Five Minutes with Home Renovation Expert Shane Duffy: Host of HGTV’s “Build it Forward”

by Leean Vargas on September 2, 2023 in Entertainment,

Texas native & Home Renovation Expert Shane Duffy is a true master of his craft, and a truly proud Texan. 

Growing up in Austin, Shane Duffy continues to give back to his state that he once called home. He attended Liberty Hill High School and Texas State University (Go Bobcats!).

He’s not shy of the spotlight, and his unique approach to home repairs has been featured on national network shows like The Today Show, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Fox & Friends, The Steve Harvey Show, Style Network’s BUILT, and many more. 

As seen on HGTV’s Build it Forward Season two Hosts Shane Duffy and Taniya Nayak meet with Rohan and Teresa outside Hope Haven. Photo courtesy HGTV.

More recently, Duffy was announced as one of the new co-hosts alongside Taniya Nayak of HGTV’s ‘Build it Forward,’ where he surprises amazing individuals who give back to their communities with life-changing home makeovers. 

We caught up with this down-to-earth home improvement expert to discuss how his Texas roots led him to achieving great success, as well as his experience in the industry.  

How was your experience growing up in Austin? 

I loved that I spent my childhood growing up in the Austin area.  I grew up in the small town of  Liberty Hill on 20 acres of land.  It was great to have so much outdoor space to roam around, connect with nature, and play sports.  When I was young I had never lived in a big city, so I didn’t know anything different but that. It definitely shaped my childhood and grew my fascination for what city life could be.

Duffy’s unique approach to home repairs has been featured on national network shows, like The Today Show, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and many more. Photo courtesy HGTV.

How did your Texas roots lead you to achieving great success in the home improvement world and eventually on HGTV?

I got my start in the home improvement industry while I was in high school.  My first job was for a painting company one summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school. The following summer I worked for a landscape company called Barringer Landscapes in Georgetown, Texas, and there I learned some masonry and deck building. From there, I moved to New York City and started a handyman company that grew into a full scale renovation company. A lot of my knowledge came from working on single family homes in Texas and owning a home myself, which translated on screen while filming for HGTV. Never forget your roots!

Duffy surprises amazing individuals who give back to their communities with life-changing home makeovers. Photo courtesy HGTV.

You’ve done a lot of renovation projects throughout the years, do you have a favorite?

Renovating a hotel lobby was pretty epic, and also the NYC restaurant I renovated, but my favorite renovation is my cabin in upstate NJ that we are currently updating.  We are expecting another child and need to make room for baby boy number 2. I can’t wait to share the buildout on social media. 

What do you enjoy most about the home improvement world? What do you find the hardest about it? 

In the home-improvement world I love the fact that every project is different and that there is a definite beginning and ending to each project. So depending on how big the project is you get some immediate gratification during each step of the way.  The whole renovation process is an art form in itself, which I love.

The hardest part is assembling the right team and managing timing expectations to the client. 

Duffy got his start in the home improvement industry working for a painting company while in high school. Photo courtesy HGTV.

What would you consider are your three most important habits attributed to your success?   

Have a positive attitude – I love the idea that one thing you do have control over is your attitude towards any given situation. 

Have a healthy lifestyle – This includes exercising, proper nutrition, and a good amount of rest.

Have a good core group of friends – they say you are the sum of your 5 closest friends, so choose wisely.

What advice would you give others wanting the same career path as you?  

My advice to anyone in general is to always do something you love and are passionate about. Everything else will fall into place if you master whatever trade you choose. 

Duffy states a lot of his knowledge that translated on screen while filming for HGTV came from working on single family homes in Texas, and owning a home himself. Photo courtesy HGTV.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?  

I’ve always had a love for the outdoors so my free time usually consists of being in nature and with my family. My ultimate goal is to climb all 7 Summits, which are the tallest mountains on each continent. So far, I have 3 down and 4 more to go!


Cover photo courtesy HGTV

Leean Vargas is the Highlight Reel newsletter editor at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. She is a concert enthusiast who loves traveling, photography, good food, and discovering new hangout spots in her beloved city, Austin, Texas.