The nine-five office life is not for everyone. It's why Kyle Stumpenhorst left his life as a software developer to pursue a career in the trades. Kyle went from learning the process of remodeling from scratch to becoming an influencer and leader in the post-frame construction industry. Listen in as Jeremy gets the full scoop on how Kyle built his way to the top.
Jeremy Perkins 0:00
This is Jeremy and you're listening to bucket talk powered by BRUNT. This week we're talking to Kyle Stumpenhorst, listening to how he went from a job in IT to becoming one of the most renowned post frame builders in the world.
This is bucket talk. A weekly podcast where people who work in the trades and construction that aren't just trying to survive, but have the ambition and desire to thrive. The opportunity to trades and construction is absolutely ridiculous right now. So if you're hungry, it's time to eat. We discussed what it takes to rise from the bottom to the top with people who are well on their way and roll up their sleeves every single day.
I'd like to share your story with our listeners today. Sure, man, you let me just start at the beginning kinda. Yeah, background, who you are and where you where you came from, and how you got here today?
Kyle Stumpenhorst 0:51
Sure, sure. So it's kind of a interesting story. Because I didn't, you know, I didn't ever dream of doing the trades I didn't think it was where I was gonna end up, I was kind of on a path to being a computer science IT person I went to college for that got a degree had a pretty good job in the city working for a pretty good company and header, I mean, just all around a great thing going right out of the gate. And I've never held a job like that in the, you know, in the actual, I guess, professional arena, you know, it's always side jobs and whatnot. But working for somebody working every day, nine to five in an office, it literally took me less than a year, I think to realize that I just didn't want to do that. And to make you know, somewhat of a long story short, I just happened to be in the process of purchasing a home from my wife's family. At that time, we weren't married, where we were engaged. And her mother and father had a farm house, they're big farmers in the area. And they had a farmhouse that hadn't been lived in in a while. And it was close to them. So they were like, Hey, you know, you guys should buy this from us, you know, move into it, you'll be closed and all that good stuff. And so I was seeing it as an opportunity like, Well, hey, maybe I'll just help help farm and, you know, see what happens? Well, this house needed a ton of work. I mean, it was it was a it was the type of house that everybody just told me to put it in the hole and plan on building a new one because it was not saleable. And my dad, I kind of grew up in a house where my dad and mom would buy an old home, and basically remodel it, you know, take it down to studs. And my dad was a big DIY guy just did it all himself learned as he went. And I was always kind of a helper to him. But I never really thought much of it. But when it came to my house, I needed him to help me, he came over with nights and weekends for probably two years. I mean, this was a big, big, big deal. And through that process, you know, I learned quite a bit about remodeling and just started to fall in love with it. And one thing led to another people started asking if me and my dad would do side jobs, maybe a little bathroom here, a deck there. And, you know, he had a job in it. He was actually in programming software forever. And, you know, it was like a fun thing for him to do on the side. But he was like, I can't commit to ever doing this full time, I've got a good thing going. So I just decided to do it myself, you know, started that remodeling gig where you know, you can just go buy a couple tools. And I thought I knew everything. Actually, I knew I didn't know a lot because every job I was taking on it was different. And I had to figure a way out and I was watching this old house shows anything I could you know, back then this was 2000 probably 2006 2005 area. You know, social media wasn't that big, like Facebook had just kind of popped out. But there wasn't, you know, people doing YouTube videos about how to do everything. It was kind of like you had to do your old medium and watch, you know, shows and whatever. And I just kind of learned things one at a time. Till the point where probably five years down the road. I had done houses and additions and Guild, just every residential type project there was and I was asked to do a garage for my wife's grandpa. And he didn't want just a regular stick frame. He wanted that post frame and I'd never done a post frame. I mean, they're they're all around my area because I'm in a farm community and every farmer has post frames on their property. And I enlisted a buddy who was working for another company to come help me on the weekends. And it took me No time to realize I just really enjoyed post frame. I was always in love with framing I loved you know, cutting and nailing and just building stuff and the gratification that came from that. So when I started post frame, I was like, wow, this is almost all framing I get to build these huge structures. It doesn't take a ton of time, and I get to be outside. So this is awesome. And I did that one job. Within, I think less than a year, a lot of my friends and family members and neighbors knew I did that because I'm in a small town, they said, Oh, I want, I want you to do a post frame for me. And I took about two years of doing them here and there while I was still doing remodeling gigs, and then just finally said, you know, what, this is what I want to do, I'm just gonna specialize, I'm not going to be a jack of all trades. I'm gonna try to become the best, you know, there is and, and that's what I've been trying to do, man. And it brings us to this point where we're at now.
