~Building a Log
Cabin in Alaska~
One night in the spring of 2004, probably at
2am, Aaron and I were sitting at the computer, each drinking a
beer, and looking for land in Alaska. We couldn't believe it when
we found a piece that wasn't only affordable....VERY affordable,
but was in our favorite area of Alaska. We bought our five acre
parcel of land and started dreaming up what we were going to do on
it. We told our folks we were going to build a cabin; I think my
parents didn't believe me and thought I was a little crazy! Aaron
and I were so excited we just started cutting trees, branches,
anything....oh the feeling of owning your own piece of land! Over
the course of five months Aaron and I drove every single weekend
five hours to our land and gradually a cabin came together.
Aaron's brother, Adam, joined us for 2.5 months; we'd never have
done it without his help! Please take your time on these pages,
click on the pictures to see the bigger view, and enjoy the
building process of a log cabin by two people who have never built
much of anything before! The links above will take you through
each process of the building. Originally all the photos were on
one page, but that was like 300 pictures, so I split the building
process up into six pages.
After buying five acres of land in Alaska, we started preparing the land
for this vision of a cabin we had. We used all our own logs from the land
for the walls. It was quite a process cutting them down and peeling
each by hand.
We really had no idea what we were doing. We had a book about building a
log home in Alaska that showed some variations of notches. We decided
to use the round notch. Each log we scribed to try and get a fit as
tight as possible. This wasn't easy with the crooked logs we had to
use. With each log placed, our cabin slowly took form.
With winter quickly closing in on us, we hurried along to get our cabin
closed from the outside elements. The first night we spent inside our
drafting cabin was luxurious. We had a stove to keep her warm, but
lots of trim work to do around the windows and ceiling to keep the winds
We could get the temperature inside up in the 70s, while outside it was
well below zero. We had high hopes of spending Christmas at our cabin,
but a nasty storm dashed our plans. Lots of work to do inside
yet. We spent the cold days building a log table, finishing up some rock
work around the stove, and drinking coffee.
Building stairs to the loft was a work of creativity. We didn't
like the first design, but are quite pleased with the second. Spent
the early spring finishing up more details inside and putting window covers
on to discourage the bears from trying to find a way in the cabin.
Some finishing touches for the outside with a porch and stairs.
Makes it much easier to get inside and out! Also finished up our
kitchen area in the cabin. River rock for a counter top is
interesting. Spent a day sealing the logs with Wood Guard, and
prepared the cabin for visitors.
We moved to our cabin for about three months during the late summer and
fall of 2006. We had to say the goodbye (temporarily) to the cabin as
we were moving back to Montana. I think I could live at the cabin for
a year or two and really enjoy it. It's fun trying to learn new tricks
when it comes to every day living in the woods without the comforts we are
At last we are back in Alaska, and this time for good. The cabin is in
great shape; almost exactly as we left it.
We desperately needed more sleeping space in our cabin now that we are a
family of five. We decided this was the time to do it! Check our our
bunkroom build addition to our cabin.