About the show

What does it take to build a house totally off the grid in some of the most unforgiving terrain on the planet? We follow a cast of characters who set out to construct three incredible cabins in the obscure Alaskan wilderness. With no roads and no building supply centers, they’ll have to get creative in a new season of Building Alaska .

The Faces of "Building Alaska"

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Chuck Gerwig, Builder
The Matanuska Glacier Project

Chuck is building a retirement home for his clients, Rebecca and Cleve Steadman. The home is a two-story 20'x50' luxury log cabin to be built at the base of Matanuska Glacier. Matanuska is the largest glacier in Alaska that can be reached by vehicle. A trip to town from the site is about a three-hour drive.

Jim Wagner, Builder
The Gustavus Project

Jim Wagner is a resident of Gustavus, Alaska, near Juneau. The population of Gustavus is 400. Jim plans to build his wilderness getaway in Chicken, Alaska — some 387 miles from Gustavus, as the crow flies. The population of Chicken: Seven.

Lee Raymond, Builder
The Quiet Lake Project

Lee Raymond is a resident of Chugiak, Alaska. The build site for his retirement home — dubbed "Lee's Nest Egg" — is on Quiet Lake near Mt. McKinley, and about 70 miles northwest of Anchorage. It's the most remote of the three projects and is only accessible by float plane in summer or snowmobile in winter.

Jim Wagner and Family
The Gustavus Project

Jim's extended family includes 22 children and grandchildren, and the whole family is pitching in on the cabin build. Here, from left to right, are Aaron (Jim's stepson and right-hand man), Faith, Jordan, Tanya (Jim's wife), Matti and Jim.

Chuck Gerwig and Family
The Matanuska Glacier Project

From left to right: Gerwig family members Tiffany, Brolene, Chuck, Joe and Benjamin, along with workers Mark and Caleb.

Lee Raymond and Team
The Quiet Lake Project

From left to right: Lee Raymond, Matt Moore, Mike Bragg, Arlen Simmons and Lee's right-hand man, Earl Bragg.

Team Gustavus
Jim Wagner

Jim is building the main structure for his two-story log cabin in Gustavus, meticulously marking each log for identification. The structure will then be disassembled and its components trucked more than 400 miles to its final destination where it will be reassembled. Jim is known as a perfectionist who may take a full day to precisely scribe and prep a single log by hand.

Team Gustavus
Tanya Wagner

Jim's wife Tanya assists with the cabin build and accompanies him on the trip transporting the cabin components 400 miles to Chicken, Alaska. "This is definitely going down in the books for the Wagner family," she says of the whole adventure, "We're definitely going to remember this forever."

Team Gustavus
Aaron Patrick

Each log being used in the Gustavus project is carefully cut and prepped by Jim and his sons and stepsons. Jim's boys Shane, Aaron (pictured here) and Shawn run a logging company nearby in Gustavus.

Team Gustavus
Aaron Patrick

For this project, Jim Wagner and his crew are working hemlock trees which typically grow straight trunks and produce strong, easy-to-work timber that grows harder with age.

Team Matanuska
Chuck Gerwig

Chuck Gerwig is not only a highly skilled builder, he also spent ten years as an Alaskan glacier guide.

Team Matanuska
Ryan Beachy

Ryan Beachy, Chuck's right-hand man on the build, supervises the installation of the scissor trusses that will support the cabin's roof and form the vaulted ceiling inside. Prior to this cabin project, Ryan had worked with Chuck for seven years.

©7D #1

Team Matanuska

Chuck's daughter, Tiffany Gerwig, pitched in on a range of tasks and was there to help see the Matanuska cabin project through to completion.

Team Matanuska

Mae Pauling, interior designer for the Matanuska cabin, made the 90-minute trek from her headquarters in Wasilla, Alaska. Mae assisted with kitchen design and the selection and placement of cabinetry, appliances, etc.

Team Matanuska

The luxurious 2,600-square-foot retirement home Chuck's building at the foot of Matanuska glacier is designed and constructed to be super energy-efficient.

Team Quiet Lake
Lee Raymond

Lee has the experience necessary for the kind of project he's undertaking at the remote Quiet Lake site. He has previously built nearly 50 cabins, all constructed to survive the severe Alaskan weather and conditions.

