HGTV’s ‘Building Roots’ Puts Pagosa Springs on the Map, One Mountain Home Renovation at a Time

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Ben and Cristi Dozier like to say they haven’t discovered Pagosa Springs; instead, the mountain town found them.

The natives of Austin, Texas, and the founders of Root Design Co. moved to Pagosa Springs in 2015 to help a friend complete his cabin renovation, thinking it would be temporary. But the slow pace and small-town charm prompted them to make the move permanent in 2017.

“That year we rented a little old Victorian house right downtown and then we ended up buying it. This is where we are now,” Cristi said. “It’s just down the river from our cafe (Root House Coffee + Shop). It is our little center of life.

Now the Doziers are letting the world discover their secret oasis as the stars of “build roots,” a program on HGTV that features their renovation projects in Pagosa Springs and nearby towns such as Creede. (Think Chip and Joanna Gaines with more exposed woods and mountain views.)

Ben is the designer of “big ideas”, who reinvents and reconfigures spaces, while Cristi has a gift for aesthetics, including decoration and staging. Ahead of the Season 1 finale on Sunday, May 29, we caught up with the couple to talk about filming their first TV show, the impact of the pandemic on their work, and the potential for Season 2.

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Filming “Building Roots” was “the craziest thing we’ve ever done,” Ben said.

It’s been a long road to getting to the HGTV shoot, and it all started with a DM pitch for a possible home show on Instagram in 2018, the Doziers said. This allowed for a sizzle reel to be filmed in 2019 and a pilot in 2020. But instead of airing the pilot, HGTV’s “Building Roots” went straight to series and was filmed from June 2021 to February 2022.

During that time, the couple worked on 12 projects simultaneously, from a multi-story cabin renovation to a glamping area revamp.

“The village it took to achieve the impossible in a small isolated mountain town during COVID, with transportation and labor crises for a cable television company, was unknown,” Ben said. . “It was one of the hardest things we’ve ever done, and also one of the most rewarding.”

Supply chain issues complicated the renovations.

Ben and Cristi Dozier of “Building Roots” work with local artisans to create custom pieces during their renovations.

By mid-2021, the global supply chain crisis had affected all sectors, including construction. And those issues were compounded by living and working in a mountain town, the Doziers said.

The common narrative throughout the season is trying to complete the renovations before winter sets in and the snow falls. Several projects fell short of this goal, and teams literally had to melt the snow to finish staging a property before the big reveal.

The “Building Roots” team also often had to travel to larger cities, such as Denver, Colorado Springs, and Albuquerque, to pick up equipment and materials in order to meet their filming deadlines. In one instance, a dishwasher didn’t arrive on time and the Doziers had to borrow one from a neighbor for the day of the shoot, Cristi said.

“On the day the camera crew was going to be there, we were sometimes faced with a situation where things just physically didn’t show up,” she said. “There were times when we had to be really creative in finding solutions to supply chain issues and stockouts.”

About those iconic indoor wood stacks.

While their work can easily be described as “rustic elegance” or “mountain modernity,” the Doziers say they don’t have a particular style when renovating homes. Instead, they try to meet homeowner expectations and weave their stories into inspiration for designs.

Still, there’s one signature element that pops up often: an indoor wood stack.

According to Ben, some of them are functional and keep a supply for wood fireplaces. Others are simply cosmetic, sealed to prevent insects and rot.

“They’re all hand cut and hand stacked by me, myself and me, and sometimes my boys,” Ben said. (The Doziers have four children.) “Just as bookcases can bring a kind of soul to a space, I think woodpiles can too. Wood stacks just bring heart to a room and give it a bit of a pulse.

Will there be a season 2?

While a formal decision has yet to be made on whether to renew “Building Roots” for a second season, the Doziers are hopeful they’ll get another shot at the reality TV roller coaster.

“We would love to,” Ben said. “As much as we put into it, we’d like to do Season 2 better.”

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