Jeremy Perkins 5:33
Yeah, I mean, that's awesome. I, I'm going to go a little bit off script here. And something happened to me within the past month, and I'm just kind of running with it. And what you said earlier kind of resonates with me, is the fact that me and my wife do the COVID and all the stuff, we decided to move our family in a different direction, and we're selling our house, and we're going to look at purchasing a farm. And it's something that I've always wanted to do, I'm a blue collar man. But, you know, just from my upbringing, my wife is, you know, done a question and growing up and, and all that stuff. But it was one of those things that that for us to make the jump to selling something that is, you know, just fine, I have no issues and going to potentially buy a 200 year old house with a bond that's essentially a tinderbox is going to be something that is going to be a little bit of a task. So what how did you end up? How'd you end up tackling that? What was your first stepping in your whole farmhouse renovation?
Kyle Stumpenhorst 6:40
I mean, actually take that back, you know what I did, I did do a lot of gutting first, but it was so bad that, you know, we always told people when they came over to live I gay Don't, don't walk through the middle of the floors, like always walk along the edges. I mean, there was holes in floors, we totally dug out the basement because it was an old, like five foot tall, limestone block wall foundation with like a dirt floor and half of it, we just tore it all out, we jacked up the house and put a full size brand new basement, I thought to myself, you know, I don't know a lot about construction, but I do know, the foundations are important. And I'm going to invest my time and energy into this kind of forever home. I mean, it's a family farm, it's not going anywhere, I'm going to spend the money. And I'm going to start at the bottom, and we put a new basement under a full nine foot wall. And, you know, that was the first thing that we did that kind of brought life to the whole structure. And it was probably the best decision I made. But then it was just down to the nitty gritty man, we literally took everything out the electrical, the plumbing, everything came out down to the stud, and it was all it was all put back. And honestly, a lot of the studs were even removed, and we you know, reconfigured and did beams and, and just did it all.
Jeremy Perkins 7:59
And that's kind of what we're up against is, you know, it's a beautiful farmhouse. And, you know, it's got planks on the floor that are probably wider than eight inches, and it's the character is unbelievable, but at the same time, you look at it, and you're like, you know, there's a lot of issues. So
Kyle Stumpenhorst 8:18
homes have issues and even to this day, that house is still you know, it's not finished old homes never get finished. I mean, it's just, it's a constant battle.
Jeremy Perkins 8:28
But that was kind of cool. I mean, dealing with dealing with influences on people of different trades. I've kind of inspired myself through bucket talk to make this, this jump myself here I am talking to my audience. And then I realized I'm taking my own advice or other people's advices. And it's been, it's been quite the journey here with with this podcast to meet people like yourself, and learn more and more and more to to essentially empower myself to do something that I would never ever do in my life. I mean, this is this is almost a dream come true. Granted, it's going to be hard work and gotten up against but it'll make it enjoyable. Yeah. It's nice to hear that somebody else has done it and they've made it through it. And you know, it's it is enjoyable. But that leads me to my next point is, you know, what's a day in the life like for you?
Kyle Stumpenhorst 9:20
I mean, nowadays, it's a lot different than it was I mean, back then I didn't have kids and I would come home and just work till literally I was too tired to keep working and then I wake up, go to my day job and then do it all over again. Now, you know, I wake up pretty early. I'm like a 5:30am guy which is early for me. I usually head off to I've got a workout gym in my shop. And I usually work out there till let's say 730 ish, kind of gather all my stuff, get get my plan together, head to the job site. And we usually work till about five o'clock. I mean You know, give or take, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter depends if I got other, you know, things that I've got to deal with that evening with the family or whatnot. But, you know, during the week, it's work. I mean, I don't seem to have a whole lot of time for anything else, especially this time of year, because we're getting that cold weather push. So things are becoming, you know, evident that if we don't finish up, we're going to be working in really bad weather. So let's work hard and long now, but, you know, then I usually spend time with the family, you know, we always try to sit down for dinner, talk to the kids about whatever, we got a thing with my daughter, where she just won't let us leave the dinner table till we've done questions, which is, you know, random questions that we ask everybody and get answers to. So it's just, you know, family time, and then, you know, my wife is a principal. So she's a pretty busy person, and my kids are getting to a point where they got homework and stuff. So we usually go our separate ways do our, our work. And sometimes man, I'm up till 11 1130 doing editing for YouTube and Instagram and all the other content because my job physically stopped at five. But then as a business owner, as a content creator, you just it doesn't usually stop until you know you're tired. So really just kind of like the old days only different priorities.
Jeremy Perkins 11:15
Now that's become my, my new world that I'm trying to get used to is the fact that I went from just being a trades person to now I, you know, have to do Instagram and LinkedIn and all these other avenues. And, you know, I'm probably not to your, to your level, but at the same time, it's, you know, it's rewarding and fulfilling, but it's, it's amazing. But I did want to get back to your shop. So I took the tour of your shop on YouTube, and I am absolutely impressed. I mean, it's normal. It's messy. It's used, it's awesome. But I didn't have one thing that I wanted to ask you. So the guys that I've been dealing with Jesse savage from our blacksmith podcast, and, and Roy from vintage axe works, brought us through a whole axe working podcast. You had done something with Jimmy de resta, which is amazing from the maker movement. What do you guys do with him?
