Catching Up with Building Wild: Backwoods Bus

Spoiler Alert!

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

In Beartown, Vermont,  Paulie DiMeo and Pat “Tuffy” Bakaitis, co-owners of the Cabin Kings are Building Wild for a fifth grade teacher who knows his way around a chalkboard, but isn’t sure what to do with power tools. Tuffy is worried about that fact that their client’s skills are lacking, but Paulie is certain they can build him something special.

Jeremy Pratico wants a log cabin, but has no idea where to start. To keep costs low, the client brings in the labor, but the Cabin Kings aren’t too sure what kind of labor Jeremy can bring to the project. To keep things simple, they are going to use a cabin kit, but this still might be a challenge.

When Jeremy points out one of his favorite spots with a waterfall and a degraded pond, Tuffy’s eyes light up. (As much as Tuffy’s eyes ever light up, anyway.) Tuffy wants to leave the cabin building to Paulie while he refurbishes the pond. But Paulie is only willing to do the work if Jeremy will bring skilled labor, and he doesn’t mean a pack of 5th graders.

Jeremy makes good on the deal and brings a crew of skilled people — family, friends, co-workers and the work begins. Tuffy is given the green light to build his pond. However, digging a new pond is lot easier than maneuvering an excavator in the muddy mess of standing water. Worse, he can’t seem to stack the mud. The sludge just keeps running back into the water. Tuffy has his work cut out for him, but he’s always up for a challenge. He decides the solution is to take the lumber they are clearing and create a wall to hold the mud in place.

Jeremy is in over his head as well, but he’s determined. He has a bucket list of 100 things he wants to experience in his lifetime and number eight is to own a log cabin. He’s all in and even gets up on the roof, helping to lower the roof beam into place. (Careful with that beam, Jeremy!)

When Jeremy’s family arrives, he asks the Cabin Kings if maybe there is something they can do to give visitors a place to sleep. He suggests that they might want to take a look at an old school bus that has been abandoned on his property. Paulie is in. Tuffy is out. The bickering begins,but Paulie wins the discussion and they drag the bus to the new cabin site with the excavator and a light chain. Of course, the chain breaks four times and Paulie goes for a wild ride in a bus with no breaks, but eventually the guys get the bus where it needs to be.  (Check out what happens when you find the weakest link.)

Next comes the fun part–cutting the bus in half.  However, the final cuts happen with Paulie under the bus. They build cribbing so that when the bus falls, it theoretically doesn’t crush him. After Paulie emerges without being flattened, the rest of the crew focuses on finishing the cabin. Jeremy, who has turned out to be an excellent helper, is sent off while the guys focus on a few surprise extras.

The back half of the bus is attached to the cabin and outfitted with bunks. The front half of the bus is dropped in to ground level to make a barbeque and a picnic area.  Meanwhile, a chainsaw artist carves a bear sculpture for a little bonus inside art.

Jeremy arrives to find a beautiful pond, a finished cabin with sleeping quarters, and a picnic area… all built in a week! Inside the bus bunk is a special little surprise, a chalkboard with his bucket list written out. Maybe the most fun bonus however, is Tuffy’s “bus-becue.” Open up the hood and there are burgers cooking for all. Jeremy is in tears he’s so thrilled and so are we! All it took was a lot of imagination, plenty of sweat equity, and some time with the Cabin Kings.

You’ve got to wonder what the Cabin Kings are going to come up with next. Don’t miss it! Tune in to Building Wild: Tuff Enough on Tuesday February 25 at 9PM et/pt.   


  1. Cappy Case
    Fremont, NE
    March 1, 2014, 11:26 am

    I would like to know what cabin kit was used on this build?

  2. Roxann
    February 22, 2015, 3:58 pm

    I also would like to know what cabin kit was used on the school bus cabin

  3. Raymond B. Camara
    Fall River, MA
    January 18, 1:32 pm

    I would like to know what Building Kit they used on this build?