HGTV's Dave And Jenny Marrs' Advice For Renovating A Historical Property - Exclusive

Jenny and Dave Marrs have a passion for restoring old houses in a way that highlights their existing beauty, and they are on a mission to make sure the historical properties that they love so much are celebrated as they should be. Though the stars of HGTV's "Fixer to Fabulous" are often found renovating historical homes in their own hometown in Arkansas, they are taking their skills on the road and are teaming up with Erin and Ben Napier for Season 2 of "Home Town Takeover" in an effort to help restore old homes in small towns across the country.

Because the U.S. is a relatively young country, the number of homes that are old enough to be considered historical is limited, which is what makes finding a house with a deep history so special — and what makes Dave and Jenny so passionate about renovations being done right. In an exclusive interview with House Digest, Dave and Jenny Marrs share their advice for homeowners looking to renovate their own historical property.

Highlight the original materials

When it comes to renovating old houses, the couple recommends saving all original materials that you possibly can. "I love — we both do — love old doors and old hardware," Jenny says. "They're beautiful. A lot of times, doors were painted over the years, so if you strip off the paint and bring them back to their natural wood state, they're so beautiful. ... There's something about old doors."

The beauty and quality of the original features in most old homes are difficult to come by in more modern builds, which is why Dave and Jenny recommend utilizing and playing up any original pieces that you can. 

"So much careful thought went into the homes and the craftsmanship, and the time that was put into the details 100 years ago is different than now," Jenny says. "At least where we live, there's a lot of these cookie-cutter neighborhoods that are thrown up really quickly, and they all look the same. But 100 years ago, that wasn't the case. They had to go make bricks. Or when they cut down the logs on the property, they used that to build the home with. It wasn't like they [were] importing stuff from anywhere else. The way things were built [was] different, and it [was] really well done and beautiful, and we love preserving that."

Be open-minded and ready for surprises

Home inspections are particularly important when investing in an old home. "Find the location that you want to be in, and then get a home inspection," Dave says. "They're so important. As a builder, you would think I would hate that, but no. It's a set of eyes that will look and find stuff you didn't know about before you buy the house. These old homes have a lot of surprises, good and bad."

Part of owning and renovating a historical property is accepting that things will never go 100% according to plan. "Be flexible, go in with a plan of what you want to happen, but know that there's going to be something that's unexpected that comes up, and you're going to have to pivot," Jenny says. "Know that, and always approach historic renovations with a little bit of open-mindedness with your plans because they change a lot."

"They'll change," agrees Dave. "[For] literally every home that we do, we go in with the best of plans, and they all change."

"Definitely," Jenny says. "You have to know that going into it so that you don't go insane during the process. And know that sometimes plan B is better than plan A ever could have been. It does always, for the most part, work out."

Watch Season 2 of "Home Town Takeover" now, with new episodes airing every Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV and streaming the same day on discovery+.