10 Things You Need To Know About HGTV's Steve Ford

Who's your favorite multi-tasker? For many who know him best, it's Steve Ford — licensed contractor, loving husband, proud papa, small-business owner, dog lover, and his home state's biggest fan. On-screen, Ford is most recognized as the more reserved half of the popular brother-sister duo from shows such as "Home Again With the Fords," "A Very Brady Renovation," and "Restored by the Fords."

Since 2016, Ford has been a quiet, steady presence on HGTV, the perfect balance to sister Leanne Ford's exuberant personality. And watching the typical brother-sister banter between the two is the best part of every episode, second only to the big reveal.

But this busy contractor/celebrity has a lot going on behind the scenes, too, and none of it includes time spent sitting idly by. If you're ready to learn more about one of HGTV's most down-to-earth personalities, and how he spends his time away from the cameras, we've dug deep to hammer home all the intriguing details.

Steve Ford is a proud Pennsylvania boy, born and bred

While some people can't wait to grow up, move away from their small hometown, and rent a place elsewhere, Steve Ford is not that guy. Born and raised in The Keystone State, Ford has happily resided in Pennsylvania for most of his life. There was that short period of time when California called and he answered, taking small acting jobs in Los Angeles and surfing in his free time. But then the Laurel Mountains sang their siren song, and he's been there since. Today, Ford calls a 7,000-square-foot Pittsburgh warehouse home, where he lives out his own personal American dream with his wife, Andrea, and his son, Jack. 

But Ford is not just a resident of Pittsburgh, he's also its biggest fan, singing the praises of its unique foods, its abundance of outdoor spaces, and the beauty of its city skyline to anyone who will listen. Ford's Instagram account is also stuffed like a Pittsburgh pierogi — full of posts advocating all there is to see and do in his beloved Steel City. 

Steve Ford is a huge fan of industrial design

In 2019, Steve Ford and his sister Leanne Ford renovated his warehouse home from the ground up. Though he had transformed many other homes and businesses around the Pittsburgh area, Ford had never owned a home himself. Then one fateful day, he came upon a wreck of a warehouse located in downtown Pittsburgh that had the industrial appeal he admires. "It was just a mess," Ford told Pittsburgh Magazine. "But I saw the potential and I had to have it."

With the help of his designer sister, Ford completely transformed the abandoned, junk-laden monolith into a showcase of a home with a strong industrial vibe. He told People the biggest challenge of the entire project was the "15 to 20 trucks' worth" of concrete required to bring his vision to life. Ford now shares the space with his wife and son and is quick to tell anyone who asks that the industrial feel of the space is exactly what he wanted. "I think this place represents my personality to a T," he explains. "Plus, I can look around and remember the experience, which makes it all that much better."

The renovation of Ford's historic Pittsburgh dream house was chronicled in Season 2, episode 15 of "Restored by the Fords," titled, "Steve Buys a House." Fans can take the house tour, room-by-room, online at Love, Leanne.

All signs point to Steve Ford as being a romantic at heart

When you get married in front of a waterfall, gifting your grandmother's wedding ring, how could you not be called a hopeless romantic? While we don't know the answer for sure, clues seem to point in that direction for Steve Ford. According to an exclusive interview with People, that's exactly how things went down between Ford and wife, Andrea Cargill, in 2021. And all this after he proposed in a garden, of all places.

The two were joined on Ford's birthday, in an outdoor ceremony at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania, a location that features prominently in Ford's life. The wedding list was small and cozy, and the reception took place in a historic cabin nearby. It was all very low-key and intimate, except, of course, for the shiny disco ball that hung over the dance floor.

"Andrea is happy and it's great to be around such a happy person," Ford told People at the time. "She's also thoughtful and the most beautiful person I know, inside and out. She brings love and joy to my life, and she's always up for a new adventure."

Steve Ford likes to unwind in unconventional ways

On screen, Steve Ford stays busy with demos and renovations, bringing his sister's inspiring visions to life for lucky homeowners. But when it's time to unwind, he and his family have more than one unusual way to unplug. Take forest bathing, for example.

Forest bathing originated in Japan as a form of exercise called shinrin-yoku, and while some might call it a walk in the park, in reality, it requires a bit more effort. To glean the most benefits from forest bathing, participants immerse themselves in the experience, paying special attention to the sounds, smells, and beauty of their forest environment. And while there is no soap or water involved in this tradition, it is cleansing nonetheless. And then there's Thai yoga massage, sound baths, and date nights with movies like "Hocus Pocus," which the Fords also enjoy from time to time, according to Instagram.

When it comes to rest and recreation, Ford plays just as hard as he works. And more often than not, that play happens outdoors in the form of camping trips, ski weekends, or river surfing adventures. Fans can see video proof of the family's antics on Instagram.

Steve Ford is a serious dog lover

Steve Ford's social media feed is filled with photos of his best furry friend. Ford's beautiful companion, Yoko, who was his original roommate in the renovated warehouse, sadly died in December 2021, according to his post on Instagram.

