The show follows the couple as they transform a dilapidated Petworth rowhouse from purchase to demolition to renovation and an open house, where they showcase the property to buyers.
Ati Williams bought her first home in suburban Maryland in 2003, when she was in her 20s.
“I realized almost right away that my friends wouldn’t come visit me, and I wanted to move,” she says. “I did a few cosmetic improvements, painted it and put in a garden, and then I sold it for a $31,000 profit. Since my salary at the time was $30,000, I thought it was a pretty good investment.”
The couple estimates that they have renovated 24 houses together, some of which they have kept as rental properties and others they have flipped.
“We were asked by a local production company to film a demo tape of us at a property we were renovating in Brookland, and they eventually called us and said HGTV was interested in filming a show with us,” says Rob Williams. “The biggest takeaway is how important it is to work with a great team. They all made it fun.”
Rob says about 100 hours of footage was edited down to the 30-minute show.
“We emphasized that we wanted our show to be as authentic as possible,” says Ati. “We would do ‘on the fly’ interviews about each day or when something interesting happened.”
The only thing artificial about the show, Rob says, is that sometimes they had to do multiple shots of a reaction scene or showing a space in the house because the lighting wasn’t right.
The couple’s specialty, which they demonstrate in the show, is what they call “Big Box Store Hacks,” such as buying kitchen cabinets and shelves from Ikea and turning them into a built-in bookcase that costs significantly less than a custom piece.
The premiere of “DC Flippers” is 2 p.m. Sunday on HGTV. If the program is picked up by HGTV, shooting will begin in locations across the District later this year.
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