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.
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!