Yoko, a friendly-looking pit bull, featured prominently in Ford's Instagram feed since 2014. She was often seen joining Ford on his many adventures, including river surfing, partaking in Shark Week, and helping out around the garage. According to Ford's many posts, Yoko didn't quite understand the concept of social distancing, but she was still the coolest dog on the Monongahela River. She wore a lot of sunglasses, enjoyed long lounges on the couch, and most definitely deserved her own show. And it was easy to see, just by looking, she was a very good girl!

In 2022, Ford paid tribute to his long companion on National Dog Day by sharing: "Happy National Dog Day! We miss our Yoko dearly" (via Instagram).

Steve Ford hosts a regional food show for Apple TV

"Stuffed with Steve Ford" is filmed in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Tourism Office, and it highlights some of the best culinary treats the state has to offer. In this four-part Apple TV series, hosted by Ford, local bakers, brewers, farmers, and more get their time in the sun and their specialties on display for all the world to see.

The series began airing in August 2022, with each 11-minute segment split between two of Pennsylvania's culinary trails. The segments covered included Baked: A Bread Trail and Picked: An Apple Trail. The trails mentioned are two of six created by the PA Tourism Office to introduce both residents and visitors to the state's hidden culinary gems. 

As a native Pennsylvanian, Ford has insider knowledge regarding his state's best-known eateries and has ample experience in front of television cameras. These, along with his appetite for local food, make him the perfect choice as a host for such a delicious show.

Steve Ford is the owner and operator of Surf Pittsburgh

As if his many appearances on HGTV don't keep him busy enough, Steve Ford also owns and operates Surf Pittsburgh, a company that teaches anyone who's interested how to excel at the popular sport of wake surfing.

Where can you find an ocean to surf in Pittsburgh, you might ask? The truth is, you can't. However, locals haven't nicknamed this town Three Rivers for nothing. Pittsburgh is unique in that it sits right where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers converge to form the Ohio River. And according to Ford, it's a perfect location for learning how to surf while being towed behind a boat. 

Ford discovered his love of surfing in California and brought a more suitable form back to Pittsburgh, where he shares his knowledge and techniques with others who enjoy or want to learn the sport. He told local CBS affiliate KDKA News what inspired him in his mission. "As I got older, wake boarding kind of got painful on your knees and on your back. It's a lot faster. We realized that anyone can surf at any age. It's so simple." While Surf Pittsburgh may not take up quite as much of Ford's time as it once did, it's still a factor. And we're betting it's still feeding his addiction to outdoor play and helping to keep him in the tiptop physical condition every celebrity contractor needs to maintain.

Steve Ford is a spokesperson for Hart Tools

Steve Ford and Hart Tools are the latest hot collaboration, culminating in an exclusive set of home renovation tools designed by none other than the famous Ford siblings. The collection includes such offerings as a black fiberglass hammer, complete with a magnetic nail starter and anti-fog safety glasses with a modern, attractive clear frame. They're tools with function and style, designed with expertise by the professionals who make a living out of using them. 

But all gadgets aside, Hart Tools has also partnered with Ford for DIY inspiration that includes an exclusively curated gift guide and nearly a dozen home project ideas like custom cornhole boards and an outdoor fort for the kids. All projects are available on the Hart Tools website, along with step-by-step instructions from Ford, himself. And all are constructed using authentic Hart tools.

Ford fans who are searching for inspiration and guidance on their next home-improvement project, can find everything they need in the Hart Tools Blog.

Steve Ford once partnered with Jan and Peter Brady

When it comes to side gigs, Steve Ford may have nailed down the best one ever. It involves the time he partnered with members of "The Brady Bunch" to transform an iconic 70s rancher into a perfect time capsule of the show. "A Very Brady Renovation" took place in 2019. The show involved a carefully selected assortment of HGTV stars, including Ford himself and his sister Leanne Ford, together with the original cast members from the show. The premise was to make the interior and exterior of the house match the original set used on "The Brady Bunch." 

In each episode, renovators worked alongside the famous child stars to transform various parts of the home. The Ford siblings paired up with Eve Plumb and Christopher Knight, best known as Jan and Peter Brady, to work on the kitchen and family room, which, thanks to an abundance of harvest gold and avocado paint and fabric, they managed to transport back in time roughly half a century.

Steve Ford is an unabashed motorhead

As it turns out, home renovation is closely related to car restoration, at least for Steve Ford anyway. When he isn't hiking through the forest with family or catching a wave on the Monongahela River, you just might find him in his garage, tinkering with his latest hobby vehicle, like his prized possession — a vintage Ford F-150 pickup truck that he restored from the wheels up. Ford completed the restoration in 2020, sharing his accomplishment on Instagram. "Truck restoration, done. Turned out great and we're ready to roll for Season 3."

But Ford's taste in vehicles isn't only old pickups. According to his Instagram account, titled, not surprisingly, "stevefordsgarage," he's also fond of snowmobiles, boats, dirt bikes, motorcycles, and mountain bikes. Ford, it seems, is the textbook motorhead, performing many repairs himself, like the one required on his snowmobile in one Instagram post.