Ty Pennington Talks Being ‘the OG’ of TV Home Renovators

Ty Pennington

Heavy/Getty Ty Pennington.

Ty Pennington has been a staple of the home renovation genre for more than 20 years. The HGTV star opened up to Yahoo Entertainment about what it means to be “the OG.”

“It’s funny — when I meet new people on HGTV, they’re like, ‘Oh my God, you’re the OG,’” Pennington told the outlet. “And I’m like: Oh my God, how did I become the OG? How did I become the oldest guy doing this?”

The 58-year-old first became a household name in 2000 as one of the carpenters on “Trading Spaces.” The TLC series saw neighbors renovate and redecorate each other’s homes with the help of designers.

“It was the first show to put actual tools in the hands of homeowners,” he explained to Yahoo Entertainment. “Whether they can do it or not, it proved that they could come close. It sent everybody to a home improvement store, saying, ‘Let’s do it ourselves,’ and that started the entire DIY craze.”

Pennington admitted to the publication that the continued success of the home renovation genre has taken him by surprise. HGTV – a network dedicated to buying, selling and renovating properties – ranked among the top 10 most-watched networks of 2022 by Variety.

As he quipped to Yahoo Entertainment, “not only would I not have predicted this, but if I had, I would have bought in stock in Home Depot immediately.”

Pennington eventually quit “Trading Spaces,” which he admitted to People was a risky move.

“I had to quit that job because I knew I was worth more than I was being paid,” he told People. “I took a real ballsy move, and I quit the best job I’d ever been given because I was sort of insulted.”

It was a choice that paid off – with Pennington becoming the Emmy-winning host of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” in 2004. He has since become a HGTV staple, appearing in shows like “Ty Breaker,” “Battle on the Beach” and “Home Town Kickstart.”

After years on television, Pennington admitted to Yahoo Entertainment that he has been told he inspired careers in design. As he told the site, “It’s awesome to know that you inspired people to not only take on their bathroom, but to maybe even take on a career doing exactly the same thing you did.”

Ty Pennington Returns as ‘Rock the Block’ Host

Pennington is showing off his hosting chops, returning for season 4 of “Rock the Block,” which premiered on March 6, 2023. He has hosted the HGTV competition series since its second season.

“Compared to what the competitors have to go through, being a host is the dream job,” he told Yahoo Entertainment of the role.

The series follows four teams of HGTV stars equipped with a $250,000 budget and six weeks as they renovate identical houses in hopes of earning the highest final appraisal value. This season’s 5,000-square-foot homes are located in Berthoud, Colorado and have been valued at $1.9 before renovations, according to a press release.

This season’s competitors are Bryan and Sarah Baeumler of “Renovation Island”; Michel Smith Boyd and Anthony Elle of “Luxe for Less”; Jonathan Knight and Kristina Crestin of “Farmhouse Fixer”; and Page Turner and Mitch Glew of “Fix My Flip.”

He explained to Yahoo Entertainment that as the host, he gets to remain his “jovial self.” Pennington told the outlet, “The problem with doing all the work yourself is the stress hits you. And it’s hard to be jovial all the time. So at this age, I’m better off just being jovial and fun.”

The designer shared a behind-the-scenes shot from filming in October 2022, celebrating more than two decades in the industry. As he wrote on Instagram, “Feeling unbelievably grateful to still be doing what I love 🙏🏼✨ #22yearsandcounting”

Ty Pennington Returns to Coach ‘Battle on the Beach’

Pennington continues to show off his competitive side, returning as coach for another season of “Battle on the Beach.” In February, HGTV announced the competition series will return for its third season in June 2023.

The series follows three pairs of up-and-coming house flippers as they renovate identical beach houses, all in hopes of having the highest increase in value. The winning duo will walk away with a cash prize, which in past seasons has been $50,000.

Each pair will be mentored by an HGTV expert, with Alison Victoria and Taniya Nayak also set to return, according to HGTV.com. The Baeumlers are returning for their second season as judges.

This season’s filming location has yet to be announced.

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