Reality TV has us used to seeing seemingly common people getting involved in a lot of issues, which more often than not aren’t quite necessary. Though the drama aspect is what makes this TV genre so entertaining, shows such as “Barnwood Builders” are a nice change from that concept.

Instead of scripted and sometimes staged scenes, “Barnwood Builders” gives its audience a true insight into what Mark Bowe and his house-flipping team does, all without losing any bit of genuine truthfulness and accuracy involved in their work.

However, being one of the most beloved productions of the DIY Network also means people often wonder what happened to some of the show’s cast members such as Brian Buckner, who left in the second season without much of an explanation.

So whatever happened to him? Why did he leave the show? Keep with us to know all about Brian from “Barnwood Builders”!

Why Brian Left “Barnwood Builders”?

If you’ve been watching “Barnwood Builders” from the start, you surely remember Brian Buckner for his hilarious sense of humor, light-hearted personality and trademark bushy beard. Such a memorable person was meant to become unforgettable for the show’s audience, which makes it unsurprising that so many people still wonder why he didn’t appear again in “Barnwood Builders” after the seventh episode of the second season.

However, there’s a good explanation to all of that. After receiving many inquiries from fans,  in 2018 “Barnwood Builders” official Twitter account finally announced that Brian’s disappearance from the show wasn’t a temporary one, as he’d moved out the area where the show is filmed: ‘he’s too far away to work with us! We miss him a bundle. Hopefully one day he’ll join us again’.

Nonetheless, in 2020 Brian was showcased on a YouTube video in which he revealed that despite not being a negative experience, he had to leave for serious reasons: ‘Right off the get-go, I wasn’t sure about [the show] because of my anxiety. I’m glad I did it, and I’m glad it’s out there’.

Whatever the truth is, it’s at least a relief to know that Brian’s departure was a willing decision, and no drama was involved with it.

Death Rumors

Despite explaining the reason behind Brian Buckner’s exit from “Barnwood Builders”, speculation regarding his death have become quite popular on social media. Although it’s not certain who started the rumor, an online obituary belonging to someone with Brian’s name was apparently found by fans, according to Distractify. Such a finding is surely enough for people to assume that the worst had happened to Brian, no matter that it was unconfirmed.

Fortunately, Brian is alive and well, and aware of the death rumors around his name. As seen during an interview with the YouTube channel Wendi F, he found the claims hilarious and affirmed that social media ‘is so weird’, as he apparently never expected that leaving a TV show would have consequences like that.

Though he also admitted his health hadn’t been the best, due to his obesity and high blood pressure, he was having ‘a pretty good time’ regardless.

While those extreme speculations are somehow cruel, Brian apparently only finds the situation entertaining.

What Does He Think About The Show?

In the reality TV genre, it’s more usual to see people beefing with former co-stars, or showing animosity towards the show they used to be in, for whatever reason.

However, this is really not the case for Brian Buckner.

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As he admitted back in 2020, the reasons which ultimately drew him away from “Barnwood Builders” weren’t enough to erase the good times he spent with his fellow cast mates, whom he still holds in high regard: ‘I’m just glad it went well for them.’ (…) ‘I’m sure it’s been tough, but I’m sure it’s come with a lot of good things and that makes me happy’.

Regarding a possible reunion with his former show mates, Brian affirmed it wasn’t ‘his call’ for it to happen, though he would be ‘willing to try’ if the opportunity arises. Moreover, it doesn’t seem that Brian has any negative feelings towards “Barnwood Builders”, despite not resulting in the best outcome for him.

Is “Barnwood Builders” Real?

There’s more than a few aspects about “Barnwood Builders” that we love. The show crew’s passion for keeping history alive by restoring ancient barns and cabins is inspiring enough, but their work ethic and compelling personalities is one of the biggest reasons the show is so successful.

Even so, “Barnwood Builders” is sometimes the subject of scepticism as well. While there’s not a lot which could be staged in a series entirely focused on the work of professional builders, the stigma surrounding reality TV for its often lack of authenticity, it’s hard to shake off even for Mark Bowe and his team. Nonetheless, if there’s something for sure about “Barnwood Builders”, it’s that the show is as real as possible from its very beginning.

As stated by Mark Bowe, the production process behind the show consists of his business finding projects to work on, followed by setting up details so the TV team knows what to expect. This method allows “Barnwood Builders” to keep events as real as possible, which is the opposite to what the first offers to appear on TV involved: ‘we were approached by other networks and that’s what they wanted… drama,’ he told Knox News, emphasising that he refused to cuss and argue with his fellow team members, whom he considers his friends.

How Did Mark Bowe Start His Business?

Unbeknownst to many, Mark Bowe’s business had been around long before it became popular thanks to “Barnwood Builders”. In the late 1990s, the then 18-year-old Mark worked in a coal mine, to pay for his studies at West Virginia University. After graduating with a degree in business administration, Mark passed on to take an office job, which he soon left to follow an unexpected path: ‘Some guy asked me if I could help him tear down a building, so I did, and caught the restoration bug’, he told Knox News in 2017.

Starting what would become his profession, in 1996 Mark established his business Antique Cabins and Barns. On the side, Mark also founded an insurance company, and even joined West Virginia’s City Council for a short while. Nonetheless, his main focus remained in Antique Cabins and Barns, which eventually became Barnwood Living which isn’t restricted anymore to only his hometown, but has expanded to several other cities, even launching its own cloth merchandise line.

