‘Home Town’: Is Master Woodworker Ben Napier Actually a Carpenter?

by Taylor Cunningham

Did you know that Home Town‘s woodworking guru Ben Napier isn’t actually a carpenter? We didn’t either!

That’s correct, Ben Napier is a carpenter by hobby—not by trade. And that little tidbit was revealed during a July 2021 episode of the Biscuits & Jam podcast.

To clarify, Ben Napier is definitely skilled in his craft. Otherwise, he and his wife Erin wouldn’t have been able to head an entire HGTV Home Town franchise that centers around complete home renovations. However, he’s not legally licensed. And that’s why he and the series refer to him as a woodworker instead of a carpenter.

While the two jobs are largely the same, a carpenter requires a general contractor’s or subcontractor’s license to work on major projects. And much of the show’s work falls under that category, which is why Ben often takes the smaller projects for himself and hands the substantial work over to someone else.

And the reason Ben Napier never made himself an official contractor is that he never imagined that he’d make a career out of his passion.

“It’s something that I never in a million years would have thought like this is what I am going to end up doing,” Ben shared on the podcast. “I think a lot of it is the way that I came to woodworking. Like most people, especially in this part of the country, South Mississippi, it’s not a big furniture world. It’s not a refined woodworking world. And so most people who get into carpentry, they start on the framing side of. They start framing houses or building decks or porches for people.”

Erin & Ben Napier Are Renovating Their Own Country Home in the New Season of ‘Home Town’

Over the years, Home Town stars Erin and Ben Napier have been renovating homes in the native Laurel, Mississippi. But during the new season, they’re focusing on a personal project.

In the week’s PEOPLE cover story, the couple revealed that they’ve bought a second home in the country that they plan on remodeling. And they will showcase the work on their HGTV series.

“We are doing a house for ourselves! That is something very different,” Erin said.

As we learned during the interview, Erin and Ben both “grew up in the country.” And because they loved the lifestyle so much, they want their daughters Helen and Mae to have a similar upbringing.

“It’s sort of a hideaway for us, a place out near family land where we can go and let the girls run on the weekends,” said Ben before confirming that they’re also keeping their current home, “which has been Erin’s dream house since long before she met [Ben].”

And interestingly, the COVID pandemic is what inspired the duo to make the purchase.

“We were feeling it during quarantine,” Erin admitted. “We have this tiny little yard in town for the girls to play in, but [Ben and I] grew up in the country, climbing trees and staying outside and not coming home until we were absolutely filthy at the end of the day. And we want that for the girls.”