Bryan Baeumler: The Fixer

HGTV and home renovation expert Bryan Baeumler’s fixation on fixing life, work and everything he can get his hands on.

With his Bryan Inc. being the most-watched show on HGTV, breaking the previous premiere record held by his former show House of Bryan, Bryan Baeumler finds himself as an over 10-year veteran in the reality TV world with no plans of stopping. Now and for the past few years, Baeumler has transitioned from shows solely about his work and moved to ones also showing his family life, highlighting his wife, Sarah, and four kids, Quintyn, Charlotte, Lincoln and Josephine.

“The kids were born into this and they find it quite normal,” Baeumler says. “The camera crew actually has become family. They are over for birthdays and we’re shooting at the house quite often, they stay around at the end of the day for dinner and a campfire.”

While being on camera is the only life the kids know, the same cannot be said for Baeumler himself. “I never got into this for the notoriety or to have people wave to me and yell my name as I’m driving down the street. It’s not something, to be honest, that I’m super comfortable with,” Baeumler says.

Baeumler wanted to advertise his company and saw HGTV as a good opportunity to do so. His natural sense of humour and personality led him to host the show Disaster DIY, and since then he has moved on to having numerous shows over the past decade.

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Still, even after 10 years, some of this is surreal and does not make sense to Baeumler. Baeumler loves meeting fans of the show, even if he does not fully comprehend their fandom. It is not always fun and games either: Baeumler has been almost driven off the highway and has had people grabbed by security at airports for being too aggressive in their pursuit of a picture and more.

“We’re part of people’s lives which is great. It’s a strange one-way experience … A lot of people hang out with us every morning and every night, and we don’t necessarily hang out with them every morning and every night,” Baeumler says.

Because of his job, Baeumler gets to spend copious amounts of time with his family, but still works on the balancing act of life. “Going through life with a marriage, a business, a TV show, friends and family, work events and time for yourself, you have to carve out what percentage is needed where. There’s no solution, there’s no balance. It’s a constant adjustment,” Baeumler says.

“If you think you can give 110 per cent, you’ve never really reached 100”

For Baeumler, it is a continual recognition of the areas in life that need focus on a daily basis, and reprioritizing himself in order to fix those areas, whether they be his marriage, work or children. “You have to constantly balance and understand that life is not a perfectly posed and filtered Instagram photo. It’s a moving, living, breathing thing that needs constant attention and adjustment,” Baeumler says.

With the constant flux of life, Baeumler understands that you have to be able to enjoy the moment when you are in it, and not stress over the areas that cannot be fixed until you can fix them. “I always say, take a deep breath and enjoy the journey between here and there, because between now and the end there is only a limited amount of time, and why waste it being stressed and upset and grumpy?” Baeumler says.

This philosophy has followed Baeumler around all throughout his life, and is why he defines himself as a fixer. Whether it is a problem at home or at work, Baeumler is compelled to fix the situation, as he wants everyone to be stress-free and happy. The resolution of an issue gives Baeumler “a great feeling of accomplishment and a peace and calm that everything is the way it should be.”

Since Baeumler loves experiencing the honeymoon period after a problem is fixed, it is no wonder that he has fervour for construction and home renovation. “I love going through all the stages and seeing [the project] come to fruition. It’s almost like watching the progression of when [Sarah and I] were having kids. From the day you find out you’re pregnant till the kid is born, it’s such an interesting process, and the final product is just so mind-blowingly cool,” Baeumler says.

Not only does Baeumler enjoy seeing a project come to life, he also relishes the opportunity to help people change their lives. “When we’re doing [construction and renovations], we bring the homeowners in at the end and show them the final product, and quite often they tear up,” Baeumler says.

In addition to working on customers’ homes, Baeumler has had the opportunity to work on a lot of charity projects building and repairing homes for people. “Some of the basic needs of any human are shelter and protection from the elements. There’s so much more to it too. Where you wake up every morning has such a huge impact on how you start your day and how you feel; where you relax in the evening before you go to bed is the same thing,” Baeumler says. “Making people feel house-proud and taking that concern off their shoulders … it’s an incredible feeling. We’re doctors for people’s homes at the end of the day.”

With a big trade shortage coming up, Baeumler says that the stigma around trade work needs to be changed. Baeumler is involved with @wrksapp on Instagram, a trade matchmaking program that allows labourers and employers to find work and workers.

“I think the shows on HGTV are doing a great job as well of just highlighting exactly what we do, and kind of making that renovation and construction industry a little sexy,” Baeumler says. And for customers who want work done, “they want someone that is skilled and educated … And that costs money. So it’s no longer a default career, it’s something to strive for. It’s something to be proud of.”

Baeumler can certainly be proud of the life and career he has created. After wrapping up this season of Bryan Inc., Baeumler and his family are heading to the Bahamas for nine months to renovate and rebuild a resort. Do not worry, Island of Bryan (working title) will premiere on HGTV later next year.

Baeumler’s work ethic and passion is what has made him so successful and turned him into a staple of Canadian television. His balancing act of trying to make his life the best he can is what keeps Baeumler at the top of his game, in every aspect.

“My view — and Sarah shares that view — is, you are brought into this world with 100 per cent to give, that’s all you’ve got. I hear people talk about, ‘I’m gonna give ’er 110 per cent.’ If you think you can give 110 per cent, you’ve never really reached 100,” Baeumler says.

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