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 .

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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 3, Episode 6

Balancing Act

The builds are growing taller and the work more dangerous as Lee's crew must balance on a second story beam to get work done. Tony attempts to take a day off but stumbles upon a mysterious cabin that could be his next project. Meanwhile, Derek and his crew attempt to clear the site to create the ski hut's foundation pylons in the face of wicked winds, making it dangerous for the helicopter pilot to sling gravel to the guys.

Saturday
Mar 14
12am | 11c
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.

Tuesday
Mar 24
9pm | 8c
Season 3, Episode 8

Panic Button

Lee's crew must push through waves of mosquitoes and fatigue to finish the deck of their Bulchitna Lake build before the floatplane arrives to take them home for a day of rest. In Haines, Tony and his crew wrestle the largest and heaviest pieces of the build into place without any kind of machinery, and Derek pushes the panic button after more bad weather and mechanical problems delay his build once again.

Wednesday
Apr 1
10pm | 9c
Season 3, Episode 9

Game Day

Just as Derek and his band of buddies are about to give up on their dream of a cliffside ski hut, Alaska hands them a miracle that turns a down day into game day. Lee loses one of his hardest working crew members out at Bulchitna Lake just as they have to lift an 800 pound truss into place, and Tony's hideaway cabin is in good enough shape to take a break and fish for halibut on the Lynn Canal.

Wednesday
Apr 1
11pm | 10c
Season 2, Episode 3

Chicken or Bust

The three builders each face their own forms of adversity. Lee Raymond is struggling to get back on track after losing a month to bad weather and an impassable semi-frozen Quiet Lake. At the Matanuska Glacier, Chuck Gerwig has had perfect weather, but most of his labor is due to leave once fishing season starts in less than a month. And Jim Wagner has finished, numbered, and taken down his cabin in Gustavus, but now begins the arduous 500 mile transport to Chicken that will include two ferry rides, 2 border crossings and hopefully enough supplies to finish the re-build before winter sets in.

Sunday
Apr 5
8pm | 7c
Season 2, Episode 7

Downward Slide

As the days get shorter and colder, and snow is visible on the highest peaks, the builders frantically race to get their homes sealed in. Chuck Gerwig suffered a huge blow earlier in the summer with the loss of his righthand man, and now his ten hour days are up to twelve and its starting to show. Barely keeping in front of his subcontractors, one small mistake could mean not finishing. In Chicken, Jim Wagner's organizational luck has just run out. His flooring is four bundles short. So, with everything shutting down for the winter in a week, he's got to decide whether or not to make the half day journey to the lumberyard, which is no guarantee, or finish the roof before snow flies. Finally, at remote Quiet Lake, Lee Raymond's son "high speed, no grease" Aaron, is scrambling to get the roofing on before the snow. But the constant rain mixed with Aaron's speed has created a very slick situation and Aaron just can't hold on.

Friday
Jun 12
10pm | 9c
Season 3, Episode 11

The Finest Moment

Lee and his crew install a new woodstove to dry out the drywall mud and tape, and while he's waiting, Lee takes time to enjoy everything Alaska has to offer. Derek and his band of ski buddies race to protect the cabin from bears and construct homegrown countertops from materials on the site. And Tony finally makes it to the roofing stage of his Porcupine Creek build while his build partner Bob takes a new gig felling trees for a local homeowner.

Tuesday
Oct 6
7pm | 6c
Season 4, Episode 8

It's Getting Awkward

Rich's build is down to two workers which will make it tough to reach their milestones, nothing but wall-to-wall trouble may cause Tom's build to come tumbling down and Creig's build is fraught with costly miscalculations and tensions with Jim.

Thursday
Dec 24
7pm | 6c
Season 3, Episode 5

Ninja Framer

Challenges persist on the build sites as Lee brings in a pinch hitter they call the Ninja Framer to get his client's project back on schedule. Derek's crew struggles to work on the ski hut through an infestation of mosquitoes, and Tony discovers an expensive mistake that sends him back to the saw yard to cut new logs for his remote cabin getaway.

