Let’s take a peek into the life and work of Chip Wade, a home designer and craftsman who’s built a career doing what he loves -- serving as a creative vehicle to design homes of his clients’ dreams. Thank you, Chip, for sharing your story with us!
HeatTrak: We’d like to get to know you! Can you tell us a little about yourself, your family, and the work you do?
Chip: I reside in Atlanta with my wife, Pauli, and three awesome kids, Mara, Mac, and JT. My history of design and engineering led me to start my amazing ten year career as a TV host/designer on HGTV/DIY network. When it comes to design, I’m always trying to ask new questions and challenge myself to think in ways others don’t. I’ve been told many times that I not only think outside the box, I sometimes don’t even know where the box is, and utilize that mentality in my clients’ homes. Just because we’ve had this traditional look on how a home should be designed doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best way. A home should reflect you and your day to day needs and wants. I am a creative vehicle that helps others realize that even though it may seem like an outlandish idea, we can make it happen and create something amazing together.
HeatTrak: How did you get started with carpentry, design and renovation?
Chip: I truly earned my title of “expert craftsman” from my father. I can say with confidence that he is the Mr. Miyagi of the carpentry world. At a very young age I was immersed in the shop and helped on my father’s endless list of weekend projects. It wasn’t until I started at Georgia Tech that I realized I could leverage my carpentry skills with something on a larger scale-- architecture and design. After graduating and earning my degree in mechanical engineering, I quickly joined the residential design and construction world.
HeatTrak: You've worked on a lot of HGTV shows such as Designed to Sell, Curb Appeal: The Block, Ellen's Design Challenge, and HGTV’s Design Star. What have been some of your favorite or most rewarding moments on these shows?
Chip: Design to Sell was the first show I worked on after auditioning for a carpentry position at HGTV. I will never forget the first reveal I was ever a part of and even after ten years and hundreds of episodes, the excitement on the people’s faces is the most extremely rewarding and humbling thing that I have ever been a part of.
Ellen’s Design Challenge and Design Star are rewarding in their own way. Both shows gave me an opportunity to collaborate with talented designers from all over the nation. The two shows allowed me to share my knowledge of design, hosting and craftsmanship with the other designers while learning new ways to enhance my own creative process from them.
HeatTrak: You're an Atlanta native, and currently reside there with your family! What preparations do you like to make before winter hits in your neck of the woods?
Chip: One thing that gets overlooked too often before winter is deep cleaning in unexpected places. Your fireplace is about to get used more than any other time of year so it’s important before you gather around it, to make sure it’s in tip top condition beforehand. Clean out the debris from last season; the ash and burnt logs can leave residue that may cause issues for this winter. Once that’s done, inspect for any cracks that could have come about during warm weather and repair them. It is always good to have a pro double check your work.
I also like to get my house ready for the inclement weather that is bound to be on the way. Even though I live in Atlanta, it seems that ice storms are happening more and more. This year I put out a series of ice and snow melting mats from HeatTrak. I placed them on the main walkway from the driveway and up the steps to my front porch. No matter what the weather is, these mats will keep the path to the front door clear and safe, without any attention or shoveling!
HeatTrak: What are some home improvements you would suggest homeowners do now before the cold winter months are here?
Chip: I use this checklist in my own home. Depending on what part of the country you live in, start taking these into consideration when you start to notice the weather changing. In Georgia, that’s usually around late October.
- Clean out the gutters to avoid water buildup which can cause water damage.
- You may need a professional, but draining your irrigation system helps prevent pipes from freezing and possibly rupturing.
- Check for adequate attic insulation to avoid a hefty winter heating bill.
- Make sure all your doors and windows are sealed properly.
- Redirect outside drainage away from your home.
HeatTrak: Lastly, what projects do you have going on currently? What's up and coming in Chip Wade's world?
Chip: I have been so fortunate this past year with my business, it’s definitely my busiest year to date! My wife, Pauli, and I opened a real estate portion of our existing architecture and design firm, Wade Works Creative. Our company is dedicated to using our expertise and influence to help people and businesses make educated home and lifestyle decisions. We have an amazing team that consists of experts from all backgrounds which really allows us to fulfill our clients’ expectations. Along with real estate and design, we have a full scale production team which has allowed me to continue my love of television in a whole new, immersive way.
HeatTrak: Thank you Chip for sharing your story and advice with us!