Maine Cabin Masters: 13 Facts About The Cast

In 2017, viewers of the DIY Network were introduced to master builder Chase Morrill, his sister Ashley Morrill-Eldridge, and the crew at the Kennebec Cabin Company through their thoroughly unique renovation series "Maine Cabin Masters." The premise of the show lives up to its title, with the Maine-based siblings leading their talented crew on a mission to reinvigorate their clients' outdated old cabins. "The cabins are so important to the families who call us for help," said Chase in DIY Network's press release for the series. "We breathe new life into these cherished retreats, so their owners can continue making memories with loved ones for decades to come."

Throughout several seasons, viewers fell in love with the Kennebec crew, a cast of characters that includes Ryan Eldridge (Ashley's husband), Matthew "Dixie" Dix, and Jared "Jedi" Baker. As they rescue dilapidated old cabins, often hidden deep in the woods, the crew's camaraderie proves infectious as they provide the TLC these run-down structures have been missing for years.

With the series finding a new home on Chip and Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Network, there's been an accompanying resurgence in interest, which makes now the ideal time for a look at "Maine Cabin Masters."

The Maine Cabin Masters cast host their own podcast

Television isn't the only medium in which the cast of "Maine Cabin Masters" has thrived. For proof, head over to the Kennebec Cabin Company's website and listen to the "From the Woodshed" podcast. Hosted by Chase Morrill and brother-in-law Ryan Eldridge, the podcast answers fan questions and offers "Project Pointers" for listeners attempting their own cabin restoration projects. 

Also available to watch on YouTube, "From the Woodshed" is something of a companion piece to the TV show. "Topics range from the joys of Maine living to useful construction tips, while giving fans a behind-the-scenes flavor of their hit show," notes the podcast's description.

As listeners have come to know, Chase and Ryan are usually joined by special guests. Among those who have dropped in are "Maine Cabin Masters" fan favorite Doug the Plumber, their go-to landscaper Francis Folsom, Morrill family friend "Wild Bill" Davenport, and even their new Magnolia Network boss, Chip Gaines.

Chase Morrill can boast a dumb injury and a useless talent

Viewers of "Maine Cabin Masters" might think they know all about Chase Morrill, but there's much more to be gleaned from the show's website

One nugget of info he reveals is the dumbest injury he ever sustained. "I got scratched by a cat, and a few weeks later, a gland on the side of my neck started swelling up. It got to the size of a baseball, and then I needed surgery to have it drained. I have a scar across the side of my neck that's hidden under my beard," he recalled.  

Chase also details his most useless talent: the ability to recite all 50 American states alphabetically. There was, however, a bit of a trick behind that. "My fourth-grade elementary music teacher, Mrs. Beaver, taught us 'Fifty Nifty United States' for a school concert, and I never forgot the song," he explains. Whenever the opportunity arises when he needs to rattle off the states, all he has to do is remember the lyrics and sing the song.

Ashley revealed she has a surprising hobby

In a Q&A for the "Maine Cabin Masters" website, Ashley Morrill-Eldridge was asked to single out her favorite tool and provided a surprisingly unexpected answer. "A paintbrush," she declares. "But not the one you're thinking." She goes on to detail how much she enjoys oil painting as a hobby whenever she has some spare time. "And hope to get back into it," she adds. "Part of us building a new house was to give me an art room!"

She reveals an additional hobby during a YouTube tour of the home she shares with her husband, Ryan Eldridge. "This is my broom collection," she declares with an off mix of pride and sheepishness as she retrieves a few miniature brooms from a fireplace mantel. "I know, right?" she adds with a self-deprecating chuckle. "Very funny." Also featured in the tour is a brief peek at an oil painting she created of country music legend Willie Nelson. 

"I love him," she says of the Red-Headed Stranger in her "Maine Cabin Masters" website Q&A. "Ryan proposed to me the day after a Willie show. I have reoccurring dreams that we are BFFs."

Jedi's pet peeve says a lot about his personal philosophy

Ask any "Maine Cabin Masters" fan to name their favorite personality on the show, and the response is likely to be Jared Baker, better known by his nickname, Jedi. During his "Maine Cabine Masters" Q&A, the hirsute tradesman was asked to identify his pet peeve, and his response offers a glimpse into his over-arching philosophy. "My biggest pet peeve is the saying 'it is what it is.' No, it is what you make it!" he insists. "Give me rocks, and I will crush it to sand, give me sand and I will heat it to glass, give me glass, and I will fill it with a tasty beverage! Make the best of every situation. It's our only option."

