For the past decade, handyman and television host Bryan Baeumler has used his wit and passion for teaching to educate and entertain viewers worldwide. Known for his professionalism and quality workmanship, audiences in record numbers have tuned in to watch his hit TV shows House of Bryan, Disaster DIY, and Leave it to Bryan on HGTV Canada. Whether he is helping failing do-it-yourselfers get back on track or tackling a new and exciting project, you can count on Bryan to get the job done. We caught up with the handyman to find out more.
You have been interested in DIY from an early age. What was the first project you ever worked on?
Growing up with a dad that owned a custom aircraft sheet metal shop, I was always surrounded by tools and technology. I learned to build things with my hands at a very young age, and my passion for everything in the trades really began. I was constantly working on projects at home
— whether it was helping my dad out with something in the shop, fixing the fence or doing little projects around the house. I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t looking to start a project.
Originally your plan was to practice law, what was your ‘ah ha’ that made you realize you needed to switch professional gears?
I think it was the idea of being chained to a desk 40 hours a week. I knew that it wasn’t what I wanted in a career. Even during school, I couldn’t shake my passion for the trades and would constantly find myself envious of those who I would see working outside all day. So, I decided to make the jump and dive head first into trades school. Ever since, I knew I made the right decision.
What is the most common mistake you have seen homeowners make when tackling their own projects?
A common mistake I see is homeowners getting in over their heads due to a lack of planning. I always advise homeowners to sit down and work out all the logistics before picking up a hammer. Set a budget, set your timeline, make sure you are properly prepared, hire a professional and ensure you have all the necessary permits before you begin.
Many couples are at each other’s throats during home renovations, but you and your wife Sarah seem to have it down to an art…What’s your secret?
In any project, we are a team. Our decisions and ideas are made as a team. I think it’s making sure you are both on the same page, listening to each other’s opinions and putting in the same amount of work. You have to be a good team-player.
What is the most creative project you have ever worked on?
I’d have to say that the most creative project I have ever worked on is our current project, our boutique hotel in the Bahamas. This is the biggest project we have taken on, and it has been quite unlike any of our projects in Canada.
There are hurdles we have had to overcome that we wouldn’t have necessarily experienced in Canada. Challenges like getting the equipment to a rural island, knowing how to properly build for tropical storms and the alterations that need to be considered in the warmer climate. There has been a lot to learn, but I feel like it has only helped me improve my own skills and knowledge in everything construction.
In your most ambitious project yet, your whole family has relocated to the Bahamas to restore a boutique hotel in Island of Bryan. Out of all the beautiful islands in the Caribbean, why did you choose Bahamas? Is there a not so sunny side of paradise?
We had visited the Bahamas quite a few times before and fell in love. We were actually on vacation in the Bahamas when we first saw the real estate listing for this deserted and neglected hotel on South Andros. We made a day trip out of it to go and look at the resort and couldn’t help but see all the potential. While we’ve had our hurdles in the process of renovating the resort, at the end of the day, we are grateful to look out on to the blue ocean and white sand beach — it’s definitely paradise.
Tell us about your newest venture, the HeyBryan home service app.
HeyBryan is a great app that connects experienced and qualified tradespeople with homeowners in need of their services. It’s a great platform for entrepreneurs to market their skills and find opportunity. Not only does this make the search for experienced and skilled tradespeople easier, it also gives the homeowners comfort and confidence knowing who they are hiring. https://heybryan.com
Island of Bryan premieres SUNDAY, APRIL 7 at 10pm on HGTV.