Team Quiet Lake
Lee Raymond and Earl Bragg

Like Jim Wagner, Lee and his crew are harvesting the timber for the log structure right at the site of the build. Lee selects standing trees that have already died since that will make for timber that is essentially "pre-seasoned" and hardened. This avoids the necessity for kiln-drying the wood.

Team Quiet Lake

Lee's wife, Gail Raymond

Team Quiet Lake

Lee's right-hand man, Earl Bragg

Team Quiet Lake

Lee's dog, Timber

An Alaska Native at Quiet Lake

Alaska Factoid: More than 50 percent of America's remaining wilderness can be found in the state of Alaska.

Team Quiet Lake

Mike Bragg and Matt Moore use draw planes to hand-peel bark from the logs that will serve as support posts and beams for the cabin.

Team Quiet Lake
Matt Moore

Once the ground began to thaw, one of Matt and Mike's tasks was to build a section of access road near the build site. It required more than 60 trips in a four-wheeler, hauling individual loads of gravel and sand.

Team Quiet Lake

Lee Raymond takes a break from the cabin construction for an afternoon of sheep-hunting with his son Aaron and assistants Mike and Matt.
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Watch Highlights from Building Alaska

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Season 2, Episode 2

Grip It And Rip It

As the summer season starts to thaw out in Alaska, the builders get underway. But their pre-planning doesn't make perfect. The Alaskan elements are stubborn at all three build sites, but a little ingenuity goes a long way.

Friday
May 1
2pm | 1c
Season 2, Episode 5

A Long Hard Slog

After battling the tragedy of the loss of his righthand man, Ryan Beachy, Chuck Gerwig is back in the saddle and ready to finish the job that he and Ryan started months earlier. 312 miles northeast in Chicken, Alaska, Jim Wagner and crew are at a near standstill due to a nonstop rain that has turned their man-made road into an impassible swamp. And with a concrete truck due any minute, will they be able to get it fixed before they risk losing any hope of getting the foundation poured? Finally, Lee Raymond has been fighting the same weather since he started and he's still behind. Now he's losing his number one crew to college, so his final push will have to be with a brand new crew that can afford no errors.

Friday
May 1
5pm | 4c
Season 2, Episode 2

Grip It And Rip It

As the summer season starts to thaw out in Alaska, the builders get underway. But their pre-planning doesn't make perfect. The Alaskan elements are stubborn at all three build sites, but a little ingenuity goes a long way.

Friday
Jun 12
6pm | 5c
Season 3, Episode 12

The Final Push

Lee is down to just a crew of three as he races to finish the interior of the cabin before the lake freezes over and prevents their floatplane from landing. Tony's crew discovers a serious miscalculation that will force them to miss their deadline unless a miracle occurs, and Derek and his crew push through the endless rainfall, dangerous conditions and dwindling materials to complete the project.

Wednesday
Oct 7
3am | 2c
Season 4, Episode 6

Independence Day

Rich and his team race to stay ahead of the helicopter drops. Is a new builder on Tom's site a friend or foe? And an eight point earthquake leaves Creig's build on shaky ground.

Wednesday
Nov 11
12am | 11c
Season 2, Episode 8

The End Game

Winter has arrived and the race is over. It's time for each of our builders to come to terms with their end games as they pack up and head home for the season. To say this year has been a challenge would be an understatement. From lakes, to glaciers, to areas savaged by fire, nothing was immune from Alaska's hostile nature. Whether that came in the form of brutal weather, extreme fatigue, or even death, it had to be endured and overcome. And although the men, their homes and the sites were vastly different, they all can lay claim to the same victory in surviving Alaska's wrath. Now is the time to shutter in, rest, and take stock in what matters for in just a few short months the season will change again and usher in a new chapter of Building Alaska.

Sunday
Nov 22
10am | 9c
Season 3, Episode 3

Destructive Forces

Tony Malone's crew outside of Haines, Alaska, get a visit from a hungry bear. Builder Lee Raymond faces challenges when working closely with family. Derek Galbraith reveals the tragic story behind the heli-skiing industry in Valdez, Alaska.

Saturday
Jan 23
9am | 8c
Season 3, Episode 10

Heads Up

The drama at Derek's cliffside build near Valdez escalates after rain saturates the region and an accident on the roof almost takes out a crew member. Tony leaves his build in Bobby's hands to tend to another job and returns to find an injury has occurred. Lee discovers the culprit behind a messy footprint while the crew faces sketchy conditions to install the custom windows on their 2500 square foot Bulchitna Lake build.

