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Thread: Finally beginning the dream!

  1. #1
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    Default Finally beginning the dream!

    Several years ago my wife and I purchased about 8 acres near Denali.
    I have a ticket to ANC and a rental car scheduled for the 30th of August. I am gonna stop off and pick up a chainsaw I ordered online then head north. I'll probably stop off and pick up some fuel cans and concrete mix and a shovel.(I have a lengthy list of needs).
    When I get to the property I will locate the boundary, which I have previously found on recent trips. I will then determine the best location for a cabin-near enough to the creek and road but far enough to not be seen. I will clear away enough standing wood to keep falling trees from damaging the cabin. Then I will locate the cabin.
    I'll use string lines to locate the piers, I'll dig down till it gets solid-hopefully not too far, and pour some piers. Then I intend to cut down any trees I can find that are of sufficient size to build the cabin with. I should be able to tell if there are enough good trees while I am locating the boundary. I will cut them just longer than needed and stack them till my next visit.
    I have to leave on the 15th of September so I have a lot of work to do! What have I missed? Any questions, or comments? I am very excited! P.S. I have a moose tag too just in case I have a spare second....

  2. #2

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    Good luck Nick! Glad to see that your dream is beginning to take shape. I'm heading out for caribou again this year with 40 Mile, hope our luck is close to what you and I experienced in 2010!

    Michael

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    Oh Michael! I have no doubt that you will do well! Is it a similar situation, is he hunting horns while you hunt meat? It was nice if you to allow me the first shot, and even nicer to pack my caribou for me! The photos we took are some of the best I have ever seen. I hear the 40 mile country calling me back, soon my friend, soon.

  4. #4

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    Suggest you contact "DENALI DIRT WORKS" to build a drive after you lay off the trees for the drive to the building site. You could also have them clear the building site. Enjoy your project.......dreams are wonderful.

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    I'll make contact with them next month.
    I forgot, I also have to build a permanent panel for the electrical company to tie into...

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    You make many a man jealous with what you are doing. Sounds like an awesome adventure you are starting.

    You must already have the plans for the cabin set in stone as you said you are going to dig the holes and pour the concrete. Seems like you will be coming back a bit later (months maybe) to continue the work. I would suggest holding off on any of the cabin "construction" until you are set to spend more time on just the construction aspect. Why? You may find that between now and actual build of the cabin that you want to change things up a bit on the structure itself and you would have poured a lot of concrete for not and in the wrong locations. If me, I would concentrate on the property and site improvements, etc. Pad prep, clearing and grubbing, stack timber, plan construction site setup, etc, etc.

    Whether this thread or a new one we all would like to see a "cabin build thread". Would be a great read. Best of luck.

    Btw, may Be a good idea to rent a truck to carry tools and supplies. Where do you stay while at your property. Tent?

  7. #7
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    SKRAP,
    I intend to realize the dream I had as a youth in Northern Idaho. I love my family-they are fortunate that I did not see Alaska as an option when I was 18! I am bringing my youngest daughter with me. It has been years since we shared a camp although this one will be slightly different. We are bringing a tent but intend to sleep in the rental if the weather turns sideways.
    The property is ours-our whole family. years ago we started placing change in an empty water bottle for a dream vacation, then, several years ago we all agreed to buy land in Alaska instead. We used the change and paid nearly half the asking price! Now here we are, several years later beginning our cabin.
    Over the years we have looked at many cabin variations and have finally settled on a plan. If it fits the area I will pour some mud. I do intend to clear the area so that falling trees do no damage. i also will clear the area for the overhead power line. I hope to cut and stack all of the needed trees for drying over the winter. Then my wife and I will begin the actual cabin next spring.
    I am taking 2 still cameras, 1 video camera and my go-pro-I hope to have bunches of pics/video for a 'cabin build thread'. We leave in seven days.
    Next to that time my mother-in-law came to visit, this is going to be the longest week of my life!!!

  8. #8

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    If possible you should think about a under ground power line then you might not to clear as many trees.Plus it just looks better.

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    I just had my overhead lines moved underground to the tune of $3k! Wish it had been that way from the start and will opt for underground every time in the future. Less wind issues and now I can get my camper into the yard for storage and heavy equipment in if needed.
    Last edited by LuJon; 09-07-2013 at 00:18.

