Our Building plans

Our building plans

by Lynn

So what do building plans in Alaska look like? It depends on who you ask! Everyone has their own stories, their own experiences, their strengths, and their weaknesses. Everyone also has their own set of goals. We are no exception!

The other night, Daryl and I made our first video to share with you guys. After all this time, we just wanted to introduce ourselves and give a short description of what our plans are. After many bloopers (I could not stop laughing because I was nervous lol) and edits, we realized a few things we left out that we wanted to share. I guess that is the learning curve with being new to YouTube (and the fact that I’m not too fond of the camera, haha)

So, here this is, and below I will share some stuff we forgot!

Living in Alaska – Our Building Plans (for now)

So What Did We Leave Out?

A lot. We left out a lot. I want to share some details of this journey with you, and that way, as they change and get tweaked to our needs, you will be able to follow along. So many people think they are just stuck where they are or with what they are doing. Others might not know where to start. We have had all those feelings and are still learning and will continue to learn along the way.

So as you heard in the video, we have no plans of ever leaving Alaska. Once I finally got here, I always said that would be it for me. If you have read how we got our land this year, you will know the backstory of that, so now I will share the details of what we plan to do.

To Stay Or Go

We were able to pick up an RV that had a blown motor cheaply. We pounced on it because of our plans.

The RV

The theme song for Holiday Road from National Lampoon’s Vacation comes to mind, to be honest with you, when I think of some of the finer details of our plans, which makes me chuckle, which is okay!

The first question is whether we will stay in the rent house we are currently in or live in our RV while we build at this point?

That will all be determined by a few things at the moment.

Daryl is still not back at his regular job as I write this. If this is still the case come spring, we will have to wait and see what that entails. Everything, as far as that is concerned, will determine that outcome.

Living in an RV from May through September does not bother me. But, living in it while we build in the winter months is a whole different story. Can it be done? Yes, but there are many things to do to make that happen. In our area, the last thing you want to do is be caught unprepared when winter sets in.

The Old House

It’s an old trailer that mother nature has been in the process of reclaiming for quite some time now. It has to go. There is no saving it.

Inside the old trailer
Standing outside the front door, looking in.
Outside

Not everything is going to be a loss, however.

Living in Alaska – Alaska Chicken Coop

The man who used to live on this place did tire repair. This was the little shop he used to repair those tires. Soon it will be a coop with a covered area and chicken runs that I can see from the front of the house once it’s built to keep an eye on the girls.

The moment I saw this and went inside, I knew what I wanted to use it for. I rarely stake claim to things without Daryl and me forging a plan together, but I knew that this would be the future home for our chickens with some cleanup and TLC!

future chicken coop

Daryl was on board. Yay!

As you can see from some of the pictures I got with my phone, my hands were shaking more than average just out of excitement!

future chicken coop
Fall Views of the future chicken coop

Garden

We will have a small greenhouse offset from the kitchen in the house that I can access from inside to grow my herbs and other things that will get the heat from the woodstove in the winter months that faces the south. We are also going to have a big garden. Details of that are still being hatched out.

House Plans

It will just be a very well insulated A-Frame.

It will have about 900 square feet of living space downstairs and 300+ in the loft.

Our original plans were to have 800 square feet of living space, but we increased this to allow a utility room in the house itself. This will enable us to have indoor water tanks like we currently have in the rent house because we will be hauling our water. The arctic sub-zero temps this area gets in the winter will not allow outside storage.

Will You Have Running Water?

Yes, we will have running water.

A common misconception of a dry cabin is that you have no water at all.

You haul it in. (or have it hauled in if there is a company that does that in your area). Everyone has their own kind of setup. For us, we will have the tanks in the back of the house with Flex Pex pipes running to the sinks, shower, and toilet, with Sharkbite (Made in the USA) fittings. Everything will be run inside because there is nothing worse than frozen pipes!

Will You Be On Grid or Off Grid?

Since there is already an old pole set up on the property, for the time being, we will be on-grid once we move onto the property. If there are any issues, we will be completely off-grid faster than expected. The only reason we are doing it this way is to save costs upfront so we can get the house dried in, insulated, and livable while we finish. This project is not going to be done in one season.

The water, of course, is off the grid from the start and will stay that way. There are no public water utilities for many miles.

What Will you Heat With?

Our primary source of heat will be a wood cookstove. Some folks are already giving me a hard time about this, and that’s okay. I am looking forward to it, however. If you knew how many old-school things we do anyway, a wood cookstove would add to it. Plus, my cast iron skillets will love it too.

Below is the Kitchen Queen (Made in the USA) in large and small models.

Kitchen Queen

We are going with the larger model on the right, but it will have the warming shelf doors as seen on the left. We have done lots of research on various models and asked others who own different models lots of questions.

We will also have a small Toyo stove as backup, but I do not foresee it being used unless we are gone or in an emergency. We have chosen to have a backup because of the winter climate. There are days in the winter in our area that it will drop to -50 below and sometimes a little colder.

So as of right now, that is the plan!

We look forward to sharing more with everyone!

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