Thursday
Jul 21
3pm | 2c
Season 5, Episode 10

Alaskan Mobile Home

Builder Mike Williams falls further behind schedule due to wet weather and unforseen obstacles in Eagle Song. On Shelter Island, builders Dave Bartlett and Hans Moser get a surprise visit and much needed help to finish the cabin, but they still need to make a trip to town in order to complete the build. Builder Adam Tschappat disassembles his cabin at the log yard and begins transporting it to his build site in the Wrangell Mountains.

Tuesday
Aug 16
11am | 10c
Season 4, Episode 3

Rock Around the Build

Rich's island build is literally between a rock and a hard place, Tom gets a lesson in logging and Creig feels the sting of remote building and shoddy materials.

Tuesday
Oct 11
11am | 10c
Season 4, Episode 9

Muscle Power

Remote building often means no machines, but that's no problem as Rich's team uses brute strength to muscle up the 800lb mainframe beam. It's all hands on deck at Tom's build as lumber shortages linger and Creig finally gets things to line up just as he loses his last helper.

Sunday
Oct 30
3pm | 2c
Season 7, Episode 2

Hard Work Beats Talent

Reality sets in for first-time extreme cabin builder Nick Blanco in Alaska as he fights the tides trying to retrieve pylons for his foundation and realizes he doesn't have the right equipment to dig postholes. Then Brannon's team gets stuck on the muddy trail bringing in more build materials, but eventually makes good progress on the front porch before an unexpected rainstorm shuts them down. Jere and Ben continue to build the massive aluminum barge one weld at a time, but when signs of fall creep in, the colder temperatures start to cause problems.

Sunday
Feb 26
10pm | 9c
Season 7, Episode 7

Home Stretch

All the builders are in the home stretch in Alaska as they try to finish their cabins and floating lodge. Jere and Ben install interior and exterior siding, but their progress comes to a halt when they run out of stain and nails. So they switch to Plan B, installing the upstairs stove and chimney. Nick's roof is dried in, so he turns to finishing the sleeping loft, building a bathroom and adding outside trim. Brannon's team finishes the exterior siding and interior insulation and installs lights.

Monday
Mar 20
12am | 11c
Season 7, Episode 1

Building Alaska, the New Generation

A new generation of builders tackles the Alaskan wilds to build off-the-grid cabins. First-time builder Nick faces some harsh realities when he can't use the trees on his build site for lumber. Brannon's team develops a unique foundation system to build on permafrost, but they must fight nature every step of the way. Father and son team Jere and Ben take on a massive 5,000-square-foot floating lodge project, the most challenging and dangerous build ever attempted on Building Alaska!

Friday
Oct 20
11am | 10c
Season 7, Episode 2

Hard Work Beats Talent

Reality sets in for first-time extreme cabin builder Nick Blanco in Alaska as he fights the tides trying to retrieve pylons for his foundation and realizes he doesn't have the right equipment to dig postholes. Then Brannon's team gets stuck on the muddy trail bringing in more build materials, but eventually makes good progress on the front porch before an unexpected rainstorm shuts them down. Jere and Ben continue to build the massive aluminum barge one weld at a time, but when signs of fall creep in, the colder temperatures start to cause problems.

Friday
Oct 20
12pm | 11c
Season 7, Episode 3

Noah's Barge

Jere, Ben and Tim put the finishing touches on the biggest project they've undertaken: building a 112-foot floating barge. They struggle with figuring out how to get a 40-foot trailer underneath it so they can transport it to the water, and hurricane-force winds change their plans and delay the launch. Nick gets help from his family and friends, but the group struggles trying to install the 27 pilings needed to build his dream fishing lodge and warehouse. In the end they solve the problem using some Alaskan ingenuity. Finally, Brannon's cabin starts taking shape as the crew does some heavy lifting putting up the gable end walls.

Friday
Oct 20
1pm | 12c
Season 7, Episode 4

Stuck in Shelikof

Nick experiences firsthand just how dangerous living in Alaska can be while hunting for driftwood to build his fishing lodge and warehouse. Jere and Ben's 112-foot barge starts its half-mile journey to the water, but nobody knows if they will make high tide so the barge can float the 13 miles to its new home at Alaska Sea Otter Sound Lodge. Brannon's team fights the rain and the remote building conditions to finally lift the ridge beam into place, hitting a major milestone in his cabin build.