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    I had another person suggest underground, are the costs about the same or what? Do I need to mark it for future archeologists? I have everything piled high in my living room just waiting for the day. Feels like my first trip to Alaska back in 2003! This will be my eighth trip in ten years, my wife thinks I may be addicted.
    How well do I need to clear the lot? I don't need to be able to drive around the whole thing or have a big lawn to mow, but I don't want stumps poking up all over either.

  11. #11

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    I too would vote for the buried power line. At the edge of your driveway/trail makes it easy for everyone. When buried the company providing that service should mark it with bright red tape about 3' above the actual line to avoid accidental excavation. I recall that it has to be buried to a depth of 5 or 6'. That is here in Anch. May be different if you are doing business with someone other than CEA/MLP.

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    Clearing for overhead powerlines consists of dropping the trees. Underground lines need to also have the roots grubbed, adding cost. Installing underground is 2-5 times more expensive. Materials are more costly and the number of labor hours are higher. The terrain and location can add cost also. I am in the business of building powerlines. I am also planning the line into my cabin. I am going overhead to my line of sight and then dipping underground.
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    I am not sure I have 2/3 times the expense built into the budget-cheap dude. I am going to have to concentrate on the ground work at first. I REALLY hope I have enough mature trees to build a cabin with. If not I will work on the cabin foundation and clearing area this fall and purchase some cabin logs in the spring. When stacking logs, is there a preferred method? Many of the logs are going to be 8" x 24' so I will not be able to move them very far wet. Yes, I have seen Dick Proenneke's video and YES I am trying to follow suit. I want to do as much as I can by myself with hard work and the help of my wife and daughter. I suppose crown up? stacked? cut to length allowing for some shrinkage? I only have 4 more days!!!!!!!!!!

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    I don't know much about log cabin construction but I know you should peel the logs to prevent rotting. Also, the time of year when you cut the tree down makes a big difference on how easy it is to peel. I'd look more into that before you cut too many trees you intend to use on the cabin.

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    If the power is close enough to the property line, simply have them drop the power to your property line into what is called a remote pedestal. Your meter is at the pedestal and you can dig in the line to your place with a mini-excavator(depending on distance) without an additional transformer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    If the power is close enough to the property line, simply have them drop the power to your property line into what is called a remote pedestal. Your meter is at the pedestal and you can dig in the line to your place with a mini-excavator(depending on distance) without an additional transformer.
    Ya and just stop and see Doug and get some wood to build a nice cabin with a metal roof and forget the BS log cabin idea.

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    I too would not think that green timber is not the best idea for a log cabin, I know they did this in the old days. Seems to me too invest a lot of work and money into something that will creep as the walls dry then will start to root in time. Just saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    If the power is close enough to the property line, simply have them drop the power to your property line into what is called a remote pedestal. Your meter is at the pedestal and you can dig in the line to your place with a mini-excavator(depending on distance) without an additional transformer.
    With all due respect I would not agree with the pedestal on the property line method. While it may well be cheaper, the consumer (that u) must install and MAINTAIN that UG line for its eternity. Want to know when they usually go bad? If u guessed the middle of the worst part of winter or spring u would be correct. Very very expensive and difficult for a home/cabin owner to get repaired. If the electric company puts its in, they are responsible and WILL fix it. If a homeowner does elect to put their own wire in from a remote ped, be advised it is very easy to nick, dent, or otherwise mishandle your wire. You may want to put your wire in some sort of conduit (PVC) to protect your asset and provide a possible easy removal or replacement if necessary (although the chance of going bad in conduit is highly unlikely, done correctly. )
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  19. #19

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    I don't think that there is a high probability of line problems.I installed mine under ground in 1979 when I built my house and as of this post it is still working with no problems. I also know others that did the same at about the same date again no problems.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bend View Post
    I don't think that there is a high probability of line problems.I installed mine under ground in 1979 when I built my house and as of this post it is still working with no problems. I also know others that did the same at about the same date again no problems.
    You are correct. There is NOT a "high probability" of them going bad. I fix them for a living. I know of what I say here. WHEN they go bad, they go bad at the worst times. I am only giving warning. I know LOTS of folks that do it. I also know the results of when they go bad. If you are all snug in your cabin and your line goes bad at 10 below and you have no one handy to get your power back on... That's all I'm saying. Usually cabins are somewhat remote and electricians etc are hard to come by on a moments notice. If you are competent with electricity, go for it.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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