Kyle Stumpenhorst 12:13
He found me on instagram back in probably like 2015 or 16 when I got started. I mean, I probably had less than I mean, I had maybe a couple 1000 followers and this guy reaches out to me and a DM is like, Hey, man, I want you to come build a shop for me in New York. And I'm like, dude, I'm in Illinois. I'm not coming to New York. I got more than enough work here. And I just let it go. And funny story is like a year later, I get a message from a guy named Donnie Carter. Maybe you've heard of him. He does a podcast to I think it's the green woodworker podcast or something anyway, okay, I'll check it. Yeah, he's like, Kyle. I gotta tell you, man, I was just up in New York at this guy's place. His name's Jimmy duresta. He was doing a class and we were learning blacksmithing or something. And he kept talking about he needed to get, you know, rural renovators over to his place to build a shop. And I'm like, I know that guy. I just met him over Instagram, but he's like, you got to do what you got to do. And I'm like, Why? Well, who is Jimmy duresta. He's like, Go look them up. So I did. I seen he had a million plus YouTube followers. And he'd been on TV and, you know, seemed like a great following. And I was like, man, I don't know if I really want to do this. I mean, it's, I got a young family. I don't want to be away. But I just said, you know, okay, we're gonna make the commitment. We'll do it. And honestly, that was the thing that jumped started my YouTube I'd never done YouTube. I went out there to meet Jimmy on like a cold, cold February day, I flew out there for the weekend just to meet him see a site, get his feelings and see what he wanted to do. And he was like, dude, you got to do YouTube. This could be your first YouTube video series or something. And yeah, man, he pushed me. I got in way over my head had no idea what I was doing. And, you know, now three, I think that was in 2017. Three years later, you know, pushing out almost half a million subs and it's part of my business now. I mean, that's that is part of my business.
Jeremy Perkins 14:15
That I mean, that jumps ahead in my show structure here, but that's amazing. I mean, it's it's funny I never even heard of him either. Until Like I said, I started doing this podcast and learned about the homemakers movement and that's that's unbelievable in its own right. You know, all these guys out there. blacksmithing and, and leather working and doing all this cool stuff. And Jimmy is one of the the ogis in that so that stuck out to me. I was like, How'd you end up teaming up with him? So yeah, that's crazy. So he shops cool. And that was all you.
Kyle Stumpenhorst 14:47
Yeah, mean grade. The kid that is a kid. He's 10 years younger than me but we're all getting older. He we went out there and we worked 16 days straight. We took off a half a day on a Sunday. Because Jimmy's idea was to have a little get together in a shop we had about maybe 30 or 40 people show up. I mean, they drove from, I know, one guy drove like six or eight hours, it was an awesome time, we just hung out. And, you know, at the same time, when I was there, this whole house was there, filming a video series with Jimmy and I got to meet Kevin O'Connor for the first time. And now, you know, I'd call him a friend, we talk and, you know, just really a lot of crazy things all from, you know, do an Instagram, you know, people think it's silly or ridiculous, don't take the time just work, you know, don't take time to take a picture and a video and whatever, just do your job. But, you know, for me, it was my outlet, it was a way to express myself. And I found a community of people that enjoyed what I enjoyed. And I was able to share that versus, you know, when you when you're living in the construction world, and you're in a small community, there's a handful or a dozen other construction workers or contractors that own their own small business, they're not your friends, they don't want to be your friend, they don't want to share with you, they don't want to help you, they don't want to, you know, give you secrets or trade tips, they don't want to tell you how to bid a job, because you're their competition. But I never really looked at it that way. Like, to me it was kind of like, dude, there's so much work out here, we're literally drowning in work, because there's not enough of us, like, you know, we should help each other out. And I just started sharing stuff on, you know, the internet and how I did things. And, and really, it was selfish, I wanted people to, to see what we did how we took special care to do it, not just, it wasn't about making the money, you know, the money was the necessity to keep it going. But you know, we actually enjoy what we do, we have a good time. And we try to do our best. And by sharing that people could learn it without me having to force it down their throats through advertising.