It's that can-do, damn-the-torpedoes attitude that makes Jedi such a fan favorite. However,  that's also resulted in a few incidents he could have lived without, which he explains in his response to being questioned about the "dumbest injury" he's ever sustained. "The dumbest way I have been injured was definitely falling off my roof and breaking my leg trying to break into my own place after misplacing my keys at 2 a.m. in the pouring rain," he recalls.

Maine Cabin Masters operates its own artisan shop and eatery

As viewers of "Maine Cabin Masters" have likely ascertained, the crew operates under the auspices of the Kennebec Cabin Company. As noted on its website, the company's headquarters is situated in a historic building in downtown Manchester, dating back to 1950. Fans of the show may recall that the very first episode of "Maine Cabin Masters" features a cabin owned by the folks from whom they purchased the building, the Daggetts. 

In addition to housing their business operations, the Kennebec Cabin Company headquarters also boasts its own artisan shop where visitors can purchase various Maine-centric artwork, tools, and, of course, merch related to the TV series. 

Meanwhile, the complex also hosts The Woodshed, a restaurant and bar that can be rented as a venue for private events. Owned and operated by the cast of "Maine Cabin Masters," the eatery offers a variety of food options and Maine-made microbrews. During the summer, customers can also enjoy live music on The Woodshed's "Rock the Dock" stage, which, as its name suggests, was custom-made by the "Maine Cabin Masters" crew out of actual docks. 

The cast of Maine Cabin Masters was sued by the government

Even the most hardcore viewers of "Maine Cabin Masters" may not know that the cast of the show was hit with a big lawsuit launched by the federal government. As News Center Maine reports, Kennebec Cabin Company was sued by the Environmental Protection Agency over five cabin renovations undertaken in 2020. According to the EPA's suit, the "Maine Cabin Masters" crew allegedly ignored health and safety guidelines involving lead-based paint while renovating properties built before 1978 — when the EPA banned the use of lead paint in the U.S. 

However, the case never made it to a courtroom. The parties settled, with the company agreeing to follow lead-paint guidelines in future renovations while also obtaining a Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule certification. Kennebec Cabin Company also paid a $16,500 fine. 

Ironically, it was the popularity of "Maine Cabin Masters" that led to the EPA coming down so hard on the cast. "Television shows that demonstrate home remodeling have a special responsibility to model lead-safe work practices and help their viewers understand common-sense measures to protect themselves and their children from lead hazards," said Larry Starfield, acting administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, in a statement at the time of the settlement. 

Maine Cabin Masters owes a debt of gratitude to Chip and Joanna Gaines' children

Since its launch on DIY Network, "Maine Cabin Masters" quickly rocketed to the top of the network's ratings. Data from Parrot Analytics indicates that viewer demand for the show was nearly three times the average. Yet, when the DIY Network was rebranded as "Chip and Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Network," much of the now-defunct network's programming was left in limbo, including "Maine Cabin Masters." 

However, the Gaineses decided that "Maine Cabin Masters" should continue because their children were huge fans of the show. "They said, 'It's funny, we don't own a TV, but every time we pick the kids up from their grandparents, we ask them what they were doing. They're like, 'Watching 'Maine Cabin Masters,” Chase Morrill tells People, recounting a conversation he had with Chip Gaines.

Chip appeared on the gang's "From the Woodshed" podcast, where he heaped praise on the "Maine Cabin Masters" cast. "You're really killing it on the network. You guys killed it before the rebrand, which is not an easy thing to try to accomplish — to rebrand something and bring somebody like y'all, who existed in that ecosystem, and then introduce 'em to a new universe," Chip said. "But you guys have done it and make it look easy. So well done, and kudos to everybody up there on the team..."

Maine Cabin Masters ventured into real estate

The cast of "Maine Cabin Masters" has a lot of irons in the fire. In addition to the TV show and the Kennebec Cabin Company's core business, there's also the "From the Woodshed" podcast and the retail store and Woodshed eatery. Along with all those other business ventures, the "Maine Cabin Masters" crew also dipped their collective toes in real estate. 

As the company's website explains, Kennebec Cabin Company entered into a partnership with Lakepoint Real Estate to sell lakefront cottage properties in Maine. That particular real estate firm comes highly endorsed by the cast. "Chase, Ryan, Ashley, Jedi, and Dixie recommend the team at Lakepoint to help you make your dream Maine destination a reality," a blurb on the site declares. 

While the site doesn't mention it specifically, consider it implied that whoever purchases one of these cabins and requires some renovations can reach out to have the work done by the cast of "Maine Cabin Masters."

Maine Cabin Masters are active in their community

Given that the Kennebec Cabin Company's headquarters are situated smack in the middle of downtown Manchester, Maine (which boasts a population of less than 2,600 ), it's fair to say that the "Maine Cabin Masters" are the town's biggest celebrities. They're also entrenched in their tight-knit community and are always ready to lend a hand.

