Jared "Cappie" Capp and his teenage stepdaughter Alex Headley build "one-of-a-kind creations" on 'Building Outside the Lines'
Fifteen year old Alex Headley wants to build a multi-story glass building out of a transmission tower.
While driving down the highway with her stepdad, Jared “Cappie” Capp, Headley pointed out the window at one of the latticed, 100-foot-tall structures.
“She says, ‘Yeah, the geometric shapes, we can just fill them with glass windows and have an elevator in the middle,” Capp, 46, tells PEOPLE.
This exchange of imaginative ideas is the foundation for Capp and Headley’s new show Building Outside the Lines on Chip and Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Network, the first season of which premiered Dec. 26 with two episodes. From man caves built into hillsides to swimming pools constructed from shipping containers, the duo combine their genius to complete “one-of-a-kind” projects.
“He brings the experience, and I bring the new fresh ideas,” Headley says in the show’s trailer, above.
Headley’s mother, Rachel, hired Capp as a contractor in 2015 to remodel an 1898 farmhouse. Over the next eight months, he and Rachel “started getting a little sweet on each other,” he says, and eventually they began a relationship.
His bond with Alex, however, was not as instant.
It took “months of learning and getting to know each other,” according to Capp. One night when Rachel put a then-6-year-old Alex to bed, Capp was going to "get the guts” to kiss her goodnight on the forehead.
“She just straight-arms me right to the face,” the Pangea Design Group owner tells PEOPLE. “I retreated from the bedroom and then for the next couple of weeks, I'd stand by the door, and I'd say good night.”
At age 7, Alex began assisting her stepfather on his home projects. The trade runs in her family, as one of her grandfathers was a builder, while the other was an electrician. The more she worked with Capp, though, the more she gained “an appreciation for the complexity” of construction work.
“I never knew how complicated framing was to put up alone or plumbing, and I've learned a lot,” Alex tells PEOPLE. “That is something I very much value from the time I've gotten with Cappie.”
In Building Outside the Lines, Alex is research-oriented, finding creative methods to fulfill their unconventional projects. Capp, with his 13 years of construction credentials, handles the logistics. Together, they show off a dynamic rarely seen in home-makeover series: the stepparent and stepchild bond.
“That's one of the things I'm excited about, is to be able to share this relationship with the other stepparents and stepkids in the world,” Capp says.
The concept for the show sprouted from talks with Building Off the Grid producer Hannah Borrego, who now executive produces Building Outside the Lines. After Capp and Alex participated in a few episodes of the Discovery series, they brought their ideas to the production company Painless Productions. “[Executive Producer] Jim Casey saw some value in it and believed in us, and we took it to Magnolia and they believed in us as well,” Capp says.
Greenlit for a 10-episode first season, the duo filmed a majority of the episodes last summer — after completing a build for the pilot in less than a week. Of her favorite parts of shooting, Alex highlights the crew’s range of experiences. “For example, the head camera guy worked on Oprah and the sound guy worked on America's Got Talent, and there's just so many different stories that they have. That was really interesting to hear,” she says.
Capp focused on his stepdaughter’s work ethic — how she transitioned back and forth from “Alex the young woman and student” to “Alex the TV star.” He remembers how Alex, who attends high school online, would go from wrapping one scene to doing trigonometry homework on a picnic table. Her current interests include neuroscience, criminology, legal studies, international law and professional dance.
Asked what career she hopes to have, she replies, “The dream is Supreme Court justice, but that takes a few steps,” to her stepfather’s amused chuckle.
For now, they're balancing two worlds. “As you can imagine, filming anything like this is a lot of hours and a lot of stress and a lot of responsibility for everyone involved," Capp says. "When we'd have her back on set, she flipped that switch, and now she was Alex the young builder. For me, it was the pride of watching her very eloquently and gracefully dance through that.”
Based on the warm reception that the series has garnered on social media, a second season could be on the horizon. When asked about potential builds, Capp dreams of emulating Colorado’s natural hot springs. He says, “I actually want to make an underground cave that is a sauna. I haven't figured out entirely how I'm going to construct that yet.”
Building Outside the Lines airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Magnolia Network.
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