Building Wild: Outrageous Retreats on America’s Last Frontiers

Designer Paul DiMeo @Paul_DiMeo became known for building the impossible over nine seasons on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Now he’s ready for perhaps the most rugged construction show ever — using extreme architectural engineering to create incredible, perhaps improbable, wilderness cabin retreats on America’s last frontiers.

Premiering tonight at 9 p.m., National Geographic Channel goes off the map to kick off its first do-it-yourself series, Building Wild. Paulie, as he is known, has partnered with woodsman and master fabricator Pat “Tuffy” Bakaitis on a cabin design and construction business called Cabin Kings. These “Cabin Kings” are construction’s odd couple: Paulie is a city boy at heart and Tuffy is a gruff, logical woodsman who has never heard of Starbucks. But together, this duo creates unbelievable wilderness getaways, transforming discarded materials into fabulous contraptions and overcoming outrageous building challenges along the way.

Forget the man caves, these getaways are the ultimate escape: from a snowboarder’s paradise perched atop an abandoned ski hill, to a cabin built on a turntable so the owners can enjoy the sunrise and sunset from their porch.

Each week, they meet a new client who owns a challenging piece of wilderness and dreams of building a cabin on the property. The Cabin Kings provide big ideas and construction know-how. To keep costs low, the landowners must provide some materials, bring together a workforce of friends and family and agree to do the entire build in one week.

But before these getaway dreams can come true, they must get to the retreat! In rough terrain, often miles from the nearest road, the Cabin Kings will have to transport building materials. Where there is no road, these guys will have to build their own.

Each finished cabin is an awesome, rustic feat, a backwoods paradise that defies the odds: a school bus could become a screened-in porch; a shipping container can become a vertical lookout tower; and a tumbling-down barn is the raw material for a brand-new hunting retreat. Relax, drink a beer, and enjoy the view. Check out the trailer:

Don’t miss the series premiere of Building Wild: Dirty Dozen Deer Lodge tonight at 9P.


  1. carol rich
    cambridge, ny
    January 17, 2014, 2:01 pm

    Loved the new Building Wild program especially because it
    was filmed in Jackson, NY my hometown now the world can see what a beautiful place we live in. Am anxious for the next one !!

  2. John Dixon
    Monterey, TN
    January 21, 2014, 8:57 pm

    I just watched Building Wild for the first time. I was thinking it might be pretty good since I use to watch Extreme Home Make Over and Paulie was great. He was a fun loving kind of person and fun to watch to relax.
    The Building Wild show I was not impressed. That Pat guy was too much. The complained the whole time and second guessed Paulie on everything. He constantly argued with Paulie and did not agree with anyone or anything.
    This show was not relaxing at all. I did not like that most of Paulie’s time was spent trying to convince Pat what he was doing was going to work. I did not like all the arguing.

  3. Jean denney
    January 21, 2014, 9:21 pm

    Building wild has the potebtial to be a great show but the dynamics between to 2?guys is HORRIBLE. Will not watch again, ever!

  4. Nadine Yrure
    Elk Grove, CA
    January 21, 2014, 11:22 pm

    Building Wild is fantastic… just bought a cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains and the show is giving me ideas. Tuffy is absolutely adorable! Love the show, I can’t wait to see more.

  5. Andreas
    April 16, 2014, 8:05 pm

    Just did a marathon of all ten episodes. Taffy grows on you. Stick with him 🙂

  6. Pat Boelsma
    Mount Vernon Maine
    April 19, 2014, 6:51 pm

    Please bring back the show, we just loved it.

  7. Pat Boelsma
    Mound Vernon, Maine
    April 19, 2014, 6:55 pm

    It’s different than the same old thing. The scenery is beautiful and the guys are funny. Please bring Pauly and his guys back again.

  8. Bob Crain
    East Greenbush NY
    June 19, 2014, 3:01 pm

    I just took part in a build in NY as a volunteer and it was outstanding. You may think it is Hoolywood magic but the conditions they work in and the things these guys do is amazing. How they overcome and work with the terrain is brilliant. I can’t wait to see the episode air. Pauley and Tuffy are very down to earth and were a pleasure to work with.

  9. judy kopesky
    United States
    January 21, 2015, 9:00 pm

    when will the Building Wild show be on tv again?

  10. rudiger
    April 2, 2015, 9:17 pm

    Don’t get me wrong the show is great, but why are all the clients very rich landowners. Every client on the show already has everything the avg man could want. Most have hundreds if not thousands of acres somewhere. Not to mention all the side by side utility vehicles that cost about 14k each. Why not make one of these cool cabins to a more deserving person, who does not already have everything anyone could ever ask for. The rich getting richer is all this show is about.