“Maine Cabin Masters” is a reality series, that follows a group of Maine-based home builders and designers, who tackle work-related renovation and restoration. The show premiered in January 2017 on Magnolia Network, and has run for seven seasons, amassing a broad audience. This sort of genre has been popular for ages, and regardless of whether you are interested in redesigning and renovating, everyone wants to stick around until the end to see the final result, which is almost always awe-inspiring!
- 1 The Show’s Format and the Cast
- 2 How did the show come to life?
- 3 Who is Lance Gatcomb?
- 4 What Happened to Lance?
- 5 Where is Lance now?
- 6 Are their budgets real?
- 7 How do they work so cheaply?
- 8 How much do they earn?
- 9 “Maine Cabin Masters” Have a Podcast
- 10 The Mistakes That Happened on “Maine Cabin Masters”
The Show’s Format and the Cast
“Maine Cabin Masters” follows Chase Morrill, the boss and the contractors, his sister and designer Ashley Morrill, her carpenter husband Ryan Eldridge, and two master carpenters Matt ‘Dixie’ Dix and Jared’ Jedi’ Baker. Although Case is the team leader, their work and efforts are made collaboratively; his sister employs her ‘designing’ abilities to choose paint colors and find interesting decorative pieces and objects synonymous with Maine culture, while Ryan does carpentry, and is also heard as the voice of reason.
Maine Cabin Masters has just been picked up for Season 2! GOOD JOB GUYS!
However, since it premiered, it’s also featured some other recurring members, such as Lance Gatcomb, who simply disappeared from the show. Even though Lance appeared in only three seasons, many loyal fans noticed that he was missing, and began wondering what happened to him, why he left the show.
The series is filmed at the Kennebec Cabin Company, its headquarters. The show’s format is simple – each episode starts with the team leader introducing Ashley and Ryan to a new project /cabin and its owners. In most cases the cabins are very dilapidated, and could certainly use some renovation. After they set the budget and the deadline, the crew begins working on the project, restoring various structures while trying to remain true to their initial function; however,
they sometimes add modern amenities such as solar panels. The end of the episode is reserved for the big revelation of the renovated cabin, in which they present it to the owner, and ceremoniously hand over its keys.
How did the show come to life?
In an interview, Chase revealed some information about his family and how he, his sister and Ryan got into building, designing, and carpentry. His and Ashley’s father and grandfather were handymen and builders, whom they watched and assisted them on various projects during their childhood and formative years, including refurbishing and renovating camps. The two gained a robust set of skills in the process, and they also inherited a love for building and creating. Later, they all went to different colleges; Chase attended College of Atlantic, Ashley the University of Maine, and Ryan graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington. Even though they all obtained degrees unrelated to building, they all returned to their initial passion after graduating. Chase explained: ‘One day we were working on a project, a timber frame, and my daughter’s friend’s mother, who works at Kennebec Land Trust and knew the production company Dorsey Pictures, and that they were looking for carpenters in Maine to do a show that fixed up old camps.’
The woman knew that they were carpenters, and gave them a call; they did several interviews on Skype, and then in 2015 filmed a pilot, which luckily got a green light.
Chase also talked about the importance of editing when doing these types of series. It’s a well-known fact that an episode you see on TV is hours and hours of footage neatly edited and selected into a coherent and presentable sequence of events. Chase chuckled and said: ‘It is the power of editing. We make mistakes, we do stupid stuff, but they put together such a good story. They could have painted us in many different ways. Believe me, the footage is there.’
Who is Lance Gatcomb?
Lance Gatcomb is a builder and former reality TV star, who gained popularity by appearing in “Maine Cabin Master’s.” Despite having star status, Lance has managed to keep some of his personal matters away from the eyes of the public. Even the exact date of his birth remains unknown, but he was born and raised in Litchfield, Maine; his mother is Pamela Gatcomb, and he has a sister Elizabeth Anita David and a step-sister Crystal Perkins.
According to sources, Lance matriculated from Cony High School and later attended Maine University, however, it remains unclear which course he studied, and even if he graduated.
$150 per month to $25 per month in hot water heating costs…Lance Gatcomb's experience with solar thermal technology is impressive!
— Maine Rural Partners (@JeffNichols4) January 10, 2012
Talking of his romantic life, he’s married to Lily, with whom he has two children. In the early episodes of the first season, Lance and his wife were featured as newlyweds, and later in the episode “A Cabin for the Bride,” the audience was granted a little scoop of their private wedding. Furthermore, Lance also disclosed that he’d built the cabin where he was living with his family.
What Happened to Lance?
Lance was an instrumental member of the crew who failed to return for the fourth season. However, he’d gained popularity and become a fan favorite for his humor and laid-back personality. For example, in one episode, Lance was seen making doughnuts for his team while they were on a motorboat. In another episode, he had the fans rolling on the floor laughing when he chose to test a hammock by lying on top of it and simultaneously enjoying a bag of Cheetos. As a highly skilled and versatile builder, Lance was a great addition to the team, and also entertained the audience with his goofy attitude.
When Chase was asked about Lance’s departure, he simply said: ‘That’s really how he rolls.’ The fact is that no one actually knows why Lance exited the show, and the show’s cast and the producers haven’t let the cat out of the bag, yet. One of the fans wrote that he left the show because his wife was pregnant at the time, and he wanted to spend more time with his family’ however, this information was never corroborated.
Additionally, Lance is not a big fan of social media, and doesn’t use Instagram, Facebook or TikTok, so it’s harder to find out information about his departure. Some fans noted that his disappearance from the show was not as dramatic as the show itself, compared to other reality series of this genre, and wasn’t getting that much media coverage of its cast members. Even though “Maine Cabin Masters” was considered one of the highest-rated TV shows on Magnolia Network, many believe that it never achieved the success of similar shows such as “Fixer Upper” or “Flip or Flop,” which is why there is not much information or even theories about Lance’s exit.
