According to the Goateses, nothing has happened yet. The couple said they reach out frequently for updates, but said Candice has told them COVID-19 is delaying the project. Finally, they heard a concrete update from Candis when, on April 29, 2020, she shared a trailer for Homework With them. The Goateses said they were shocked to see themselves so special, as they assumed they wouldn’t make the cut due to project delays.
“We felt this was an attempt to calm our anxiety,” Rob Gates told BuzzFeed News. “Because at this point, I was like, ‘Have we been robbed? Is this some kind of cheating?’ But seeing themselves in the preview made them feel more confident that their renewal would start soon.
“It’s taking hold at that point, Chip and Joanna know what we’re going through, and they’re excited for us to have it on their channel,” Vienna Goates said.
The couple’s relief was short-lived. In May, Rob Goats was laid off from his job, and he did not start any business. The couple began to wonder if they should pull out of the project for financial reasons, but said Candice convinced them to continue the path.
“[Candis] She was so cute and said that she spoke to the production and they agreed that they would make our HELOC [home equity line of credit] Vienna Goates wrote on Instagram. “Candice said that Joanna Gaines was specifically interested in our project, and that they all really wanted our renovation to continue on the show.”
But by September 2020, with renovations still not taking place and funds tight, the Gates decided to resign.
“You might think it would be naive and foolish to let things go on for so long,” Vienna Gates wrote on Instagram. “You’d be right. But the global pandemic offers a convenient excuse for a lot of things, and frankly we were in absolute survival mode. Plus, we had faith in Chip and Joanna’s reputation, their beloved brand Magnolia, and Candis’ repeated assurances that everything would work out.”
Since then, Goates said, they have been fighting to get back the deposit they sent to the Meredith family. They hired a lawyer and Candice agreed to a ruling that the couple could sue if she didn’t return the money. According to the Goateses, $14,000 has been recovered by Merediths so far. Rob Gates estimates that they spent upwards of $60,000 on the disaster, including attorney fees. They are not sure that they will get their full deposit back.
“There’s nothing quite like paying a bill on a huge scale that literally means nothing,” Vienna Goates wrote on Instagram, referring to her home-buying loan.
In their refutation, Meredith’s family claimed that after the Goates asked for the deposit to be returned, the unnamed contractor, to whom they had paid $50,000, told them he could not refund the money. Therefore, they said that they had agreed to refund the Gates family in person, confirming that they had so far paid them $14,000. “We care deeply about Gates and take this responsibility very seriously,” they wrote.
In response to the Meredith family’s public posting, Jetsis told BuzzFeed News, “We appreciate that they recognized the correctness of our situation…However, there has been a lack of regular communication and transparency.
They said, “We have tried every possible avenue to resolve this issue in private, our story and paper trail talk about it, and speaking out was a very unfortunate last resort.”
Through word of mouth and mutual acquaintance, the Hollies eventually contact Benion and begin exchanging notes. She told BuzzFeed News that Bennion’s renovation also ended poorly. In February, she met Candice, and told her she was planning to leave the show and the project if it didn’t improve.
During the meeting, Binion wrote on Instagram, Candice told her that her project now costs more than expected: $40 thousand. According to Benion, Candice also said that she actually spent the money. In their refutation, Meredith’s family claimed that they paid $32,000 of their own money to complete the project.
“We used our own money and can’t really feed our kids,” Candice said. In response, Candice told BuzzFeed News that the note was “out of context,” but that facing the costs of renovating Bennion “put us in difficult situations with our family.”
Even though she was angry, Binion thought she had influence. “From my point of view, she needed to complete my project more than I needed her to complete it for me,” Binion wrote on Instagram, adding that she believed in this because she knew the couples had pulled out of the show. “As such, she was willing to push the financial conversation forward a bit, even after I told her she was running at risk.”
Merediths contractors eventually finished the kitchen and Bennion filmed a reveal for the show, but she said she never signed a contract or released an appearance for Magnolia. According to Binion, the final product was riddled with problems and shoddy work.
“I will never show the finished product online because it cleans so well and, with the right filter, deserves every success and every word of praise for everyone who doesn’t have to live or has to live what I wrote on Instagram.
Meredith’s family has vehemently denied Benyon’s allegations on Instagram, saying: “[Bennion’s Instagram handle] She makes false claims and is deliberately trying to take anything she can from us.” They claimed that her kitchen renovation was done well and they posted several videos that they claimed showed Binion’s happiness with the end result.
“We are very proud of the work done on this project,” they wrote. “We disclosed this space on February 20, 2020 and fully acknowledge that prior to this time there had been difficult conversations and misunderstandings about this project and budget, but we fully believed we had worked through these issues together. If Aubrey was unhappy at this point overall, it’s not We have absolutely no idea.”
Candice told BuzzFeed News that the majority of Binion’s complaints about project delays were beyond her control because the delays were caused by contractors and workers. She said that she and Andy decided not to try to recover the $32,000 they spent on Project Binion because they “didn’t want this kitchen to feel anything but positive about it in general.”
“I just wanted you to feel at peace. If it means I spent that money, that’s fine,” Binion told BuzzFeed News that while she pretended to be excited during parts of the project, “It’s easy to be selective in memory. The truth is that there are many text messages, of which I still have a record, that show that I have been very dissatisfied on a regular basis throughout the project.”