Working with her dad and becoming the co-host of his nationally syndicated home-improvement show was “meant to be,” says Chelsea Lipford Wolf. When the 20th season of “Today’s Homeowner” debuts, Chelsea will officially become the full-time co-host of the show made famous by her father, Danny Lipford, and produced in her hometown of Mobile.
“He started TV the year I was born,” in 1988, says Chelsea. “I grew up around construction sites that became TV sets.”
Danny founded Lipford Construction in 1979, when he was just 21 years old. In 1988, he started his TV career with “Remodeling Today” on a local-access cable channel. Ten years later, he made his national debut with “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford,” and has been going strong ever since.
The show has always been a family affair. Chelsea’s mother, Sharon, has done accounting for her husband’s companies for two decades. The show’s production company, 3 Echoes, is named for the Lipfords’ three daughters.
“He’s got a lot going on, and I think he likes it that way,” Chelsea says of her dad. “I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if I didn’t admire what he does and has done with his career.”
At 29, Chelsea is the oldest of the girls. Her parents still live in the house Danny built for their family 25 years ago. It backs up to the soccer field of Corpus Christi Catholic School, where she and her two younger sisters went to school and where her babies now go to daycare.
After graduating from McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, Chelsea attended St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., where she started out as a business major but switched to film production, thinking she might become a local news reporter.
But when her dad offered her a job as an associate producer on his TV show, Chelsea took it and moved back to Mobile. She bought a 1941 cottage in Spring Hill, not far from her parents’ house, and started renovating it.
Chelsea emerged from behind the scenes on “Today’s Homeowner” when she and Danny did a six-part series on remodeling her 1940s house. “We got so much positive feedback from the two of us working together,” she says. “I slowly started being more involved as the years have gone on.”
Since then, Chelsea married Brandon Wolf and, in the past two years, they’ve had two babies. They still live in the same house she bought as a single woman 61/2 years ago.
In addition to her recent promotion to co-host of “Today’s Homeowner,” she also has her own three-year-old web series, “Checking in with Chelsea,” which comes out on the first of each month. The episodes are usually shot in Chelsea’s garage and show her doing Pinterest-worthy do-it-yourself projects around her own house.
“I love recycling and upcycling things I find on the street,” she says.
Now that she’s been on the show for several years, and with the popularity of her own web show, Chelsea said she occasionally gets recognized around town - “mostly in The Home Depot,” she says of the show’s longest-running sponsor.
Her father, who jokes that he was “father of the year” when he introduced Chelsea to actor Matt Damon when she was 16 years old, couldn’t be prouder of her.
“You just can’t beat it,” he says. “To work with your family is always fantastic. And she’s so good at it. She amazes me every time we tape.”
Chelsea said she’s picked up her father’s construction skills “by osmosis.” But her dad always instilled in her a thirst for knowledge and encouraged her to “always be a student,” she says. “I’m not an expert, but I can do more than the average DIYer and more than any twentysomething,” she said.
“Everybody loves home improvement,” said Danny.