Jeremy Perkins 16:59
Yeah, I mean, that's super cool. And, you know, you mentioned that you had you have kids get with your kids, do you take them on the job site? Do you want this for them? Are they taking an interest? I mean, oh, yeah, I
Kyle Stumpenhorst 17:14
mean, you know, I think every I think every probably every contractor out there and looks at his kids, and thanks, man, it'd be great to get free labor out of them when they get older. You know, or, hey, when I'm too tired to do this, I hope they take it over, because you've created something. But, you know, for me, I don't think that's even, that's not even something I consider or think about, really, at all anymore. To me, if my if my son or daughter, either one of them want to do it, I would support them, I would give them everything that I know. And I would, you know, help them transition. But I would support them if they wanted to, you know, go do anything, it doesn't matter. As long as they're doing their best. That's all I care about that they're happy. But my son, you know, I just got a mini x, I just got a partnership with Kubota recently completed tractor. And I've got a mini x now and I eyes like hey, Cole, come out with me on Saturday, we're gonna go to the shop, and I'll let you you know, play in this mini x. And he's like, okay, yeah, whatever. And as soon as he got in there and started doing it, I basically after three hours, I was like, Alright, dude, we got to go eat lunch. It's 130. And he was just like, Dad, I got to come back. I got to do this. Again. He's like, I could do this every day. There's something amazing about doing this with my hands and just moving dirt. And I was like, wow, wow. Like, I just maybe sparked something. But that was probably the first time I'd seen that from him. So
Jeremy Perkins 18:42
there comes the excavation company. Yeah. Well, that's, that's cool. I mean, I love that. And I think that the trend has changed from from. I don't know how old you are. But I'm 35. And the trend when I was growing up was we don't want our kids even tradesmen, we don't want our kids going into the trades, you know, we don't want them doing what we're doing. There's a better life out there. But it seems now that people like yourself and myself, we're not necessarily pushing, but at the same time, we're not shying away either.
Kyle Stumpenhorst 19:15
Yeah, I mean, to think about it, like, I think about the the first job I had out of college, and the money I made, it was good money. But I was I was literally confined to a office. And if, if more people could experience like the trades and doing something with your hands where you actually have gratification on the daily where you see if you see your work versus you know, you see a pile of papers on your desk and you don't necessarily know what you did. There's a lot of power in that. And I think that yeah, it was looked down on for a long time. But people that say you're not going to make money in the trades or you're not going to live a good life or it's going to be you know, miserable. They just don't even know That's just, you know, I think ignorance and, and that's why it's so cool to have a platform, like I do now where I can share just how good it can be. And honestly, you don't need to be like, super smart, you don't, you just have to work hard and you have to, like, you know, be persistent. And anybody could really build something for themselves, especially now when there's such a shortage of good hard working trades people in anywhere in the in the US,
Jeremy Perkins 20:30
you know, and that's actually that resonates for me a little bit more too, because I've never actually shared this, this aspect of it, but I'm not I'm not really good at math. But you know, as a welder, and and, you know, certain jobs I do as mechanic requires me to do math. And one of the things that I've, I've kind of cheated with was as I, I trace things a lot as opposed to, to measuring them out or what have you. And so I found ways to cope with my inability to, to do math equations or whatever, it doesn't make me less smart, it just, I've had to create a different avenue for myself to get the job done. So this was the trades and working with your hands allows you to, to compensate for things that you're not normally good at. And that's Yeah, that's one of the things right,
Kyle Stumpenhorst 21:20
I think that i think that you know, people it used to be, hey, you can't make it or cut it in school, you're probably going to be a welder, mechanic, or a carpenter or whatever other blue collar. That's so that's so far from the truth. I mean, I was valedictorian of my class, I had a perfect, you know, perfect GPA, I got scholarships to go to college, went to a good four year college, I, by all definition should have never been a tradesman. You know, like, that was, that was not what the yearbook said, Kyle was gonna grow up and be because, you know, he was a smart student. And even to this day, like, I can learn pretty easily, you know, education wise, but that did not say that I couldn't become a tradesman. And it doesn't say that, if you can't make it, you know, in school, like, your only path is a tradesman. And that's a bad thing. because like you said, I think that the beauty of being a carpenter or a welder, or any of those blue collar jobs is that, you know, people don't necessarily learn in a school setting that well, but when they are finding passion, and like what they're doing, they become, they become so you know, into it that, like you said, you find ways to to become better and, you know, learn yourself. So it's just a it's a totally different mentality. And I think a lot of people are kind of not lied to that is possible, but I think I think it is, you know, yeah,
Jeremy Perkins 22:49
yeah. So I mean, another thing I'd like to get into is, you know, any issues or, or unspoken trends you see in your trade, that nobody really likes to talk about? You've seen anything in your trade that like that, um,
Kyle Stumpenhorst 23:04
I don't, you know, I don't know about any super negative things. I think that, you know, believe it or not, I think because of a lot of the social media aspect of what you know, I do and what a bunch of, I mean, more and more every day, it seems tradesmen, they're coming out and doing more stuff like that sharing. I go places, and people are like, dude, I never knew what a post frame was. I just figured, you know, barns were, you know, cheap, crappy type buildings. And like, if you couldn't cut it as a contractor, you could become a post frame builder, because it's so you know, has such a negative aura around it in general. Oh, yeah, totally. I mean, that that's kind of like, you know, when I even I guess even when I started, I would have thought, like, Oh, well, post frame builders. I mean, that's kind of like, you know, you're not building a custom home, like, you don't have to have much skill. But it's, it's so untrue. And the trend, I mean, the amount of people that call me now, and, or I run into they're saying, like, that's how they want their house built. They don't want traditional house, they want a post from house, they want this barndominium appeal, the the I feel like the industry has been able to be changed through social media, because people are learning, they're being, you know, inundated with so much content. And I tried to push as much as possible on the positives or the possibilities that just otherwise, you know, the industry wasn't really sharing because it was it was pretty status quo.