Tuesday
Dec 29
4pm | 3c
Season 5, Episode 4

Hello Hoonah

Builder Adam Tschappat and his brothers deal with record-breaking spring temperatures at their build site in the Wrangell Mountains. Mike Williams is keeping one eye on his crops and the other on his build forcing him to look the other way when it comes to code on his Guest Cabin in Eagle Song. Dave and Hans nearly get stranded due to receding tides at the Island Getaway build on Shelter Island.

Tuesday
Feb 16
6pm | 5c
Season 5, Episode 9

Lofty Goals

Builder Mike Williams gets all 45 of his logs peeled and starts to stack and insulate his cabin in Eagle Song. Builders Dave and Hans deal with dangerous heavy fog on their boat journey to Shelter island and struggle to lift heavy logs with limited help. Builder Adam Tschappat saves the day with an extra bag of cement and his team prepare the location and materials needed for the cabin's outhouse in the Wrangell Mountains.

Tuesday
Mar 1
9pm | 8c
Season 2, Episode 3

Chicken or Bust

The three builders each face their own forms of adversity. Lee Raymond is struggling to get back on track after losing a month to bad weather and an impassable semi-frozen Quiet Lake. At the Matanuska Glacier, Chuck Gerwig has had perfect weather, but most of his labor is due to leave once fishing season starts in less than a month. And Jim Wagner has finished, numbered, and taken down his cabin in Gustavus, but now begins the arduous 500 mile transport to Chicken that will include two ferry rides, 2 border crossings and hopefully enough supplies to finish the re-build before winter sets in.

Wednesday
Jun 29
10am | 9c
Season 4, Episode 11

Sparks Fly

Sparks fly at Tom's camp as a worker showdown threatens the project. Different sparks at Rich's camp brings power to the people and bear attacks leave Jodi on edge at Creig's camp.

Sunday
Oct 30
5pm | 4c
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.

Monday
Feb 20
9am | 8c
Season 4, Episode 7

Don't Try This At Home

Creig's carpenter Jim pays the ultimate price for building alone in remote Alaska, Rich's crew performs a balancing act to get out of the mud and a worst-case scenario nails Tom's build and it's old school techniques to the rescue.

Monday
Feb 20
10am | 9c
Season 4, Episode 8

It's Getting Awkward

Rich's build is down to two workers which will make it tough to reach their milestones, nothing but wall-to-wall trouble may cause Tom's build to come tumbling down and Creig's build is fraught with costly miscalculations and tensions with Jim.

Monday
Feb 20
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.

Monday
Feb 20
12pm | 11c
Season 4, Episode 10

No Quit

While gale-force winds create danger for Tom's team, and rainy conditions threaten Creig's build, Sitka is nothing but sunny which provides the perfect conditions for Rich to have a whale of a good time.

Monday
Feb 20
1pm | 12c
Season 4, Episode 11

Sparks Fly

Sparks fly at Tom's camp as a worker showdown threatens the project. Different sparks at Rich's camp brings power to the people and bear attacks leave Jodi on edge at Creig's camp.

Monday
Feb 20
2pm | 1c
Season 4, Episode 12

Crunch Time

Impending weather is making crunch time at the builds that much more desperate. Rich is forced to make a crucial building decision he doesn't want to make, Tom is not only worried about weathering-in his hunting lodge, but risks stranding his workers to do it and although Creig has persevered so far, the Alaskan elements might finally do him in, as he battles freezing temperatures to finish his dream.

Monday
Feb 20
3pm | 2c
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!

Sunday
Feb 26
9pm | 8c
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 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!

Monday
Feb 27
12am | 11c
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.

Monday
Feb 27
1am | 12c
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!

Sunday
Mar 5
7pm | 6c
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
Mar 5
8pm | 7c

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