That was the case with a 2023 lobster bake held at The Woodshed. "Join us for an afternoon of live music, delicious Maine lobsters, photos, autographs, and a chance to spend time with the Maine Cabin Masters," reads the description for the series of events scheduled to take place during summer 2023. Each event is slated to host no more than 300 attendees, ensuring that each person in attendance gets to meet the cast.

Their community is also a key source that the "Maine Cabin Masters" crew turns to when undertaking their renovations. "I like to go and use local arts and craftsmen," says Ashley Morrill in an interview with House Digest. "Go out into the community and find some cool local art." 

One of the Main Cabin Masters' projects gave new life to a local charity

The "Maine Cabin Masters" cast's connection with their community has also led them to give back. As the Portland Press Herald reports, the team pitched in and built a new clubhouse for the Adaptive Outdoor Education Center in Brunswick, Maine, an organization that offers various activities geared toward the disabled. The new clubhouse focuses on allowing the center's users to become immersed in nature, bringing those who otherwise would have difficulties getting into the outdoors.

For "Maine Cabin Masters" star and head honcho Chase Morrill, lending their skills to helping out such a good cause was a no-brainer. "We're extremely fortunate and have great opportunities," he tells the newspaper. "We want to showcase the beauty of the state, but we also want to help out local nonprofit organizations. Giving back to the community is very important to us."

Even though the project wasn't technically a cabin, the crew's efforts were filmed for an episode of "Maine Cabin Masters."

The Maine Cabin Masters' top secrets to successfully renovating cabins

Having renovated and refreshed so many cabins, it's fair to assume that the cast of "Maine Cabin Masters" has picked up a trick or two over the years. In an interview with House Digest, the Kennebec Cabin Company crew shares some of their tips for achieving successful results that don't stray beyond the established budget.

According to team leader Chase Morrill, the most important things are maintaining perspective and remembering they're renovating rustic cabins, not upscale mansions. "We're not doing fine homebuilding. Everybody on the crew is skilled at carpentry and able to do fine homebuilding, but we don't have the budgets to worry about a lot of the finer details," he explains. "We're taking camps that are run down and uninhabitable and getting them usable again. Whether it's working windows with screens, small improvements go a long way, and we don't really worry about the finer details because it's camp — it's a cabin."

Another factor that will increase costs is adjustments while renovating. However, Chase notes they've come up with a foolproof plan to ensure that clients don't have the opportunity to become wishy-washy. "Changing your mind costs money, too," he adds, "which is one thing we don't have to deal with a lot because the homeowners give us the keys, and they're gone."

It hasn't always been smooth sailing for Maine Cabin Masters

The cast of "Maine Cabin Masters" may be veterans of cabin rehabilitation, but that hasn't come without encountering a few bumps along the way. Speaking with TV Insider, the cast recounts some of the biggest boo-boos they've made — such as when he and the crew removed a cabin's roof right before a big storm blew through. "Our tarps blew off, and the rain soaked everything," Chase Morrill recalls.

Then, there was the time when one of their trucks broke down while hauling some furniture. No biggie. A phone call was made, and another truck hit the road to tow the busted one to the shop. A problem arose, however, when the second truck arrived, and the driver inadvertently locked the vehicle with the keys inside. "We were stuck with two useless trucks!" says Ashley Morrill-Eldridge.

Meanwhile, Ryan Eldridge recalls one project undertaken in the dead of winter when they removed the locks from a cabin's windows to be stained. The following morning, all of the windows had blown open. "When we returned, it was 20 degrees inside," Ryan states.

The pandemic was beneficial to business

It's no secret that when the pandemic hit in the early part of 2020, many people confined to their homes did a lot more TV binge-watching than they had before. One of those binged-watched shows, notes People, was "Maine Cabin Masters," which became the most-viewed show on DIY Network. When DIY was rebranded as Magnolia Network, "Maine Cabin Masters" remained, albeit in reruns, while the cast worked on shooting a new season.

Meanwhile, many of those who watched the show, particularly city dwellers, became intrigued by the possibility of a peaceful life ensconced in nature in a Maine cabin. "We're seeing a massive wave of people who are acting on their long-time desires to have an escape," "Maine Cabin Masters" star Chase Morrill revealed during a 2020 interview with Forbes. "Who doesn't want a place to get away right now?"

Not only were people looking to move to a more rural environment, but many were also exploring how to become self-sufficient by living off the grid. As a result, Chase explained, he and this "Maine Cabin Masters" co-stars had experienced a marked increase in those looking for advice on harnessing the sun and wind for power and systems for trapping rainwater. "It's really about people looking for peace of mind, knowing that they'll be okay if the cities are struggling," he said. 

Static Media owns and operates The List and House Digest.