Jeremy Perkins 24:45
Well, I'll speak to that too. You know, as I'm putting my house on the market, on my wife and mainly my wife, but I was along for the process. My wife chose a house that was a serious Craftsman house and it was mobile. bungalow style and we got it and save the character. And, you know, she took pride in, in the the crown molding and all the woodworking features and stuff. She didn't do it herself. But, you know, she, she definitely, she was the GC on the job, essentially. But it was it, you know, now as we're selling it, people are looking for that, that spec house build the whitewashed interior, the white cabinets, everything. So, you know, it's a little frustrating to see people come through and pick apart the details and the craftsmanship that that was put into your house. But it I think, for me, one of the biggest, you know, downsides of of this is that we were building these cheap houses that didn't last long. And you know, I'm on a, I'm on a foundation, that's just a rock Foundation, and it's been here for years, but somebody comes into my basement, and they're like, Oh, it's just gonna last it's like, yes, it's been here forever. So sometimes the old way is actually better. And, and I, you know, I completely agree with you. Yeah,
Kyle Stumpenhorst 26:09
yeah, I think that perception is obviously always, you know, going to be either good or bad. And that's why I just tried to share the real life every day. And people can take it for whatever it is, you know, I mean, they have to, they have to do whatever they want with it.
Jeremy Perkins 26:23
So, lately, I went one of one of our guests and of all trades. When I asked her this question, she completely blew me away, because I didn't even really know how to respond to it. So I said, Do you have an unspoken trend in the woodworking industry? And she said, Yes, epoxy floors. I can see, I can see her saying that. Those things that like, you know, it could be anything and yeah, no, I didn't know that about the post and frame.
Kyle Stumpenhorst 26:55
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think it has a very negative, you know, most people think, oh, like, you build barns, like, Well, okay, what people used to do by sticking a telephone pole in the ground, you know, and just throwing up some steel on the outside. That's not what we do. I mean, our my thing was going from Custom Homes, is what I did, I built Custom Homes, towards the end of my residential career. And I took all of that kind of, I guess, quality centric mind set and tried to put it towards post frame, which was typically, you know, the guy that came in helped me that weekend or to to do my wife's Grandpa, you know, his thing was always, I mean, he grew, he'd been in the post frame industry for probably since high school, I went to school with them. So at that point, 10 years, and it was always, you know, it's an even lien, or it's gonna look good from the road, you know, because, in general, people don't nitpick a detail on a barn. So when I started nitpicking my own details and realizing that, you know, this could be done better or cleaner, people started to take notice. And I think that's where like, you know, the trend and the thought process that I've been trying to change for the last three or four years on social media. I genuinely think it's happening. I mean, contractors have reached out to me in different states and said, hey, my customer, you know, we're building them a barn, and they keep saying, well, we want it done this way. There's a guy in Illinois, that does it this way. And this is how we want you to do it. And they're like, hey, that's like, you know, at first, I was kind of offended by this. And I'm like, Who is this guy? But, you know, thank you, I've learned a lot of different ways to do things. It's not that my ways, right? It's that if you don't learn other ways, you can't make that determination, you know, and so I try to share so that someone else can learn something, but also so that other people that are doing it differently can reach out to me and they do and say, Hey, have you ever thought of doing this? And it just makes me better, too? So it's, you know, it's a it's a full circle?
Jeremy Perkins 28:56
Yeah, no, I like I like that aspect. Because, you know, sometimes when I do post pictures, and or comment on something, or what have you, I'm always waiting for that person that that tells me that I'm doing it wrong. Or or, you know, it gives no explanation, explanation, but I'm honestly trying to put my work out there wrong or right for somebody to either to look at and say, Oh, this is, you know, this is something I can do or whatever. I mean, everybody knows that. There's different ways to do things. And it's not always the right way or the sought after way, but you know, we get it done at the end of the day.
Kyle Stumpenhorst 29:34
Yeah, that's that's the what makes a good carpenter, a good carpenter, they can solve the problem and make it look good.
Jeremy Perkins 29:39
Right, right. Right. So tell me about a cool builder project you've been excited about or done. I mean, we touched on Jimmy's barn but you have anything else that you want to do or?
