Catching up on Building Wild: Double Decker Cabin

In Buskirk, New York, Paulie DiMeo and Pat “Tuffy” Bakaitis, co-owners of the Cabin Kings are Building Wild in the most mucky terrain and most challenging weather they’ve encountered yet. Tim Fauler, a podiatrist has been dreaming of his own cabin. His best friend Chris Stevens who has been a  friend since playing football together in high school is ready to help. Tuffy knows Tim and Chris and is excited to give them what they want and more, but hasn’t seen what he’s up against yet.

Spoiler Alert!

If you want to watch this episode and not ruin any surprises, stop reading now!


Tim and Chris have built themselves a shack out of pallets on their land, but Tuffy feels fairly confident he can build them something better. They also have a shed full of various cast offs that they can repurpose for the build. Things are looking like a snap until they get to the build site. It’s sodden swamp next to a pond and Tuffy is starting to get cold feet.

The clients want the cabin build high up out of the muck and Paulie figures that won’t be a problem. They need to do a fast build, as always, however and high doesn’t equal fast. Tuffy makes a point of telling everyone this. By now though, Tuffy knows better than to do more than roll his eyes in protest. Since they are determined to build high he figures the can use some well casings they found at the shed to build the foundation.

On day two the team gets down to it. The well casings will save anywhere from $500 to $1,000 in building the foundation and will definitely be secure. Well-casing is rugged stuff used by well drillers. They set six piers; four on the land and two on the water. The metal can take a pounding and a lot of weight. Watching Tuffy tap in the piers with the excavator is amazing though. There isn’t much pounding, more of a gentle tap. He has a surgeon’s precision and care.

The cabin is set 14 feet up, will have a lower deck and an upper deck. The front of the cabin will have a beautiful hodge-podge of old windows that were languishing in the shed. However, building so high above the ground only makes the build more challenging. There are some hairy moment before the piers are braced and then there is the part where they will have to carry the heavy furniture up into the finished cabin.

The cabin will have two lofts, but only one has a view of the pond. Tim and Chris are already arguing about who gets the best view. The two friends have been competitive their whole lives and they aren’t going to stop now. So Paulie suggests a little competition for who gets the choice loft. The Cabin Kings hang an inner tube over the pond and they have a football throwing competition. On the third throw, Tim wins.

The crew is working at a good clip until a vicious thunderstorm comes in and forces them to close shop. Despite the fact that Tuffy thinks a good electrical shock helps arthritis, no one wants to get hit by lightning. The rain ruins material, destroys paint jobs, sinks the scaffolding and forces them to rewire the electric they need to work. They figure they’ve lost two days. (Check out the incoming storm.)

All the same, once the Cabin Kings get back on track, Paulie starts thinking about extras –like a rope bridge. Tuffy demands practicality. They are already behind. He doesn’t want to build a rope bridge to get into the 14-foot-high cabin. He figures stairs are enough. Guess who wins the argument? The rope bridge comes together fast and when Tuffy is in, he’s all in. So he adds a dummy waiter made from scrap and an old bicycle so that they don’t have to carry groceries and firewood across the bridge. (The rope bridge is pretty cool.)

In the final hours of the build the Cabin Kings work their last bit of magic. Tim and Chris return after the required hiatus and are amazed.  The celebration and the tour begins with a big surprise. The cabin is loaded with games to entice the friends’ competitive spirit, darts, a bean bag toss, even a beer claw game. (Seriously. Who wouldn’t want a beer claw game?!)  The last game is the best though, a floating target, complete with a remote-controlled towboat for a precision shooting competition with their crossbows.

It was a brutal build, but the cabin is a little piece of paradise with an inventor’s flourishes. The Cabin Kings continue to surprise. You know you want to see what they will do next! So tune in to Building Wild: Float My Cabin on Tuesday March 11 at 9PM et/pt.