Casey Hester insists he is unworthy of anyone making a fuss over him.
But try telling that to fans of Texas Flip N Move, a unique DIY Network house flipping show filmed in and around Fort Worth.
Hester is a professional house mover whose cousin, Cody Slay, was an original Flip N Move cast member. As a result, Hester has appeared on the show from time to time and often is recognized.
Sometimes, to Hester’s surprise, fans are completely star-struck in his presence.
“I was at Panda Express in Burleson,” he remembers. “A woman walked up to me and said, ‘Oh, my gosh, my husband would freak out if he knew you were here.’ I told her, ‘I’m still the same ol’ broke house mover I’ve always been. They just follow me around with cameras now.’ ”
As the new season of Texas Flip N Move begins at 8 p.m. Friday, Hester has become a full-on series regular. He has partnered with designer Catrina Kidd.
In the show, they and three other teams of friendly rivals go to communities all around the Fort Worth area, where building is booming, and they buy old and unwanted houses for pennies on the dollar.
Actually, the show could be called “Texas Move N Flip,” because that’s the sequence in which it happens. After they make their bargain purchases, they lift the buildings onto the backs of flatbed trucks and haul them away to a location outside Rhome, in Wise County, and subject the houses to extreme makeovers.
By episode’s end, the eyesores become elegant living spaces that are sold at auction for sweet profits.
Returning from past seasons are Donna Snow and Toni Snow (aka the Snow Sisters) and Randy Martin (the Lone Wolf).
Also new as regulars are “Gary’s Girls” — Paige Lowe, Melinda Wray, Kendal Parker and Brooke Collins. Like Hester and Kidd, they’re also part of the extended Flip N Move family. The Snow sisters are their aunts; their father is Gary Snow, the “son” of Fort Worth-based H.D. Snow & Son House Moving.
Gary’s Girls were introduced on the show when Donna Snow and Toni Snow had an extra house to work on. They were brought in to help flip it, then were asked to return for a few more flips on additional homes.
Did they ever in their wildest dreams imagine that this business, something their family has been doing for three generations, could turn them into TV personalities?
“No, sir,” says Wray.
“No, sir,” says Collins.
“Lord, no!” says Lowe.
In a very real sense, Texas Flip N Move is the ultimate recycling show.
The movers/designers/flippers go to places throughout the area — Keller, Mansfield, Roanoke, Lake Worth, Colleyville, Haslet, Weatherford — anywhere that new neighborhoods, businesses and highways are being built while older structures are being disposed of, often winding up in landfills.
For many viewers, it’s a revelation that someone can buy an existing house for as little as $350, which happened in the first season. After the moving and renovation expenses, of course, the structure winds up costing a good deal more.
In Friday’s season premiere, for example, the Snow sisters buy an 80-foot passenger train car for $500, spend more than $8,000 moving it and then invest more than $27,000 turning it into a cute one-bedroom cottage.
Still, those expenses are peanuts compared to the cost of building and furnishing a new home.
“The thing that’s great about this show is that people can tune in and see that you don’t have to go out and build a brand new house,” Wray says. “There are a lot of older homes out there that still have a lot of life in them. You can re-use, recycle and repurpose, and do it in a way that’s very budget-friendly.”
“It’s a great option for many families,” Collins adds. “Not everything has to be newly built to be truly amazing.”
Hester can attest to that.
“The house that I live in now, I bought it from TCU for $500,” he says. “It’s an old dormitory that I remodeled. I bought it when we moved about eight houses that were going to be torn down and hauled to a landfill. It’s 1,800 square feet, four bedrooms, two baths — and the best part is that my house is paid for.”
It’s worth mentioning that, despite what some viewers seem to believe, Hester and Kidd (who originally was working with the Snows) are not a couple.
“We first teamed up when I was overwhelmed working on a flip,” Hester says. “I needed some help, mainly design-wise, so I went to the Snows and said, ‘Hey can I borrow Catrina for this one job?’
“And we hit it off. We’re really good friends now, and we work together well, I think. The only confusion is, ‘Are we married? Are we dating? Are we anything?’
“The answer is, yes, we’re both married — but not to each other. Outside of the show, we have our own separate lives.”
Now that that’s cleared up, let the flipping and moving begin.
Texas Flip N Move
- 8 p.m. Friday
- DIY Network