Kyle Stumpenhorst 29:51
I mean, I do have, I mean, I think the projects I'm working on currently are pretty next level for what I've done. But I've got a project in the works that I haven't talked about yet. It's a pretty local project I only usually do local Jimmy was the only time I traveled but it's, it's if we do it and we it continues, I mean, it could be a pretty epic house barn. So kind of the whole barndominium thing. And we're talking indoor indoor pool. You know, the whole nine yards, and I think it could be really, really cool, great setting. Great customer. And yeah, we're just in the process of kind of the design is done. And now it's, you know, the fun part of figuring out what it's going to cost and go that route, which is never never that fun, actually.
Jeremy Perkins 30:40
So, you know, maybe it's just the content that I peruse on a daily basis. But do you think that the, the housing trend is is is changing from, you know, McMansion, large, 90 style houses to more personal, older style homes?
Kyle Stumpenhorst 30:58
You know, I'm not I guess I'm not the guy to ask because I don't I don't, I don't do a ton of homes. I mean, this whole, I would say in the last couple years, the calls for post frame buildings with houses inside has probably quadrupled. I mean, I would say every other call is usually, hey, I want to do this building and I want to put a house in it. So I would say no, because most people are building I mean, I mean, the building that we're on right now this house is 40 by 72. So that's 2800 square foot two stories. That's a lot of space. You know, and I think there's other one with the pool. I mean, they're large, but I'm in a little bit of a unique, where you actually Jerry, I'm in Massachusetts, I'm outside the Boston area, okay, I mean, your area is night and day different than my area we've got, you know, people are on five acre farm mats, and that five acres probably didn't cost what a quarter acre costs, you know, in your area. And so people are starting to sprawl out from Chicago. And they, they're, you know, they're able to afford and build, you know, pretty large, you know, these large structures and the the guys all want, you know, be able to put their, you know, whatever sports car or their RV or their boat, they want it all right there in this monster garage with, you know, the home attach. So
Jeremy Perkins 32:19
it's pretty, pretty unique. Awesome. Awesome. Yeah, I mean, that's what we're seeing right now is the housing market has boomed outside of Boston, because it seems like you know, with remote learning and people working remotely that, you know, call for spaces is, you know, there's no need to be in the city anymore. So, you know, now there's this this allure of the suburbs, and when it's on fire out here,Kyle Stumpenhorst 32:45
Yeah, same here. My brother just sold their house. And, I mean, they had 12 showings within the first weekend. And it was, you know, for four offers within the first week and is gone, you know, and everybody's having that same experience because like you said, people are working from home, they don't need to be in the city.
Jeremy Perkins 33:02
Right, right. And I think the whole dynamic is changing for the future too. I mean, I'm not going to say that everybody's job is going to be remote but you know, the fact that we've done this for so long I think that people are seeing the writing on the wall that they could potentially have flex hours and work from home and so the call the call for more space is becoming more eminent I guess. Right? So tools of the trade way so when you started out what do you start out with because I think that's the biggest thing everybody knows that you know, you have everything now I have everything now we've been in the trades for so long that for for us to actually name all the stuff we have is ridiculous. But when you first started out when you switch from the IT field to what you're doing right now, what was your go to? I mean, you go to Home Depot and you buy the wall
Kyle Stumpenhorst 33:50
I mean what were well well the cool I mean I can remember my dad bought me my first skill saw seven and a quarter worm drive magnesium bass, you know the whole nine yards and it was like this is the best saw I've had mind forever You know he had it always with them. And he's like there's the last few the rest of your life and it was awesome as heavy I just remember like being you know, scared of it. And obviously as a remodeling you know getting going and remodeling I bought I always wanted and I bought my my own saws on Milwaukee saws off, I got the super saws all with the orbital action man, all corded and and then I remember buying my first during the process of building my house I had to shore up the house with a ton of different beams and I built all my own beams and glued and nailed you know all this stuff together. And I remember doing like my first couple by hand. And then I told my dad I'm like dad, we're not doing this for the rest of this job. Like I went bought a you know a 30 degree framing nailer new attic, and it was just like, oh my god, you know, I've been doing this whole thing growing up, you know, helping my dad build and stand walls pound nails. And I've been missing out my whole life on this pneumatic framing nailer. So those were like the three, you know, key tools didn't have any special hammers or, you know, obviously, I had an estwing I think that's what everybody has when they start out, it seems at least in my area. But yeah, I mean, those were the core tools man all corded and it's crazy to think in, what 15 years. How everything. I mean, I don't I don't really own a corded tool. I mean, I never plug in a power tool. Maybe some pneumatic guns, but cords are like a thing of the past crazy.
Jeremy Perkins 35:45
Yeah, I'm facing I do have some corded tools. And I do have a lot of pneumatic tools. But yeah, I mean, we're we're in Milwaukee in the wild territory now. You know, I just made the jump to get a half inch gun at the tune of whatever $400 is ridiculous, but it's gonna like yeah, it's it's it's night and day, you know, I'm not dragging hoses through cars or over doors and tripping on them. I mean, it's just, it's it's actually liberating in its own right.