Friday
Oct 20
2pm | 1c
Season 7, Episode 5

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Rain and a muddy trail continue to slow down Brannon's cabin build, but despite their dampened spirits, the gang is able to haul the windows across the two-mile trail. Nick makes a roof design change, and a family fundraiser collects enough money to provide him with some help. Jere and Ben finally get the barge launched and tugged to its new home in Sea Otter Sound so that work on the second story of the lodge can begin.

Friday
Oct 20
3pm | 2c
Season 7, Episode 6

Honey Bucket

Nick races to finish his cabin before his mom visits again. Bears are still a threat, so Nick makes sure the electric fence is working. Nick and Kent design and build a "honey bucket," also known as an Alaskan toilet. Brannon and his team finish the front of the cabin, giving it a unique look, and they haul a heavy wooden stove over the trail to install in the cabin. Jere and Ben's crew struggles to get the roof on the guest rooms and the main lodge.

Friday
Oct 20
4pm | 3c
Season 7, Episode 7

Home Stretch

All the builders are in the home stretch in Alaska as they try to finish their cabins and floating lodge. Jere and Ben install interior and exterior siding, but their progress comes to a halt when they run out of stain and nails. So they switch to Plan B, installing the upstairs stove and chimney. Nick's roof is dried in, so he turns to finishing the sleeping loft, building a bathroom and adding outside trim. Brannon's team finishes the exterior siding and interior insulation and installs lights.

Friday
Oct 20
5pm | 4c
Season 7, Episode 8

Grand Finale

Nick's dad, Paul, returns to help put the finishing touches on the cabin, including a unique find that they polish and hang. Nick's mom and stepdad arrive, and Nick's mom is amazed by the finished cabin. Brannon's team builds countertops and railings for the cabin, and his client, Dick, arrives with his family to admire their newly finished lodge. Jere and Ben put in hard work finishing the new Sea Otter Sound Lodge, and the first guests arrive at the 5,000-square-foot floating lodge.

Friday
Oct 20
6pm | 5c
Season 6, Episode 1

Game On

The three build teams kick off their builds and each faces unique challenges while building in the remote Alaskan wilderness. Bruce Chambers and his crew begin building a cabin on LaTouche Island, while Mark Sams and his team begin building a cabin in Freshwater Bay. Then, Dave Poppert and his family begin building a family home on Point MacKenzie.

Tuesday
Nov 7
11am | 10c
Season 6, Episode 2

Piece of the Pie

Bruce Chambers and his crew run out of supplies, putting their cabin build at a standstill. Mark Sams and his crew are challenged to make their foundation level and square, and Dave Poppert and his family deal with a non-functional milling machine while working on their family home.

Tuesday
Nov 7
12pm | 11c
Season 6, Episode 3

The Wrong Stuff

The three build teams continue their builds in unique, remote Alaskan settings. At Bruce Chambers' build site on LaTouche Island, their worst nightmare becomes a reality when their backup generator dies. On Mark Sams' build in Freshwater Bay, near Hoonah, one of his crew is missing, and Mark hopes for the best. Dave Poppert is rolling solo despite the risks of building alone off the grid at Point MacKenzie, near Wasilla.

Tuesday
Nov 7
1pm | 12c
Season 6, Episode 4

Stormy Weather

The three build teams continue their builds in unique, remote Alaskan settings. At Bruce Chambers' build on LaTouche Island, getting the log walls up continues to be a nightmare, but Bruce finds the perfect way to let off some steam. On Chichagof Island, Mark Sams and his crew endure pounding rain that makes the build miserable. At Dave Poppert's build, he and his team race against Mother Nature to get the roof up before the snow falls in Point MacKenzie.

Tuesday
Nov 7
2pm | 1c
Season 6, Episode 5

Seasonal Squeeze

The three teams continue their builds in unique, remote Alaskan settings. At Bruce Chambers' build on LaTouche Island, the team wrestles giant glulam beams into place and the situation turns disastrous after a poorly cut beam pushes out an entire wall. At Mark Sams' build on Chichagof Island, things get scary when the guys lose control of a 700-pound ridge beam. At Dave Poppert's build near Point MacKenzie, his lumber mill takes a hit after an order gets cancelled and reduces funds for his dream retirement home.

Tuesday
Nov 7
3pm | 2c

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