The Truth About Renovation Island's Bryan And Sarah Baeumler

If you're not a fan of Bryan and Sarah Baeumler, we're just going to assume that you haven't seen "Renovation Island" yet. The HGTV show follows the couple as they renovate a resort on a remote island — think "Fixer Upper" but on a beach.

The Baeumlers are fairly new to the U.S. market, but they're basically reality TV royalty in Canada where they've been winning over audiences with renovation shows for years, breaking into the scene with "House of Bryan" in 2010. The show followed the family as Bryan built them a vacation home, and the Baeumlers have tackled several more home improvement and renovation projects since then on shows like "Renovation Inc." Per the South Florida Sun Sentinel, shows featuring the Baeumlers have aired in dozens of countries, so it's safe to say they're a pretty big deal.

What are the couple like behind all the fame, though? Are Bryan and Sarah Baeumler as incredible as they seem to be on "Renovation Island"?

How Renovation Island came to be

It didn't take long for fans to fall in love with HGTV's "Renovation Island," which is centered on husband-and-wife team Bryan and Sarah Baeumler. Season 1 of the show followed their adventure of renovating a resort dating back to the 1960s. The catch? The resort just so happens to be on the remote island of South Andros, which they fell in love with on a 2017 vacation to the Bahamas.

The Baeumlers loved the island so much that they uprooted their lives in Canada to move there, and "Renovation Island" was born. The resort had been on the market for 10 years before the Baeumlers came along, so fixing up the property proved to be quite the challenge.

The couple was up to the task, though, and were focused on "sustainability and environmental preservation," as Bryan told Travel Weekly (via HGTV). Bryan added that sustainability and preservation were key in everything they did on the island "from sourcing ingredients for our restaurants to selecting our tour partners and establishing relationships with employees and suppliers."

Bryan and Sarah have a lot of experience

Bryan Baeumler is a licensed contractor while Sarah Baeumler is in charge of designing the 10-acre property, which consists of 18 hotel rooms, 22 villas, and several amenities including a restaurant, bar, club house, and spa. The Baeumlers are no strangers to taking on tough projects. The couple has also starred on "House of Bryan," which aired on HGTV's sister network, DIY. Bryan also starred on the DIY shows "Leave It to Bryan" and "Disaster DIY." The island resort, however, was their biggest project to date. "This is the biggest change our family has faced and the largest project we've ever taken on," said Bryan, who added that the Baeumlers were risking "absolutely everything."

According to their bios at HGTV Canada, Bryan learned his craft from his dad, an aircraft engineer. He started his own handyman business at the age of 14, has a degree in political science, and founded Baeumler Quality Construction. Sarah is part of the company as its project manager and has worked on interior design projects on the couple's previous shows. 

They have four kids

The Baeumlers have four children: Quintyn, Charlotte, Lincoln, and Josephine. Raising four kids on a remote island is no easy task as child care and schooling options are limited. As the Baeulers explained on "Renovation Island" (via House Beautiful), the couple originally started off homeschooling their three youngest kids, Lincoln, Josephine, and Charlotte. As things got busier at the resort, though, they had less time for homeschooling. They eventually decided to send the younger kids to a local Bahamian school.

The Baeumlers wanted to give their oldest child, Quintyn, a normal high school experience, though. Instead of sending him to a local school, the couple decided to send the 14-year-old off to boarding school. Fortunately, the school only ended up being a 20-minute flight from the island, so they were able to visit their son regularly while working on renovating the resort.

The pandemic hit the Baeumlers' resort hard

Renovating the Caerula Mar Club on South Andros was difficult, but Sarah and Bryan Baeumler faced more challenges than updating the decades-old property. In 2019, a Category 5 hurricane, Hurricane Dorian, swept through the area. While their resort was safe, they revealed to TheWrap that many people they knew "had families that had been directly affected or lost lives in the hurricane." They shut down production of "Renovation Island" for a while and "immediately went into action to provide any help or resources that our family could."

Things went back to normal for a while, until the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. Just a month and a half after opening their resort in March 2020, they were forced to shut down until October. Sarah told the Toronto Sun that it was a difficult time for them and that, while the resort was closed, "the work [did] not stop." While they couldn't open their doors to the public, they continued to make renovations to the property until they were able to resume operations.