Kyle Stumpenhorst 36:13
Yeah. And I love time, I find that a lot of these cordless tools battery powered, are, are better, smoother, quieter. And just, I think in general, like more fun to use, then anytime you have to plug anything in,
Jeremy Perkins 36:29
on they're only gonna get better. So I mean, I talked with one of the plumbers, oh, gee, plumb God. And he was saying that how he went from having this massive, you know, the, the 18 volt 20 volt system back down the 12 volt because he's just sleeker and lighter. And just, and that was kind of an interesting thought process for them is that he didn't need all that power. He just needed something small and light to carry with them on job. So that was cool. Yeah. So single thing that's changed your career. You had mentioned the Jimmy the wrestling thing again, as I repeating myself, but
Kyle Stumpenhorst 37:06
I think that probably that I mean, that probably put me down the path to, you know, the change in my career. I mean, you know, for me, building is, is quite frankly, very, I would say easy, you know, there's always a challenge. But building is pretty easy. And I think I have a pretty good case of add, I have a hard time keeping focus. I like constant change. I like challenge. And you know, starting the social media thing brought a ton of energy back to like what I was doing, I love my job. But it wasn't challenging. I mean, it was it was like oh, building build another barn build another shop, garage like these are these are really easy. Like, I love doing it. But now I'm filming it, I'm taking pictures, I'm helping share the technique or the process. That's like a whole new challenge. And the good thing is like, it's never it should never really die. Because there's always more to learn. There's always new tools to do it with new products are always coming out. And so it's afforded me, you know, not only a way to stay engaged in what I do and have, you know, really just motivation to keep getting better. But it's actually you know, added to my business. I mean, there's, there's money to be made. And yeah, it's just a totally new, like a new thing.
Jeremy Perkins 38:30
Yeah, I mean, I mentioned that before, you know, I was stagnant in my trade. And then out of nowhere, I decided to do this with a buddy of mine. And it really brought life back into to what I did, and, you know, in as you're sitting there watching people and you're checking out now it's tik tok and Twitch, and, you know, when we were growing up, it was just my space. And that was kind of cool. And now all of a sudden, we're, we're in a world of social media platforms and, and we're trying to stay relevant and it's it's a challenge in its own right. Yeah.
Kyle Stumpenhorst 39:04
For sure, yeah.
Jeremy Perkins 39:05
So when you when you're when you're doing besides playing questions with your daughter, what, what's Uh, what's your release? What do you what do you do to relax?
Kyle Stumpenhorst 39:15
I play Call of Duty currently, that's, that's a that's kind of my when I'm at the point of no return and I'm sitting here looking at my computer screen and I've entered QuickBooks or edited a video like I'm just tired. I'll play some Call of Duty with my son with Greg the guy that works for me. He gets on you know, a couple buddies. That's, that's the current thing. Because the weather's getting crappy and it's dark out but like in the summertime that was going bike riding. There's a couple single track courses by me and my sons now into that with me so like it's kind of some good father son bonding time. Yeah, those those two things I would say are it's either that or work.
Jeremy Perkins 39:59
Probably Yeah, no, I mean, getting to spend more and more time with my, my children and how they're, you know, so I got a four year old and a six year old. As literally as we were doing the podcast, my daughter, she's the bathroom, flush the toilet and like, she's shining. But she's, she's hysterical. She loves everything I do. She wants to be part of it. And he did. Exactly. And then they don't want anything to do with you when they get older. So it'll be great. But I think it depends on how you parent, man, you know,
Kyle Stumpenhorst 40:33
they'll they'll still want they'll still want to want to do with VHS. I think everybody gets so busy. I find myself doing the same thing. And, you know, if you just take a couple minutes, you realize, Oh, yeah, let's let's go for a bike ride, man. And then it's the best time ever, you know?
Jeremy Perkins 40:49
Well, that was kind of the reason behind the whole farm thing. I think that, you know, we're getting lost in the soccer games, and the lacrosse games and all this stuff that, you know, we wanted to bring family back to a basic format and, and, you know, rewarding. So the idea of a farm was was something that we can all wrap our head around the kids, you know, love livestock and horses, and what have you. And it was, it was something that I think everybody in the family could pick something good out of, and it was like, You know what, maybe we need to just get back down to basics, slow things down and share my I hope it works out. I've heard a lot of good things about, about doing making this move. So you know, I'm hoping it's I have the same same experience, you know, yeah, yeah, I
Kyle Stumpenhorst 41:36
think I think the good thing was this. I mean, maybe I'm the only person but the pandemic has no, you are 100%. Right? Yeah, it is. It slowed everything down. I mean, the same sort of thing. We don't do all the traveling stuff. But we do have, you know, dance, and we have football, and we have gymnastics and track and it was like all that stopped. And yes, we were home going crazy. But at the same time, it was kind of like a nice reset to say, Okay, how much of this stuff? Do we really want to do? You know, how much do we really need to do? So it'll be interesting to see what happens when things you know, pick up I think we'd be I think I would probably be lying to myself, if I said that we wouldn't, wouldn't start doing it again. But you know, for the kids sake, but at the same time, it's been a really nice reset.
