The Controversy Surrounding Chip & Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Network Show Home Work

Chip and Joanna Gaines' success during their time on HGTV's "Fixer Upper" was the push the couple needed to start their own network, "Magnolia." The cable network, which they founded with Warner Bros. Discovery, became a TV channel in January 2022. Due to Chip and Joanna's relationship with Andy and Candis Meredith, the Gaines contacted them and formed a partnership for a renovation show called "Home Work."

"Home Work" focused on the large Meredith family, who fixed up their own home while fixing up other client's homes. Everything was shaping out quite well for the show, which first premiered on Discovery+ in July 2021, until January 2022, when the show received bad reviews from clients whose homes the Merediths had fixed.

Homeowner Aubry Bennion took to Instagram on Jan. 5, complaining about the low quality of work and unrealistic expectations the Merediths had set. "I told [them] that I figured a full gut would cost $40,000 to $50,000. Candis replied, '$40 or 50? We can do it for $20!'" Soon after, Candis allegedly requested an extra $5,000. Following a poor execution of the job and construction mistakes, Bennion claimed that she had to pay an extra $18,000 to fix it up.

Another homeowner complained of extra charges

Another unsatisfied customer, Teisha Hawley, shared posts on Instagram the day after Aubry Bennion, stating that she'd agreed on a budget of $45,000 with the Merediths. The mother of three claimed that her family was promised a full turnout of the job between three to four weeks, leading the Hawleys to move into their basement while work was ongoing.

Hawley pointed out multiple problems with the renovation job, including having a crew member fall through the roof and into their basement. She complained that they laid the floors wrongly three separate times, with the entire project taking twice as long as promised.

Hawley also stated that after making complaints, she and her husband were asked to pay another "$35-40k." At that point, the Hawleys had been holed up in their basement through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthdays. She accused the Merediths of lacking respect for their finances and living situation, as well as having no communication skills.

The Merediths apologized, and Magnolia's 'Home Work' returned to the air

The controversy surrounding the "Home Work" renovation projects attracted significant backlash, with many questioning the proficiency of the Merediths as contractors and the network's reputation. One Instagram User posted: "I would not [let] these people remodel my dog house! And I don't even have a dog!"

In response, the Magnolia Network President, Allison Page, stated that "Home Work" would be pulled while they reviewed the allegations (via Insider). After the suspension, Candis and Andy Meredith finally broke their silence. Candis stated they had received accusations and threats due to the allegations. She blamed her optimism and belief in their contractor's words for the missed deadlines. The host also revealed their heavy workload, handling nine clients in about three months. Candis added that the homeowners, Aubry Bennion and Teisha Hawley, chose to go public in 2022, two years after the home renovations, instead of contacting them or seeking "mediation" following the completion of their home renovations.

After the initial backlash, Candis and Andy Meredith's show was put back on air on January 13. Page informed People that Magnolia was willing to "provide appropriate resolutions for those whose experience with 'Home Work' fell short of our network's standards." Despite the controversy and temporary timeout, the 13-episode home renovation show won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Instructional and How-To Program later that year.