Meet an Inspiring Maker: Kyle Stumpenhorst

Oct 28, 2021 11:00 AM ET

Among the makers we’re celebrating this month – Kyle Stumpenhorst of Rural Renovators. With a computer science degree in his toolbelt, Kyle scrapped the office life to pursue a passion: quality home building.

From tradespeople and engineers to philanthropists and innovators – get to know these inspiring individuals in the trades.

How did you become a contractor?

I originally didn’t look to the trades as a potential career path. I went to college and had a 9-to-5 job for a while before I realized it wasn’t fulfilling and I needed a career shift. I then took on the task of remodeling an old farmhouse from start to finish and realized my passion for construction and building. Now I get to do what I love every day.

Are you self-taught?

I originally went to school looking to join the corporate world. When I decided it was time to leave that world, I took on a remodeling of an old farmhouse with the help of my dad’s limited DIY expertise and some insight from television shows. I spent the next two years remodeling from scratch and founded my own company Rural Renovators, custom building for Illinois and sharing building processes, tips, and expertise.

What does your company Rural Renovators specialize in?

Rural Renovators specializes in post frame construction, building for residential, agricultural, and commercial industries. I share a lot of our projects from start to finish on RR Buildings YouTube channel and Instagram as well as contractor expertise, advice and hacks.

What’s the first thing you remember making?

The first thing I remember making was a go-cart that my brother and I put together with scraps in my dad’s shed. We didn’t have a motor, so we took turns pushing each other on our back country road!

What excites you about the future of the trades?

The most exciting part about the trades for me is always knowing that I don’t know it all and that I haven’t done it all. There will always be something to learn and a first time for something new to continue challenging me.

What does it mean to you that people out there want to thank you and recognize you for being a maker?

To be honest, the fact that people are inspired or educated by my content means the world to me. I never set out to leave a mark on other professionals, I merely wanted to educate clients on who RR was as a company, but social media has turned into so much more, and I’m always humbled by other pros that let me know I’ve helped them in any way.

What does Maker Month mean to you?

For me, Maker Month is a time to be proud to do what I do. There are still some negative stereotypes surrounding the trades and it gives us a chance to share all the positive with the world. Hopefully through it all, someone will be motivated to go out and make their first project!

Find and follow Kyle on Instagram at @RRBuildings.