All in all, Mark’s skills in business are notable, but it’s his love and passion for what he does what actually sets his company apart from others.

What Is Barnwood Living?

It’s not unusual to see reality TV shows centered on house flipping businesses, but Barnwood Living is very different from those. Preserving the historical value of articles and structures of all types is what the business’ team do best, as their mission is to create ‘the feeling of living in the past, today’.

By rescuing logs and timber from the pioneering era, Mark Bowe’s intent on ‘resurrecting the past’ has materialized into buildings, barns and cabins which perfectly combine the beauty of centuries-old architecture with modern functionality.

As seen in “Barnwood Builders”, every project taken on by Mark’s business is challenging, not necessarily because of its complexity, but due to the special attention his team pays to detail and quality, on top of putting effort into producing exactly what their customers want without losing Barnwood Living’s characteristic style.

However, Mark’s business isn’t usually involved  with entire housing projects. Although their work team is most-likely skilled enough to build dream-like cabins and barns, the craftsmen at Barnwood Builders usually just team up with their customers’ already contracted architectural or design services, to make their visions a reality. On top of that, Barnwood Living’s shops sell recovered artifacts which are often the missing pieces for someone else’s home.

What Exactly Does Mark Do Behind The Scenes?

Besides being in charge of his business and the face of Barnwood Living, Mark Bowe also does a lot of the work behind cameras that we often don’t get to appreciate for what it is. As it happens, Mark became one of “Barnwood Builders” producers a couple of years after its premiere.

As he told the news website Greenbrier Valley, his work behind the scenes consists of ‘putting the show together’, looking out for projects fitting for TV, and developing the stories included in them. Later, he plans every episode following the singularities of every family and project, including the crafts his team will show on screen, without losing sight of any hardships which might come out during the process.

As if that isn’t enough, Mark locates local professional craftsmen, woodworkers and businessmen featured in the show. Moreover, “Barnwood Builders” has let Mark develop other skills: ‘I also write the epilogue at the end of each show, that sums up what you’ve just watched’.

All in all, Mark’s involvement with “Barnwood Builders” goes to the show’s core, letting him convey his creative vision in a variety of unexpected ways.

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What’s The Show’s Mission?

While any show’s mission is primarily to entertain, it goes well beyond just that for “Barnwood Builders”. As Mark admits, the show helps him accomplish his personal and professional goal of ‘championing West Virginia’ by changing the meaning of what is usually regarded as “hillbilly”, a term he wasn’t allowed to use during the first season, but which gradually grew on the producers: ‘I think it means strong ties to family and friends, a willingness to do hard work, and things like perseverance and fortitude’, he told Greenbrier Valley.

According to the “Barnwood Builders” website, the show gathers around a million viewers per episode, everyone who simply enjoys “Barnwood Builders” combination of history and love for design. Evidently, connecting with people is what’s most important to Mark, whether he’s in front of cameras, producing the show, or building a house himself.

Who Else Left The Show?

It’s been a while since Brian Buckner left the show in 2015, and while most of the audience has come to terms with his exit, the show has also lost other cast members since then.

Alex Webb, who joined “Barnwood Builders” in 2016 as Brian’s replacement, announced his departure during a 12th-season episode. Although Mark Bowe described Alex’s exit as him ‘moving on to greener pastures’, the surprising news was taken with scepticism by the show’s audience, who were afraid something bad had happened between Alex and his castmates.

However, those negative rumours are certainly unfounded. On his Facebook page, Alex Webb expressed his thanks to his now-former co-workers and boss: ‘I am so grateful for every single fan and the wonderful experiences that I have had’. Moreover, it’s known that Alex is establishing a second business, while continuing to work with his first company – Webb’s Joinery & Construction.

It’s unsurprising that Alex holds Mark in high regard though, as years before he had already inspired Alex to take a new professional and more fulfilling path: ‘I kept getting laid off and called back. I was tired of corporate life. I sent an email to Mark and he called me 10 minutes later’, he affirmed in a 2016 interview.

Though saying goodbye to Alex might be sad, al seems to be on good terms between him and Mark, who actually understood his former employee’s entrepreneurial aspirations.

Is Johnny Jett Alive?

Just as happened to Brain Buckner, “Barnwood Builders” craftsman Johnny Jett has also been the subject of malicious rumors. Early in 2021, speculations about his death circulated on the internet and though there’s no way to trace back the source of these rumours, they certainly became popular enough for some media outlets to report it.

However, Johnny is fortunately alive and well. The talented woodworker and painter has been appearing regularly in episodes  “Barnwood Builders”, released as recently as 2021.

Was Barnwood Builders Cancelled?

If you haven’t been up to date with recent seasons of “Barnwood Builders”, you may be under the impression that the show was cancelled, as following the show’s 12th season wrap up in 2021, no further episodes or any news of a renewal have been announced.

Nonetheless, this is quite normal for “Barnwood Builders”. Since its premiere in 2013, the show has been releasing one season per year, which is certainly at a slower pace than other productions of the reality TV genre.  Though for now we can only wait until the DIY Network eventually renews it, the popularity of “Barnwood Builders” makes it certain that the show still has many years ahead on TV.

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