It's been almost two decades since we first heard Ty Pennington (real name Gary Tygert Burton) shout his signature phrase, "Move that bus!" on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The host/carpenter won fans over with his ability to bond with the homeowners whose lives he was changing on each episode of the feel-good renovation show.
Since the first run of the show ended in 2012, Ty has continued appearing on home, lifestyle, and food shows.
He also joined the reboot cast of Trading Spaces in 2018.
In 2020, Ty became the host of HGTV's Ty Breaker, helping clients decide whether to re-do their current properties or to take on something new.
While his professional life is clearly going well, what's the deal with his love life? Is Ty Pennington married?
Is Ty Pennington married? He announced his surprise engagement to Kellee Merrell in July 2021.
In early 2020, Ty began cozying up to a longtime friend named Kellee Merrell. And it appears the two have made their relationship forever-official with his popping the question to her on July 28, 2021, which he documented via an Instagram post of their rings captioned with, "It's the 'yes' for me."
People reports that Ty and Kellee met back in 2010 while filming a show in Toronto and have remained friends ever since. When they reconnected around the time the pandemic began, they decided to quarantine with each other.
Per the outlet, Ty proposed to Kellee over a mug of morning coffee while they both lounged on the dock of his Palm Coast, FL, home.
Ty was in a long-term relationship with another woman for quite some time prior to proposing to Kellee.
Ty and Andrea "Drea" Bock reportedly began dating in 1996, eventually splitting in 2009 but remaining "great friends," as Ty said in a June 2021 Instagram comment (per People).
She served as his assistant when he was the carpenter on Trading Spaces from 2000 to 2003. She has also been Ty's manager. The couple never officially tied the knot.
Does Ty Pennington have kids?
The TV personality does share photos of his family online, but he does not have kids of his own. He is known to post photos with his nieces, which explains why fans sometimes flood his comments section with questions about whether or not he's a dad. His mom, Yvonne Burton, is also a staple on his page.
Why isn't Ty Pennington on the 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' reboot?
When the popular home series was officially rebooted for HGTV in 2020 after eight years off the air, many original viewers hoped that Ty would reprise his role as the host.
But, Modern Family alum Jesse Tyler Ferguson was soon announced as the host, and some viewers wondered if Ty had said no to the show or if he wasn't asked back.
After months of speculation, Ty shared on Instagram in August of 2020 that he was asked back to the show — but in a smaller role.
"Now, losing a job is NOWHERE near losing everything but this much is true: Exactly one year ago, I was asked to return to a job that I had done successfully — for almost a decade. This time around though, my position was given to someone else. Not gonna lie, my ego took a huge punch to the gut. It stung," he wrote in his caption. "And it left me SO confused."
But, Ty noted, he later took the rejection as a blessing, and he agreed to return to the show for one episode (it aired in February of 2020).
"I began doubting my talent, my experience, and my overall belief in myself. But the job was never about me! It was about one lucky person, being helped by an amazing team, and making a difference in a community. So of course I said yes!" he continued. "Honestly, it WAS and always will be, one of the best experiences I've ever had."
"Every single person involved is affected by the positive impact it has on the family. So even though my ego took a beating, I dusted myself off, strapped on my boots, and chipped in to help — even if it was just as a 'special guest.' I have to say, watching someone else do my job, really made me appreciate the incredible opportunity I was given back in the day. And how lucky I was that it came so naturally to me, and how much I loved being part of an amazing team!" he shared.
He referred to the experience as "bittersweet," but another opportunity came out of his agreeing to be on an episode.
"To put a happy ending on this sad little narcissistic story ... saying yes to a lesser job made me remember to appreciate those bigger jobs when you get them!" he wrote, before adding that he was working on a then-untitled project, which would become Ty Breaker.