Whenever you’ve seen a home renovation or house-hunting show, you’ve probably screamed at your TV in disbelief at the budgets that the cabin renovation crews have at their disposal. Fans of “Homestead Rescue”, for example, have been scratching their heads about the financials behind the sometimes expensive-looking projects on the show.
The crew of builders often deal with unrealistic demands from clients, in addition to limitations imposed by the cabins themselves, and eventually turn the humble structures into beautiful, idyllic homes.
Add to this the increased demand for remote living in uncertain times, with a massive wave of people flooding the countryside to rediscover rural roots. Shouldn’t increased demand make for price hikes as well?
Yet, you can see clients receiving complete cabin makeovers for insanely low prices.
A good example is the DYI network’s Maine Cabin Masters. How can an entire team work for such low pay? Are those budgets real?
Well, actually, there seem to be several factors playing into this.
Location, experience, and upcycling
Main Cabin Masters contractors claim all budgets they work with are real.
Northern Maine has a lower cost of living than other parts of New England.
An important factor to consider is the average duration of their work, typically 6–8 weeks.
The fact that they are doing their work efficiently probably saves them a lot of money, and they are not adorning every cabin with the stainless steel template commonly seen in urban environments.
In addition, many upcycled materials are used by the Maine Cabin Masters cast, which northern New England has been doing for years.
Despite such a frugal approach – or because of it – the cast of the show is rumored to have a more than average net worth between them!
Did you know that the cast is contractually limited to a certain geographical area to do their business in?
The network is footing the bill
Another factor is the network’s involvement.
If you follow HGTV’s home renovation hit show Fixer Upper, you might know that the show’s lead personalities are paid an on-air talent fee.
If this is any indication of common industry practice, the Maine Cabin Masters cast might actually be getting paid for what they would usually charge through the DIY Network.
Clients whose projects are featured on the show then get to benefit from those savings.
There might also be a small stipend from production pay on construction materials, meaning the entire budget comes from the client.
Still, it might be supplemented by labor savings and if production gives them a little extra.
So, next time your cabin-bound friends are scratching their heads wondering how Chase, Ashley, Ryan, Jedi, and Dixie do it – you’ve got the answers!