Local fans of the Home and Garden Television Network, or HGTV, may not know that they have a hometown connection to the popular network. A local father/son construction team, Jerry and Andy Corbin, have appeared on over a hundred episodes of six different HGTV shows in the past eight years, and they now have a brand-new show that premiered in mid-February.
Their new show is called Five Day Flip, which features professional renovator Cherie Barber, the Corbins and their crew. The show airs Thursday evenings at 10 p.m. Central Time. In this show, Barber, Corbin and crew take neglected and outdated houses and transform them into market-ready homes in a five-day timespan. So far all of the featured homes have been in the Minneapolis area, which Andy said is an ideal location to find unique housing stock.
The Corbin family moved to Albertville in 1992, and Andy graduated from STMA High School in 1999. Corbin married another STMA grad and they now live in Buffalo with their two young children. His father and mother, Elke, also moved from Albertville to Buffalo two years ago. Andy said he has an eight-year-old son who is growing up with a lot of exposure to the construction industry, just like he did and his father before that, and he said he’d be happy if his son became the fourth generation to join their business one day.
“There’s not enough kids nowadays that are hands-on,” Andy said. “We still need skilled individuals that can build something from nothing with their bare hands.”
Andy started his working life as a third generation homebuilder and remodeler alongside his father. One day back in 2008, they fell into the world of HGTV quite by accident, after Andy got a call from a landscape architect he had recently met about doing some exterior remodeling for a home in Forest Lake. After meeting with the homeowners, they mentioned that the project was being featured on HGTV’s show Curb Appeal.
Corbin said they hit it off with the production company and crew during that first job, which ended up becoming one of the show’s top-rated episodes. Soon the ball started rolling with more opportunities from the network, often with Andy working as the lead contractor. Next came a job as construction consultants for the show Sweat Equity, which Jerry and Andy appeared on for seven seasons. Then Andy jumped into 21 episodes of Renovation Raiders, where a husband or wife takes their spouse out for a date while, unbeknownst to the other spouse, a remodel takes place in their house over the course of an evening out. Jerry also appeared on one season of this show. After that came a mini series called Most Embarrassing Rooms in America, then a season on Renovate to Rent.
“It has been a blessing,” Jerry said of their experiences with HGTV. “I’m totally proud of Andy for what he has achieved. It’s been fun. It’s a lot of work for a man my age, but it’s a lot of fun.”
Behind the scenes of an HGTV show, Andy said there is a huge amount of prep work, research, planning and teamwork to obtain such dramatic transformations in a short period of time.
Despite the tight deadlines, Corbin stressed that all of his crew’s work is sound and has his stamp of approval on it.
“I want to walk away from these projects with pride and knowing that they are done properly,” Andy said. “We just have the process down to a T so that we are able to complete it. These are top notch guys that know how to do so many things and can go from one thing to the next.”
In addition to all the HGTV jobs, Andy said he is still doing his own remodeling and construction work as the owner of Next Era Construction, which was named in honor of the family’s building tradition. Jerry has slowed down his work schedule a bit but still works alongside his son.
“We are today building the next era of what my grandfather started,” Andy said.
Next Era Construction operates mostly by word of mouth, and they have built several high-end, custom homes throughout the metro area, though their main focus is on remodeling.
Five Day Flip has filmed seven episodes, which are currently airing Thursday evenings on HGTV. Corbin said he hopes the network decides to pick up the rest of the season, which would be six more episodes. If they do, they will likely begin filming more episodes this summer.
“Our involvement with the production company throughout the years has definitely evolved into something we never could have imagined at first,” Jerry said. “Andy and I have been working together since 2001 and it has brought us closer together. This TV thing has just been a bonus.”