Why The Stars Of HGTV's Fixer To Fabulous Were Sued

Dave and Jenny Marrs of "Fixer to Fabulous" fame have built a reputation for being real estate magicians — kind of. Their HGTV series showcases the duo unleashing their design chops to transform old houses into beautiful, more palatable spaces, leading to the show's renewal for six consecutive seasons and counting. But while many applaud them for their talent in revitalizing homes, not all their ventures have gone smoothly, particularly those that did not make it to the airwaves.

To be fair to the Marrs, who had been married since 2005, they did not initially plan on becoming professional home flippers, much less home renovation stars. Both of them had corporate jobs before deciding to take the plunge and transition into building their own business from scratch. While Dave was already a contractor, Jenny had to teach herself everything she knew about design. Because of their passion for building and design, they risked it all, but it had been worth it. "We were so broke, but we had the most fun," Jenny told People. "It was just always hopeful... I think we have always had an approach to life of just being open-handed with everything."

Before bagging an HGTV show of their own, the pair kickstarted Marrs Developing, which, according to its website, has built roughly 30 homes since its inception. However, in 2021 and 2023, the pair had been on the receiving end of lawsuits, landing their biggest scandal ever. According to the plaintiffs, the Marrs have been shady and were not as reliable as what they show on TV.

The plaintiffs claimed the Marrs didn't deliver what they promised

The legal troubles for Dave and Jenny Marrs began in 2021 with a lawsuit from Dana and Tyler Craddock, who had tapped them three years earlier to renovate their home for "Fixer to Fabulous." During the renovation, they were not permitted to inspect the progress to preserve the surprise of the "grand reveal." A copy of the lawsuit obtained by CBS42 noted that the Craddocks were assured there would be no extensive work that would necessitate permits and clearances. However, at the reveal, the Craddocks discovered faulty repairs and modifications that indeed required new permits. The Craddocks claimed these changes caused damage to their property and demanded $75,000 in compensation. The lawsuit was dismissed the following year, with a judge declaring that the Marrs settled with the plaintiffs.

The Marrs faced another legal challenge in 2023 from Matthew and Sarah McGrath, who had purchased a home built by Jupiter Rentals and Marrs Construction, both owned by the HGTV stars. According to KNWA Fox24, the McGraths were promised a warranty for repairs and had paid for additional upgrades, but "not a single item on the list of repairs had been performed." To make matters worse, the McGraths discovered further damages after moving in. The Marrs responded by stating there was no breach of contract and that the contract itself was clear on the terms. They also claimed that their inability to perform repairs was due to the McGraths denying them access to the property. This lawsuit remains unresolved, with a trial scheduled for September 2024.

They were also penalized for improper handling of lead paint

Just as it seemed that Dave and Jenny Marrs might finally stop facing legal challenges, another issue surfaced. In January 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in a statement that it had fined the couple for non-compliance with safety regulations, particularly for two projects showcased on "Fixer to Fabulous" dating back in 2018. The Marrs had apparently violated the Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, which mandates that properties constructed before 1978 be managed by lead-safe certified contractors.

According to the EPA, the Marrs did not "obtain recertification before beginning renovations, assign a certified renovator to each renovation, maintain records showing their compliance with RRP measures, and perform work in accordance with the work practice standards." The result? The Marrs agreed to pay a $35,000 fine and committed to educating their audience about the dangers of lead exposure.

The agency reported that the Marrs have since acquired RRP firm certification and vowed to fully adhere to RRP standards in future projects. As part of their agreement with the EPA, the couple is expected to produce a public service announcement (PSA), conduct social media campaigns, and include RRP-related content in future episodes of their show. But knowing the Marrs and their commitment to sustainability, there's no doubt that they would comply. "We want to make sure we're taking care of the environment and being good stewards for their future," Jenny told House Beautiful, with Dave adding, "I'm going to preach to the mountains about that stuff."