CHARLESTON, W.Va -- Mark Bowe specializes in making old things new again.
For the last 16 years, he has traveled all over the United States dismantling, reconditioning and reassembling old barns and log cabins.
Sometimes he and his crew put the structures back together just as they were built. Other times, they use reclaimed materials to build modern homes that only look centuries old.
And while the business is only a part-time venture for Bowe — he's a full-time insurance salesman in White Sulphur Springs and intends to keep that job — his business could soon gain nationwide attention.
The DIY Network recently aired the pilot episode of "Barnwood Builders," a show about Antique Cabins and Barns LLC, Bowe's Greenbrier County business.
The episode, which aired last month, focused on Bowe and his workers as they took down an Indian barn built in the 1800s by Abraham Lincoln's uncle Josiah. They used the wood to build a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
It's not yet clear whether "Barnwood Builders" will be granted a full season on DIY. Network executives are currently in meetings to decide which shows it will pick up for the 2014 schedule.
Bowe seems optimistic about his chances, however.
He said DIY's viewers jumped by 33 percent when the show's pilot episode premiered Nov. 1.
Bowe began reclaiming old lumber in the 1990s while working as the human resources director for Independence Coal in Madison.
One of his coworkers asked Bowe to help take demolish an old building. Bowe found the structure was made of rare wormy chestnut, so he kept the wood and resold it. He then found another old barn, took it apart, and sold the lumber.
The business started taking off, so he quit his job at the coal company. The decision was a little too hasty, however.
"Three months later (I) figured out not everybody was going to buy what I was selling," Bowe said.
He had to take a job in Knoxville to make ends meet, while continuing his reclamation business on the side. He eventually made enough to move back to West Virginia, set up shop in Greenbrier County and formed his business, Antique Cabins and Barns, 16 years ago.
In the beginning, Bowe just drove around West Virginia's back roads looking for old buildings.
"I just knocked on doors," he said.
He eventually made his way to Kentucky, where he met fellow reclaimers Johnny Jett and Sherman Thompson. The men became fast friends, and Jett and Thompson eventually began working for Bowe in 1998.
Since then they have completed dozens of projects, everything from backyard potting sheds to multi-million dollar homes.
Antique Cabins and Barns was hired to build a recreation of Abraham Lincoln's boyhood home, which now stands in Lincoln's presidential library in Springfield, Ill.
The company also built a recreation of a slave's cabin at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate in Virginia.
But Bowe said one of his proudest accomplishments was a refurbished Logan County cabin that now stands in the West Virginia Culture and History Museum.
The museum's former cabin was made of telephone polls.