You'll Never Guess Who Actually Pays for the Home Renovations on 'Celebrity IOU'

Someone has to pay up — who is it?

Pretty Honore - Author

Jun. 11 2024, Updated 12:17 p.m. ET

Jonathan Scott. Drew Scott, and LeAnn Rimes posing on 'Celebrity IOU'
Source: HGTV

The only thing better than receiving a gift is giving one, and this is especially true for the guests who appear on HGTV’s Celebrity IOU. In the series, Property Brothers stars Jonathan and Drew Scott help stars repay their personal heroes with the home renovation of their dreams, and we're not crying, you are.

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  • The renovations on the show are huge projects that undoubtedly cost someone a lot of money. But who exactly is paying for the work? Is it the celebrities themselves, or is something else going on behind the scenes?
  • Jonathan Scott, Drew Scott, and Melissa McCarthy posing on 'Celebrity IOU'
    Source: HGTV
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    Do the celebrities pay for the home renovations on ‘Celebrity IOU’?

    In a 2017 Facebook Live video, Jonathan Scott spoke about one of his and Drew's other shows: Brother Vs. Brother. He revealed that for that show, HGTV covers the cost of shooting but he and his brother pay for the renovations. He shared, “Keep in mind, this is Drew and my actual money. We buy these houses ourselves, we put up the money for the renovations ourselves, so everything to do with the project comes out of our pockets.”

    While Jonathan and Drew pay for the cost of materials and fees associated with renovations, their relationships with companies like Wayfair help them cut costs on furniture.

    “The people who buy these houses are getting a steal of a deal because they’re getting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of furniture and all this extra stuff, top quality materials from the decking to the tile, you name it,” Jonathan added. “And they’d never be able to get it for that price if it wasn’t for the show.”

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    Although Jonathan revealed who is responsible for the invoice in their previous household renovation spinoffs, it is unclear who pays for the renovations on Celebrity IOU. Most likely, the majority of the renovation costs are covered by the show's budget and subsidized by sponsorship deals.

    Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott posing on 'Celebrity IOU'
    Source: HGTV
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    Some fans noted that many of the celebrities featured on Celebrity IOU had more than enough money to execute the home renovations without the Property Brothers and suggested that their appearances on the series were strictly for publicity.

    One viewer wrote on Reddit, “The entire project is likely covered by sponsors. Most of the shows and redesigns are already done on sponsorship — not just HGTV Dream Home — and any kind of link to a celebrity probably provides more opportunity or sponsorship.”

    The brothers themselves commented on this in an interview with TV Insider. When asked why the celebrities haven't already paid for the renovations without bringing in the Property Brothers, Johnathan said, "It’s not a simple thing to take on a renovation. [...] In this climate these days, finding sub-trades, and landing a GC is almost impossible, as well as finding designers who are available. It can take a year or more to get a project done. We have all this together. So when celebrities reach out, it’s the perfect scenario because we can get it done. It’s the greatest gift you can give. It’s pretty complicated, but I don’t really know any other group that can pull it off and in the timeline we do."

    At the end of the day, we're just happy we can watch the Property Brothers make dreams come true — and make us all cry in the process.

    You can watch new episodes of Celebrity IOU Mondays at 9 p.m. EST on HGTV.

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