They seriously underestimated how much renovating the resort would cost

Bryan and Sarah Baeumler bit off a little more than they could chew when they decided to renovate the resort that would become known as the Caerula Mar Club. They went into the project knowing that it would cost a lot of money to renovate, but they underestimated just how expensive that would be. Per TheWrap, the couple forked over $2 million to purchase the property, anticipating that it would require $4 million to get it renovated and operational. It turns out they needed a lot more money, though. "We more than doubled that before we opened the doors," Bryan told the outlet.

It's a good thing that the Baeumlers are loaded then. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Bryan and Sarah have an estimated combined net worth of $20 million, which means that they probably could afford to spend millions on the resort.

Living on an island took some adjusting

Uprooting their lives and moving to a remote island was hard on the Baeumlers for many reasons. Life on South Andros moves at a slower pace, but Bryan and Sarah Baeumler were not prepared for the limited shopping choices they would have in their new home. Sarah explained to People that "stores are small" on the island, "and don't always carry the variety we're used to back home." This also made the renovations challenging as they had to have materials flown or shipped in, which could take weeks to arrive.

Another challenge is the lack of immediate availability of certain staples. While it's an easy thing in Canada to just head to the store to stock up on things or quickly replace a needed item, that's not true on South Andros. "If we're out of milk, we can't always run to the store to get more, sometimes we need to wait a week until the next ship arrives, so we drink water or juice," explained Sarah.

Surprisingly, the Baeumlers found that this big change — while difficult to get used to — actually "reduces stress" because it helped them "realize that you don't need everything instantly available at your fingertips to survive and be happy."

Sarah thinks self-care is especially important for women

Self-care is important for everyone. It's critical for us to take time to destress and pamper ourselves, and Sarah Baeumler is very aware of this. In an interview with Millionairess Magazine, she emphasized the necessity of self-care, adding that she thinks it's especially needed for women because of the particular challenges they face. Sarah explained to the outlet that women — especially those with families — are so often focused on being "caregivers who naturally want to take care of others" that they end up not paying enough attention to themselves. "Self care is not the same as selfish," stated Sarah. "Mom-guilt should never be a question."

She added that, no matter how busy things get, she always makes a point to take some time for herself, not only to get some "me" time but because she knows that taking care of herself means that energy "overflows" to the rest of the Baeumler family.

Sarah and Bryan are more famous than you might realize

If you're not from Canada, you might not understand just how famous Sarah and Bryan Baeumler are. While their fame in the United States is comparatively new, they've been building up their reputation in Canada for years. They're such well-known celebrities that they turn heads on the street. "We can't go anywhere in Canada without being recognized,” Bryan told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The outlet compared the couple to America's Chip and Joanna Gaines, though maybe not quite as famous is their home country. The couple told the outlet that wherever they go, they're swarmed by fans looking to meet the famous figures. Sarah and Bryan even joked that their inability to go anywhere without being recognized is why they made the decision to move to a remote island, far away from the fame.

Of course, their fame is on the rise thanks to "Renovation Island," so it might not be too long before they're super famous in the U.S.

Bryan and Sarah have the sweetest love story

Bryan and Sarah Baeumler aren't high school sweethearts, but they have known each other since their student days. The couple shared their sweet love story with TRNTO, explaining that they first got to know each other in high school and started dating a decade later. "In 2001, we were both copied on an email from a mutual friend, which was the catalyst for us to begin talking again, and we decided to reunite over coffee after work," Sarah explained to the outlet.

Bryan really wowed Sarah on their first date, bringing her to see a stage production of "The Lion King" and then taking her out for sushi. Sarah was impressed with all the effort he put into the date, and it kicked off their romantic relationship. They were married three years later and honeymooned in Las Vegas, after their Florida trip was canceled because of a hurricane.

Since then, the couple have been going strong and appear to be more in love than ever.

How the Baeumlers relax

Between their career and raising their four kids, the Baeumlers are pretty busy. They still make time for themselves, though, and have a lot of hobbies that they enjoy in their down time. Sarah told TRNTO that she and her husband are both into water sports, and especially "love to water-ski, wakeboard and tube."

Sarah and Bryan Baeumler also enjoy boating and fishing, and regularly indulge their love for the outdoors with the kids to whom they've "passed [their] love for being outside and active." Another hobby is scuba diving, which Sarah and Bryan are both certified in and enjoy pursuing on their trips around the world. "We went to the Maldives and found incredible places there to dive," she revealed.

It's not always easy to carve out time to have fun, but Sarah told the outlet that she and Bryan do their best to make sure it's not all work and no play in the Baeumler family. "We love what we do, and we work hard so we can enjoy time with our family and watch the kids grow up," she said.

