Building a Log Cabin in Alaska in Four Months: Using the Trees from Two Acres of Land

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Charles Underwood, Jan 19, 2012 - House & Home - 120 pages
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This book should be helpful as a “how to” guide for a man working alone to build a strong, yet simple log cabin made to last. It can be a log cabin that a man can be proud to call his home or for a getaway home on the weekend. I built the 13 by 41 foot cabin shell, including cutting down the trees and peeling off the bark, in three months while camping out in a tent. Cutting down the trees and peeling off the bark took more than half of the time in completing the shell of the cabin. It was hard work, but by using the trees on my property, and a couple that I got off the river’s gravel bar, I saved money and it gave me a more satisfying feeling of accomplishment as I lived my dream. I did the work by myself without anyone or any heavy log moving equipment helping. My wife, Su, and my then seven year old son, Anthony, helped me to work on the cabin mainly by freeing me from having to cook, clean, and do other daily chores while the cabin went up. We lived in a tent on our property for 4 months as we built the cabin. The extra month and a half was needed due to the not expected deep snow upon our arrival in March in Alaska, and having to survey the land before I could start cutting down trees. I give some special pointers that will help with building a log cabin in a cold, snowy place like Alaska, but most of what I write can be used to build a log cabin in a forested area anywhere. After three months’ work the cabin shell was up and we moved from our tents into the cabin, however, the well and plumbing, septic system, woodstove chimney, interior walls, electrical wiring, and 8 by 28 foot add-on to the side of the cabin, which are covered in varying details (less on the wiring and plumbing) in this book, were worked on as I got the time and money. Overall, to complete the cabin, it took about four to five months of my time. The 757 square foot cabin was completed in about four months’ time working long hours, six days a week. The long camping experience was an ordeal for my wife, but my son and I enjoyed it. We thank God for His help and guidance through it all. The plans contained in this book are designed to allow a man working alone to build a cabin in a short time that will last a life time. I include an additional chapter about building a pergola type patio cover out of red cedar. 59 pictures are included in this book. My first trip to Alaska was in 1981 when I went there looking for adventure and prospecting for gold. I wrote about that experience in the book: THE WILD STILL CALLS TO ALASKA: Looking for gold; Enjoying the wild!
 

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Contents

Contents Preface 1 FINDING THE RIGHT LAND
WHEN TO MOVE WHAT TO EXPECT AND HELPFUL IDEAS
LIVING IN A TENT FOR FOUR AND ONE HALF MONTHS
TOOLS
PLANS
GETTING STARTED
FOUNDATION SILL LOGS AND JOISTS
FLOORING AND UP WITH THE WALL PLATE LOGS AND BEAMS
DOORS AMD WINDOWS 10 THE ROOF
FINISHING UP AND HELPFUL IDEAS
WELL WATER
WOODSTOVE WOODSHED HEATING OIL FURNACE
ADDING ON TO SIDE OF CABIN
SEPTIC TANK AND LEACH FIELD
BUILDING A PERGOLA PATIO COVER
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

When I was in the fourth grade in elementary school, one of the books that my teacher read to the class was “Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The story of Laura and her families’ life, along with camp outs and canoe outings on the Brazos River in Texas, and some camp outs in Colorado and Wyoming, increased my desire for experiencing the outdoors. Another book that I liked and probably influenced my moving to Alaska was “White Fang” by Jack London. My dad read it to me (editing out some words) along with a Bible story at bedtime. Some of the reasons that we moved to Alaska were because I wanted us to be able to hike, and have access to the wilderness without a lot of fences and private property to worry about. I also wanted to build a log cabin in the semi-wilderness. It is always nice to have your home paid for and by building it myself I was able to realize that goal at an early age. My relationship with and absolute faith in my Savior Jesus Christ has been the foundation of my life and has up held me at all times and I am happy to express my thankfulness for the opportunity to live out my dream. My first trip to Alaska was in 1981. I wrote about that experience in the book titled: The WILD STILL CALLS TO ALASKA: Looking for Gold; Enjoying the Wild! We moved to Alaska and I built the log cabin in 1992 when I was 30 years old. We left ten years later heading back to Texas. It was ten years filled with adventure.

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