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  • Tok

    Hi all,

    So, I'm handy but basically no foundation or cabin building experience.
    I have land that is roughly, 4 miles south of Tok down the cutoff and 1 mile west.
    It has white spruce and aspen. I've not dug holes yet to determine soil, frostline, permafrost, etc...
    I was hoping in advance, to find someone on the forum either familiar with the area or even perhaps
    someone who has land there, or has built a cabin in the area; and benefit from their experiences.

    No specific question, just general advice, generate possible contacts, etc...
    I've been doing the usual reading (cabin books, searches on this forum, googling, etc...)
    This will basically be a summer time use cabin, but don't want a shanty.

    Photos of the road and general landscape.


  • #2
    Beautiful looking land!

    I'd say judging by the trees you likely have good soil and don't have issues with swampy land.

    It's really hard to give any recommendations as there are several options for foundations that come down to the weight of your cabin, what type of tools you plan to use, how much you plan to spend, etc. And really until you dig down to see what type of soil you have, there is no way to know as soil type can very tremendously even within relatively short distances.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


    • #3
      aspen is a great sign that you won't have much issue wit permafrost


      • #4
        That land is in a generally perfrost free area. It is on a "large gravel pit" (all of Tok is on a gravel pit). Water is about 80 ft down at about wher you are. I have lived in Tok for about 30 years, have land less then a mile away as well as several other pieces in the Tok area. have built a house and cabins. If you have any questions just ask away. I'll try and answer them if I can.

        Today it snowed a couple to three of inches. It will hopefully melt off because it is 29 degress out but is predicted to get a little colder over the next few days. But have picked up the yard, hoses, etc. yesterday so not in to bad of shape if it snows till May (It can and has).


        • #5
          Been a while since I posted, but thank you; Paul, greenmachine, and John.
          I appreciate your feedback.


          • #6
            Hi John, let me start by saying thank you for the offer for the Q&A.

            We would like to build a small seasonal cabin, off grid, outhouse.

            Over time put maybe a septic-leach field, perhaps solar and wind power.
            If enough power, then a well. We'd do as much work as we can manage and
            within reason and skill.

            We found that taking the Tok cutoff onto Tony Conrad, down Haus, to John Taylor
            was a doable route with the 4x4 camper. However, Tony conrad and Haus
            could get impassable at times.

            So who does road improvements if anyone at all?
            If I took a load of gravel, could I start filling in the ruts, etc..?

            Does the Tok community or State make improvements?
            Any words on road improvements?

            We noted that our "neighbor" lot had a gravel pad that looked like it was brought in.
            There's a guy from Juneau that built nearby, it looks like he scraped the vegetation then a post and pier, D logs from Youngs.

            If any others have suggestions, tips, etc... please post.
            You can also PM me if you like as well.

            Thank you, Isaac


            • #7
              So replying to my own thread here for anyone who is interested in the tale of this lot and/or just building in AK or Tok specifically.
              The second step for me, at least; getting a driveway and pad put it.

              FYI: all the arranging for this was done via email and one phone call.
              I found Burnham construction to be straightshooter and they did a great job.
              It did help (I think) for me to have provided a couple of maps with the general idea of what I wanted overlayed.
              I had GPS'd the location that I thought would work out best, etc...
              Being a local and very experienced, Burnham suggested a couple of mods and after that it was just a wait until it had warmed up enough.
              The work was completed in mid June and these photos are from mid July.

              The driveway into the pad:

              The burial site for the cleared trees, etc...

              (may look for a small conex or something for this spot depending on how it settles out)

              Next, wait until the gravel settles a bit and perhaps a dry cabin for summer usage....


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