What The Cameras Don't Show You On HGTV's Home Town

Back in 2016, HGTV fans were first introduced to the heartwarming home improvement series "Home Town." Hosted by married couple Ben and Erin Napier, the duo use their respective skills to renovate historical homes in their quaint town of Laurel, Mississippi. Since its premiere, the show has become a juggernaut hit with viewers, spawning two equally popular spin-offs and hitting the historic 100-episode milestone in February 2024. When discussing their success with "Home Town," Erin told People, "We never expected this. Getting a TV show never crossed our minds." Ben echoed similar sentiments in the same interview, adding, "The way it all happened was crazy. It was never something we thought would turn into a career."

However, like many reality TV shows to grace the Home and Garden Television network, not every scene or moment makes it into the final cut. Fortunately for fans, we've gone down the production rabbit hole to get a better grasp on how a "Home Town" episode is made and why certain things are left on the cutting room floor.

Erin shares three reasons why only select rooms are renovated

While HGTV's "Home Town" series has captivated viewers with its stellar home improvement designs, many fans have wondered why the renovation love isn't shown to every room in a participant's house. Fortunately, in May 2017, Erin Napier gave some clarity into the matter with an informative Instagram post. "People often ask us why we don't do bathrooms or why all the rooms aren't shown on the show," she wrote alongside photos from Amanda Matthews' cottage renovation in Season 1. "The Lantern House" author revealed that the decision comes down to three reasons: the homeowner's request to focus on certain rooms, budget restrictions, and time constraints. "If you don't see a bathroom or bedroom, it's typically because it didn't need much work or our handy homeowners are weekend warriors who take it on themselves on a budget and with ample time," she added.

This isn't the first time Napier has spilled the tea regarding why certain rooms don't make it to air. In December 2022, the children's book author found herself answering a similar question after she and her husband, Ben Napier, renovated their dream country home for an episode of "Home Town." When fans inquired about the absence of their living room during the final reveal, the HGTV star stated that the room didn't need renovation. "We just updated the cream paint to show off the woodwork and replaced the light fixtures," she wrote on Instagram. The post also included snapshots of the space for further clarity.

Filming one scene of Home Town could take hours

Even though an episode of HGTV's "Home Town" is only an hour long, bringing it to life is a much longer endeavor. In June 2020, Season 4 participant Rhonda Phillips spilled all the tea to Realtor.com about the intense and lengthy filming process. "One scene could take hours to make. I never really realized that before. It is long days of filming," she explained. Rhonda also recalled the tedious nature of retakes, highlighting a particular moment when she had to redo an attic scene. "It was so hot up there, and I thought, 'I am really ready for that scene to be over,'" she said. Rhonda also confirmed that the renovations are paid for by the homeowner of the episode. However, Erin and Ben offer affordable prices since they handle most of the fixes themselves, she said. While many of the scenes are somewhat manufactured due to retakes, Rhonda revealed that the final walkthrough is only shot once, as a way to capture an element of surprise. 

Since its debut, the Napiers have been an open book about the detailed filming process for "Home Town." During the first season, Erin detailed the necessity of wardrobe pictures for continuity purposes. "So if you have to film something later that you couldn't get to or it needs to look like the same day, you can wear the exact same things," she explained on Instagram.

If you have enjoyed these behind-the-scenes details about "Home Town," read up on how a scandal almost jeopardized Ben and Erin's HGTV empire and reputation.