Inside The Marriage Of HGTV's Newest Hosts, Building Roots' Ben And Cristi Dozier

HGTV loves making shows with married couples as hosts. There's no denying they're clearly onto something with the formula. Joanna and Chip Gaines brought an estimated 24 million viewers to HGTV when "Fixer Upper" was on the network, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Now HGTV has brought in a new couple with dynamics that'll feel familiar to "Fixer Upper" fans — a married couple with a growing family who balance each other out and have been together for a long time. The way co-executive producer and showrunner Michelle McDonald explains it, what you see is what you get with Cristi and Ben Dozier, hosts of "Building Roots." 

"Ben and Cristi are the real deal," she explained to Colorado Homes & Lifestyles. "True salt-of-the-earth people. Their designs are very architectural and high caliber, yet attainable. They are inspired by their surroundings and love using natural materials, plus Ben's designs always tell a story."

What McDonald thinks people are going to really tune in for, though, is to watch the Doziers work together. "The relatability of what they are doing in their personal and professional lives, mixed with beautiful imagery of the rugged Rocky Mountains and flowing streams," she said, "are the perfect ingredients for a TV show."

HGTV's "Building Roots" might be just the perfect thing for "Fixer Upper" fans missing their favorite quirky couple. Ben and Cristi definitely give off Chip and Joanna vibes, but they share a longer, (and possibly even cuter) love story.

Cristi and Ben Dozier were 13 when they met

Ben and Cristi Dozier were born and raised in Austin, Texas but didn't meet until they were 13. In fact, the couple may not have ever crossed paths if Cristi's family hadn't been breaking apart. During a takeover of Cristi's sister Amy's podcast, "4 Things with Amy Brown," the couple shared the story of how they first met. As Cristi explained in Episode 196, they ended up meeting because her parents were getting divorced.

After her dad moved out, a family friend called and invited Cristi's mom to visit their church. She took Cristi and Amy to the church where Ben's family were already members. The two met during youth group and, as Ben says, fell in love immediately.

Their first date took place the day of Amy's baptism, which happened to be hosted at Ben's house. The two went to a debutante ball together; Cristi remembers Ben getting her a corsage because of how touched she was by the gesture. What Ben remembers about it, though, was that he thought the corsage was called a "croissant."

According to The Cinemaholic, the couple got married March 18, 2000 at the age of 23. During the podcast, they shared that their anniversary happened to be Amy's birthday, which they included in the festivities. In fact, Amy's own future husband — also named Ben, who she also met through the church — was Ben Dozier's best man. Amy was the maid of honor.

Ben and Cristi Dozier have four children

A few years into their marriage, Ben and Cristi Dozier started to put down more roots. Their daughter, Adelyn — who Ben told HGTV Cristi named — was nine months old when the couple started Root Design Company in late 2003, per The Cinemaholic.

Three boys followed: Gunnison Alan, Benjamin "Creede," and Christopher "South." Ben told HGTV the two youngest boys are actually named after towns in Colorado that hold special significance to the couple. All four of the children are often seen on Ben's Instagram. That includes Adelyn, even though she's currently spending a gap year between high school and college traveling.

According to The Cinemaholic, the family of six is currently living in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. They own a 100-year-old Victorian home situated on a river. Besides being the family's home base, the property is also home to The Root Studio, which used to be a barn before the Doziers converted it into studio space. On "4 Things with Amy Brown," the couple admitted that their work often spills into the main house; the kitchen table is apparently used as often as the barn to get work done.

Ten years into their marriage, Ben and Cristi Dozier hit a rough patch

Things weren't always so great for Ben and Cristi Dozier. During their appearance on "4 Things with Amy Brown," the couple shared details about some of the darkest days of their marriage. After 10 years of marriage, they were raising four children, including a newborn. Suddenly, Cristi's dad needed help and moved in with the growing family. That added another layer of stress to an already strained relationship.

While they got through the rough patch, they admitted it wasn't easy. At the end of the podcast, Cristi told listeners some words of wisdom she heard about marriages that always stuck with her. The wisdom came from Esther Perel, a couples and family therapist and the author of "Mating in Captivity" and "The State of Affairs." 

"Most people are going to have two or three marriages or committed relationships in their adult life. Some of us will have them with the same person," Perel told Dax Shepherd on "Armchair Experts." The couple now believes that they needed to go through their rough patch in order to grow into who they are today. Ben reassured listeners that it's okay to regroup and reset; you can rebuild something better out of the ashes of what's fallen apart.

Ben Dozier is responsible for Cristi's love of self-help books

Cristi Dozier explained on "4 Things with Amy Brown" that what ended up bringing the couple closer together again was her husband bringing home a self-help book. The way he tells it, the book caught his eye because there was food on the cover and the title — "Bittersweet" — reminded him of what the couple was going through. Both admit that their marriage at that point was almost exclusively "bitter." Thankfully Ben had hopes things would get sweet again.

What wasn't anticipated was how much Cristi would end up loving the book; it kickstarted her love of reading self-help books. Not only did her husband introduce her to her favorite author — who she calls her best friend — but she says he helped guide her to the right books she needed to get through other rough patches in her life.

During the podcast, Cristi revealed that the book "Bread and Wine" by Shauna Niequist, her favorite author, is still part of her strongest last memories of her mother. Cristi also said Berne Brown's "Daring Greatly" was a huge help to her after the couple moved to Colorado and started taking on new projects.

Ben and Cristi balance each other out

At the end of the day, Ben And Cristi Dozier are partners in everything they do. They're the first to admit it's hard work, but Michelle McDonald told Colorado Homes & Lifestyles that watching the couple work together is what makes their new HGTV show "Building Roots" so good. 

Cristi is the first to admit their differences were some of Ben's most attractive qualities when they first met. She explained on "4 Things with Amy Brown" that she's cautious, a 9 enneagram, where Ben is the risk taker, and a 7 enneagram.

Enneagram numbers aren't the only differences between the two. They even have different love languages, but make it a point to show the other person love on a daily basis. For Cristi, whose love language is acts of service, Ben begins the day by building a fire and making coffee. Ben, on the other hand, needs words of affirmation, which he admitted Cristi was giving him during the podcast episode.

The couple works together not just raising their children and doing design. They also own Root House Coffee + Shop, a cocktail and coffee bar that HGTV noted uses locally-roasted coffee beans and sells homemade baked goods. 

During their episode on "4 Things with Amy Brown," Cristi said she owes her bravery in jumping into these projects to Ben. How sweet is that?