the beloved hosts of HGTV hit show “Fixer Upper.” But the show wasn’t the couple’s first foray into the design world. In 2003, they launched Magnolia Market and opened their first location (via Variety). As the couple tied the knot, Chip became involved in the company, and their expansion began. Under the Magnolia umbrella are dozens of businesses, including Silos Bakery Co.
In September 2021, Chip and Joanna launched Magnolia Network on the newly minted Discovery+. Months later, they dissolved the DIY Network, bringing some of the network’s content onto their new platform (via Daily Mail). They also launched several new titles including the lifestyle guru’s own cooking show, “Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines.”
With the rebranding of DIY Network, many fans were worried that their favorite shows might have gone up to TV heaven with no way to access them. Thankfully, very few shows were sacrificed in the rebranding. In fact, the rebrand to Magnolia meant that DIY’s original programming had a new home on Discovery+ (via Magnolia.com). Additionally, consumers who were already subscribed to the DIY Network as part of a package would have noticed their subscriptions automatically transferred to Magnolia Network when it launched back in January 2022 (per TV Insider).
“Barnwood Builders,” a DIY Network favorite, announced via their Facebook page that they were one of the shows coming to the Magnolia Network, assuring fans that a new season and many new episodes were on the way. Another DIY staple, “Building off the Grid,” is enjoying the same fate. The series first aired on the network in 2014 and follows a group of builders who create homes that can be sustained in remote parts of the USA (via IMDb). In July 2022, Magnolia also renewed DIY alum “Restored” for a seventh season (via Variety).
With so many streaming options available to viewers, the idea of adding yet another one to the roster might be stressful to consumers. Still, if you’re a fan of the DIY Network and home and lifestyle reality TV in general, there’s one place where you can enjoy all of that without paying for more than one streaming platform. That place is Discovery+. With prices starting at $4.99 for the ad-supported version and $6.99 for the ad-free option, this may well be one of the most affordable streamers (via Rolling Stone). But what makes Discovery+ worth the price is the amount of access audiences have.
With this streaming service, fans are able to not only watch the DIY Network shows that were renewed but also get to rewatch some of their favorite shows that didn’t survive the rebrand, including “House Crashers,” “Rev Run’s Renovation,” “The Treehouse Guys,” and “Big Beach Builds” across many of the networks available on the service including HGTV, OWN and, of course, Magnolia Network (Discovery.com).
Unfortunately for Chip and Joanna Gaines, the Magnolia launch wasn’t without some controversy. As part of the shows announced to be making their premiere on the new network was Home Work. Hosted by another couple, Andy and Candis Meredith, “Home Work” was an Emmy-award-winning show that chronicled the Utah couple’s attempts to turn a school into a home for a big family. As part of the series, the couple would go around Utah renovating other homes (via Insider).
Just two days after it went live, the show was pulled from Magnolia’s schedule when damning allegations were leveled against the DIY couple by Utah homeowner Aubry Bennion. In the 18-part Instagram post, Bennion accused Andy and Candis of spending $15,000 over the agreed $25,000 budget. In addition, the project, which was meant to take three weeks to complete as part of the “Home Work” series, took five months, with the Merediths allegedly going on vacation to Paris midway through. Bennion’s post inspired more Utah-based homeowners to come forward, sharing their experiences with the Merediths, including incomplete work, stolen money, and more (via Glamour).
One of DIY Networks’ most popular shows was saved from cancellation thanks to some unlikely fans — the Gaines kids. Chase Morrill, one of the stars of “Maine Cabin Masters” tells People about his conversation with Chip and Joanna saying, “They said, ‘It’s funny, we don’t own a TV, but every time we pick the kids up from their grandparents’, we ask them what they were doing. They’re like, “Watching Maine Cabin Masters.”‘
Beyond the Gaines’ children, “Maine Cabin Masters” enjoyed a surge in popularity during the lockdown of 2020. According to Morrill, the lockdown inspired many people to finally act on their rustic dreams. “We’re seeing a massive wave of people who are acting on their long-time desires to have an escape,” Morrill quipped in an interview with Forbes in July 2020. “Who doesn’t want a place to get away right now?”
In 2018, when “Fixer Upper” fans thought they were saying their final goodbyes to the famous HGTV show, the couple revealed the inspiration behind the name of their empire, Magnolia. In the final episode of the HGTV iteration of the series, Chip gathered his four kids for a special project — planting a Magnolia tree. In the scene, Chip asks his kids if they know what’s interesting about a magnolia tree, to which the kids shake their heads no.
“One of mama and I’s first dates, I climbed up a magnolia tree, and I pulled her off a magnolia bloom, and I gave it to her,” Chip revealed. The magnolia has since become the heart of the Gainses’ ever-expanding empire. Chip told People, “We love magnolia trees. It really embodies our company. It’s basically become our mascot.” The “Fixer Upper” star continued, “So every project we do, we love to plant a magnolia gem.”