Where is Lance now?
As previously mentioned, Lance isn’t active on social platforms, and seems to enjoy his life away from the limelight. However, in September 2020, he launched a self-titled YouTube channel that features him doing various tasks around the house, ‘how-to’ videos, and fixing, building and renovating numerous items. Some of his videos are entitled “Building a pavilion,” “Finishing a lawn for house-lot,” and “How to change the new style excavator bucket teeth.” Given that his channel’s description reads “Gatcomb Construction and Excavation,” it’s safe to assume that Lance owns the trucking and shipping company. He also films some of his jobs, such as “Fire Truck Recovery Gone Wrong”, and “Building a VW TDI generator.”
Thank You Lance Gatcomb for buying somewhere around your 20th vehicle from us!
Judging from his channel, he occasionally works at his shop, where he also services his cars and trucks, and repaints them as needed. His channel has over 1,000 subscribers, and has attracted over 125,000 views. He last posted in January 2022- the video entitled “Stuck! Stuck! Stuck! ” and features another vehicle recovery.
Are their budgets real?
Suppose you have watched some of the numerous home restoration series – in that case, you know that there is a proposed budget for the project at the beginning of each episode, which usually has people screaming at the TV in disbelief. An excellent example of that would be ‘Hi, I’m a part-time raccoon technician and my husband gifts murals to the homeless. We have a budget of $1.5 million.’ The budgets usually border on hefty amounts, making the audience wonder how much these types of the renovation cost in real life, and whether they’re far-fetched.
The “Maine Cabin Masters” crew usually have surprisingly low budgets compared to other similar shows for the amount of work invested in the project. Naturally, it piqued the fans’ curiosity, and they often asked the crew in comments on their social media about it, one such comment reading: ‘Are the budgets real? How do you possibly get so much done on these budgets? What you are doing is impossible. We don’t believe you can do all this for those prices … our kitchen cost more than these whole cabin remodels, how can this be?”
On their official show’s Frequently Asked Questions site, they answered that their budgets are legitimate, further explaining: ‘The short answer is yes, but it’s a great question that deserves a detailed explanation, so we have decided to give this discussion its own web page – we’re working on it.”
How do they work so cheaply?
When watching these types of series, you must have at least once discussed the budget and the labor invested, as it mostly seems that clients get these excellent renovations for next-to-nothing.
According to the sources online, most of these series have additional budgets provided by the network. For example, it’s a well-known fact that in “Fixer Upper,” the lead cast members’ services are covered by their on-air talent fee, meaning that the network pays for their ‘labor.’
So these ‘savings’ may get passed onto the client, who in addition most likely receives a stipend for construction materials and tools. Another reasonable option is that the crew buys material in bulk, considering that they do these projects often, and know what materials are mostly used for renovations.
Furthermore, some outlets have noted that the crew works very efficiently, which saves them time and money. Their projects usually last between six and eight weeks, and in addition, Northern Maine is said to have a lower cost of living compared to other parts of New England.
How much do they earn?
Obviously, one of the most frequent questions regarding these reality series, and the answer often closely guarded, is how much the participants earn per episode. According to online sources, Chase and Ashley receive around $30,000 per episode, while it remains unclear how much Ryan gets. Matthew and Jared are most likely receiving between $7,000 to $10, 000 per episode. Chase has the biggest estimated net worth, around $ 600,000, while his sister and Ryan’s combined net worth is around $860,000.
Interestingly, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the crew made a lot of money. Due to all the restrictions, more and more people leaned toward repairing their cabins located away from the city. Chase said: ‘We’re seeing a massive wave of people who are acting on their long-time desires to have an escape.’ Ryan continued: ‘Many people who live in cities today didn’t grow up there. A lot of those folks went to metropolitan areas for work, but for many of them they never really left the country in spirit. Between the pandemic and unrest across the nation, there’s been a wide leap to get back to rural roots.’
“Maine Cabin Masters” Have a Podcast
In addition to their numerous physical endeavors, the crew launched the podcast entitled “From the Woodshed,” featuring candid conversations with Ryan and Chase at their headquarters in Manchester, Maine. During the podcast’s three-season run, the two have chatted with a number of differing guests who work in renovation and building, other cast members, and their productions staff, such as Seth Glass, the show’s camera operator, and Matt ‘Dixie’ Dix. Regarding the topics, they explore various avenues, including the joys of Maine life, construction tips, and juicy behind-the-scenes information.
This week on “From the Woodshed”, we will be having our friend Harry Wolfington from Pinnacle Tree Services as a…
The Mistakes That Happened on “Maine Cabin Masters”
Luckily for the crew and the on-set staff, there haven’t been any accidents that resulted in severe injuries. However, as Chase admitted, they tend to make mistakes like most similar workers. There were a couple of situations where their misjudgment and poor calculations nearly ruined their project, or at least hindered it. One of those ended with a rain-soaked cabin which is never good for business – Chase had removed a roof from a cabin before a storm began, and the tarp he put on in place of the roof blew off; it started raining, resulting in an entirely wet cabin.
In a different episode filmed during the winter, the trio removed window locks on a cabin to get them stained. Unfortunately, the windows opened during the night, and when the crew arrived to continue their work, they nearly froze because the temperature was so low inside the cabin. The third incident happened while Chase and Ashley moved furniture to a site, and their truck broke down. They called a tow truck, and when it arrived, one of the members accidentally locked the car and left the keys inside, leaving them with two useless trucks, as Ashley said.
Given the audience interest in the works carried out in “Maine Cabin Masters”, as well as the antics of the crew, continuation of the series for several more seasons seems very likely, despite the unexplained disappearance of some popular cast members.