Jeremy Perkins 42:25
Yeah, I mean, I was I haven't really mentioned this in full length, but I was laid off for five months for the first time in my entire life, or in COVID. And it was to take care of my kids, you know, and, you know, my wife could work remotely and I decided to step up to the plate and become the best home parent. And it was probably the most rewarding thing I've ever done in my life. And I will never take that time back. It was hard. It was definitely it would have been easier to go to work and turn wrenches. I'll tell you that. Yeah, no, I COVID has has, has had some questions for me. You know what I mean? Yeah, for sure. But if you've listened, which I hope you have, in prior episodes, I talked about being a diehard Chevy guy. I like Chevy trucks. They're You know, we've plowed in them. I drive down you know, my wife's got a truck I got a taco. What do you drive for work? What is what is your poison when it comes to vehicles?
Kyle Stumpenhorst 43:29
Well, I guess we can be friends because I'm a GM guy also. I mean, I'm a DMC guy you know I've had the last three trucks were GMC Sierra so I had a 25 then I've had to 3500s and I did just get a 2020 You know, when it came out, I ordered it prior to coming out and I love it, but I couldn't let go of my 16 so I kept I kept it and now I have these two trucks and I people give me a hard time about all the time but it's like man that 16 is just a great work truck and I just can't get this new truck like that dirty I just don't want to take it to work and get it full of sawdust and scratched up from tools and everything else you
Jeremy Perkins 44:16
know yeah my my 15 got total and I got a 19 and you know to no fault of GM but I feel like they got out of the square body body style a little too quick for me. I said the new body style still growing on me but I definitely the 2015 Plus,
Kyle Stumpenhorst 44:36
yes now that's why that's why I kept it man. I just I it's dirty. It's got you know, maybe 120,000 miles on it. And I just look at I think man, it's just a good looking truck. I like this.
Jeremy Perkins 44:48
This is kind of the end of the show I take. I take a moment for you to plug anything you want. Say hi or mentioned anything that you Want at this point in time? Well shoot, man. I
Kyle Stumpenhorst 45:02
mean, I guess I would I mean, I don't, I don't need to plug anything I just say if anybody's interested in learning about post frame, I mean, I do share the process and you can definitely check out and maybe it'll be in the show notes or whatever. My YouTube channel, it's where I mean, I put out 30 minute videos once twice a week on the process. And I try to just show you, you know, how we do it not the right way just how we do it. And yeah, it's, it's a great way for me to get better myself by seeing my inadequacies when I watch the video, and I say, oh, that doesn't look that good. But next time I better look good. So feel, feel free to watch them and comment and let me know what I'm doing wrong.
Jeremy Perkins 45:44
Well, thanks for being on the show call. I really appreciate it. And, you know, once again, I think our listeners appreciate it as well. Yeah. Thanks
Kyle Stumpenhorst 45:52
for having me. I'm glad we could make it work. And yeah, wish the best of luck to you on your farm man. Thank you very much.
On this weeks episode of Bucket Talk, we sat down with Kyle Stumpenhorst, owner and operator of RR Buildings. RR (Rural Renovations) Buildings, is a post-frame construction build out of Franklin Grove, Illinois. While the companies day to days consist of building post-frames for a variety of different industries, if you're in the trades you have probably heard of these guys. Since inception, Kyle has accrued quite the following on social media, boasting a Youtube subscriber following of over 500k and an incredible Instagram following of about 383k. This is all thanks to Kyle's mission to show anyone interested in creating their own path in the trades, just how to go about it.
Kyle Stumpenhorst wasn't always a tradesman. Growing up, his father worked in IT with D.I.Y. projects as a side-hobby. When Kyle graduated at the top of his high school class, he pursued a degree in computer science positioning himself to follow a path much like his fathers. After graduation, Kyle took the route of most recent graduates and pursued a 9-5 office job. As Kyle mentions, "...it literally took me less than a year to realize..I just didn't want to do that.." With a yearning to get out of the more white-collar career path, he left his job in the city to take on the remodeling of an old farmhouse him and his then fiancé were looking to buy. Having nothing else but his fathers limited DIY expertise and some DIY television shows, Kyle spent the next two years learning the art of remodeling from scratch.
Tune in to hear how this former 9-5er not only took on a full time career in the trades, but capitalized on the massive opportunities and became an integral part of the community along the way.