Catching up with Building Wild: License to Mill Recap

Spoiler Alert!

If you want to watch this episode and not ruin the surprise, stop reading now!

In Sandgate, Vermont, Paulie DiMeo and Pat “Tuffy” Bakaitis, co-owners of the Cabin Kings are Building Wild for a retired 70-year-old equine veterinarian. Paulie says they are building a cabin in the sweet old man’s backyard. However, 1,000 acres it’s not exactly a backyard and their client may be 70, but he’s an energetic woodsman with strong opinions about exactly what he wants.

Reggie Tschorn knows where the porch should be, which way the house should face and that he wants a lookout and a hot tub. More than that, Reggie wants to use lumber that comes exclusively from his own property. He has his own mill, but will they have time to manufacture the lumber? Tuffy loves the idea, but for once, Paulie is the one who is concerned.

The Cabin Kings agree to build two cabins, one for Reggie and one for guests. On day two, the focus is to finish the foundation, carrying timbers and floor joists. Then they want to add a floor and with any luck a couple of walls. However, once the guys finish the foundation, they are waiting for Reggie and Tuffy to mill the lumber they need.

Once the lumber is loaded on the trailer, Tuffy quickly finds out that he isn’t going to get the trailer through the slick mud to the build site. Reggie has to come up with a dozer and give the tractor a push. Paulie makes it, but Reggie can’t mill the wood and help Tuffy at the same time. They are going to have some time constraints.

After Paulie gets over his irritation he focusing on building Reggie something that is not only unique, but that reflects his deep connection with the land. Reggie and his wife used to ride up to what is now the build site frequently and he recently lost her to cancer. Thinking the land feels like being close to heaven, Paulie wants to build a cathedral ceiling in Reggie’s cabin with special wood. So they search the property for spalted maple, dead wood in which a fungus has created a spider web pattern. It is uncommon and expensive, but can be found on the land.

Spalted Maple

Finding the spalted maple isn’t too hard, but to complicate matters, Reggie wants to use draft horses to bring the logs to the build site. He wants to skip the heavy machinery and have less impact on the land. Paulie is concerned again about how much time this will take.

On day four, Tuffy works on a wood-burning hot tub. Meanwhile, his partner is waiting for workers who don’t show up and mild-mannered Paulie loses it. Tuffy thinks Paulie is having a bad day, but Paulie simply needs more help. Reggie promises to make it happen. The next day, The Cabin Kings have all the help they need.

At 24 hours before the big reveal, The Cabin Kings send Reggie down to mill wood and make him promise not to peek. Reggie isn’t happy about not being there to watch things come together, but he begrudgingly agrees. In the meantime, Paulie is working on the cathedral ceiling and Tuffy is wrapping up the hot tub. Neither of them are confident it can come together. In fact, Tuffy is irritated that Paulie is focusing on beautifying the ceiling. There is a lot of work to do.

Of course, despite their bickering, the Cabin Kings pull it off. A week ago they were standing on an open piece of land and now it has two fully functional cabins where every piece of lumber was milled from the land by Reggie. There is no questioning that this is a one of a kind cabin. Inside the arches look phenomenal and Reggie is touched by the photographs of his wife on the wall. Overall, he is amazed at how well it complements  the landscape. And he is, of course, thrilled by his hot tub.

If the Cabin Kings can build a cabin from the ground up in a week utilizing freshly milled lumber from the land, what else can they do? Tune in next week to Building Wild: Log Jam on Tuesday, February 4 at 9PM et/pt and find out!


  1. FYI
    Berlin NY
    February 6, 2014, 9:14 am

    I love how the owner insists on every thing being milled from his property and Paulie reinforces that fact, while they raise plywood and OSB sheathed walls. Its a good show why all the BS

  2. MEMphis
    February 6, 2014, 1:17 pm

    love the show and love the idea of a cabin in a week.

    But for the love of God can we please stop with the panty wearing ass crying between the two and just be professional and normal????

  3. Randy
    February 9, 2014, 3:32 am

    I agree, the guy did n’t have a plywood or osb plant there.
    It’s one of the best shows on tv.
    They should so how they do things, kind like “This old house ” ,does,instead of the false drama and bickering .Too much bs for such a good show.

  4. Donna Sherman
    Stephentown, Ny
    February 9, 2014, 10:18 am

    What a wonderful surprise to tune into Building Wild and see that the person you chose to build for was my horse vet for many years. It is great to see he is doing well after the death of his wife. He is a great man. Nice to see you Reggie, sending you Love from Sugarhillfarm Farm!

  5. Carla Cooper
    San Antonio
    February 11, 2014, 6:30 pm

    Still watching, so haven’t seen the finished cabins. Reggie is amazing. Can’t wait to see his response when he sees the vision/dream he and his wife had. I’m so sorry he lost his lovely wife. I’m sure she is smiling down on him.
    I hope Reggie enjoys his dream home for many, many years to come.

  6. Larry
    Irasburg, VT
    February 11, 2014, 7:49 pm

    Enjoyed this show! My Brother-in-law mills live edge cedar in Coventry. I know the importance of milling lumber from the property. What a great cabin in Sandgate the retired Vet ended up with! I love that country in Bennington County!

  7. keepsitreal
    February 12, 2014, 6:45 am

    Great spot for a cabin but did anyone else find it odd that they had electricity up there the first day?!! Not to mention “fully functioning plumbing without mentioning that water just doesn’t come out of faucets magically after you connect all the pipes to each other.

  8. David
    February 12, 2014, 11:28 am

    love the show, the fake drama adds to the guys and Tuffy is a scream along with being a genius do not change a thing it is beautiful

  9. Jim Proudlove
    April 17, 2014, 5:47 pm

    I really enjoy this show except for one thing. The background music (?) is so loud that it drowns out the dialogue at times and seems to be stuck in when things are really interesting. It gets so bad that I turn off the sound sometimes.