Building Wild on Nat Geo Dec16

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Building Wild on Nat Geo

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 in America’s last frontiers.

natgeo_tv_id_2003aPremiering Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, 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 a 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.

Building Wild: Dirty Dozen Deer Lodge
Premieres Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

The Cabin Kings are charged with building a rustic hunting cabin for farmer Mike Carney and Mike’s 11 best friends. These buddies since childhood refer to themselves as “The Dirty Dozen,” and they’ve been spending hunting season together since they were in elementary school. Mike has a big dream and an even bigger group of friends, but he’s short on time and money. Paulie and Tuffy will repurpose a 100-year-old barn (that’s one stiff wind away from complete collapse) on their 300-acre property into a brand-new cabin. And they’ll do it the old-fashioned barn-raising way. It takes 16 men to hold up the first wall. Struggling together, they raise the wall and get it nailed in place. The men celebrate, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Will the Cabin Kings be able to transform this ancient barn into a modern marvel that sleeps 12?

Building Wild: Movable Beast
Premieres Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

The Cabin Kings are working with an ex-Navy SEAL who wants to build multiple camps to accommodate all his friends and families. While touring potential build sites on the property in “The Beast” — a 1963 military cargo truck that the clients use to drive all over their land — Paulie proposes a wild solution: taking the truck and turning it into a mobile cabin that you can drive anywhere on the property. The idea is just insane enough to work. But in order to set the foundation of the main cabin, the Cabin Kings and crew have to move huge boulders into position — a big undertaking in the best of conditions, but on a remote location, a nearly impossible job. Plus, because there are no roads to deliver materials, some local loggers will have to build their own road. Paulie and Tuffy also learn that the truck is called “The Beast” for a reason; it’s an ornery, lumbering piece of equipment with no shocks, and the first time they try to pull it parallel to the cabin, the deck is almost taken out!

Building Wild: Log Jam
Premieres Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

Pat and Ryan Sweeney have a father-and-son logging business and a pile of “trash” that’s about to become treasure. Paulie pitches the idea of building a “cabin fit for a logger,” constructed entirely of materials found on the property. But they will have to contend with a steep mountain trail nearly a mile long. Paulie puts into action an idea to build the entire front façade of the cabin with stacked firewood to create a cordwood look. He then throws in an extra project by converting the discarded pontoon boat they found at the bottom of the hill into a floating party island. The team rigs up a log-hauling machine to pull the massive boat up the mountain, but halfway up, Paulie navigates the pontoon right into a tree! Once successfully at the top of the mountain, Paulie and Tuffy rush to strip the boat and build a new deck with a diving platform. With all of the new additions, will the thing even float?