Advice from the Baeumlers

DIY home renovation isn't for everybody, but if you and your significant other are thinking of picking up a hammer and transforming your own home, do some research first. Bryan Baeumler told Monsters & Critics that home renovation isn't as easy as it might look on TV, and that "doing the job is not for everybody." He added that it's important for people to remember that he is a professional with a lot of experience under his belt and that, while viewers may "get excited and start ripping things up" after seeing him at work on TV, "that's a problem."

For couple who are aware of the challenges of DIY home renovation and want to go for it anyway, Bryan says that communication with your partner is critical. Sarah and Bryan also offered up this advice for couples looking to follow in their footsteps. "Set the budget, and set aside 25-30% for contingencies, upgrades, changes etc.," the couple told Toronto Home Shows. "Decide which rooms / projects each partner gets total control of, and where you'll battle it out." The couple added that it's important to take time off from the project regularly and to "have fun."

Sarah is a trained ballerina

If you've seen Sarah Baeumler in action on "Renovation Island," you may have noticed that the reality star is quite graceful. There's a good reason for that, as she has an extensive background in dance. In an interview with Home to Win, she said that classical ballet is her "first love for sure." She's trained in other styles of dance, too, noted Vancouver Mom, and has certifications in ballet, modern theater, and jazz. For several years, she ran her own dance studio, but eventually gave it up to help her husband as his reality TV career took off.

Sarah has no regrets, though, telling Millionairess Magazine that working in interior design fulfills her creative side. In fact, it was discovering her passion for interior design as she helped Bryan build their home that made her decide to sell her studio. "The more [interior design] I did, the more I wanted to do it full time," she said. Sarah added that she hasn't left dance behind completely, though. "I still dance, but for myself," she said.

Bryan has lived with anxiety for most of his life

While it may appear that Bryan Baeumler lives a charmed existence, his life has not been without hardship. The "Renovation Island" star has lived with anxiety ever since he was an adolescent, as Sarah Baeumler revealed to Vancouver Mom. "During his late teens and early twenties, Bryan suffered anxiety and severe panic attacks like so many teens today," Sarah told the outlet.

Bryan told The Star that he "spent a few years in a very dark place dealing" with his anxiety, in addition to his agoraphobia. He's aware that being a public figure means people would never expect him to deal with such issues, which is why he thinks it's especially important for him to be open about his mental health and to fight against the stigma, although that wasn't always the case. "It's something that I've never talked about publicly — I suppose because of the stigma around it — but I now realize that so many of us are affected in one way or another," he said.

In a 2019 Instagram post, Bryan confided that his early reality TV career had been plagued by panic attacks, but that he has "learned how to manage it somewhat over the years," although it still something he deals with.

How the Baeumlers keep their relationship strong

Balancing their work and home life is no easy feat, but the Baeumlers manage to spend time together as a family no matter how busy things get. Bryan and Sarah also make sure to spend time with each other, knowing that keeping their relationship strong is key. Sarah told Vancouver Mom that they have raised their kids to understand "that Mommy and Daddy need time to be adults and friends to one another." She explained to the outlet that it can be easy to give yourself over completely to your children, but that they have always emphasized to their kids that it's important for parents "to put time and love into [their] own friendship."

As for juggling the many things they have on their plates, Bryan and Sarah Baeumler offered up some advice in an interview with Toronto Home Shows. "Don't sweat the small stuff," they said. "Be nice to each other and love your kids. Get a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life!"

Everything went wrong when Bryan proposed

Not all proposal stories are created equal, although all are special in their own way. Bryan and Sarah Baeumler's proposal, though, is one that seems fit for TV — too bad the cameras weren't rolling when Bryan popped the question!

What makes the story so charming isn't that it was a fairytale proposal but rather the opposite. As Sarah explained to Streets of Toronto, pretty much everything that could go wrong on the day Bryan had planned to propose did. First, his plans for a proposal on a "beautiful scenic hike" were foiled by thick fog. Then, on the way home, the day got even worse when the future Mr. and Mrs. Baeumler ended up with a flat tire. Talk about bad luck! "Needless to say, it wasn't the romantic journey Bryan was expecting, so he waited until later that night to pop the question," said Sarah.

All's well that ends well, though, and it's clear that the ruined proposal plans couldn't thwart a marriage that was meant to be.