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 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.

Tuesday
Aug 4
1pm | 12c
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.

Tuesday
Aug 4
3pm | 2c
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.

Tuesday
Aug 4
4pm | 3c
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.

Saturday
Sep 26
5pm | 4c
Season 3, Episode 1

Builders Begin Construction on a Fishing Retreat, a Ski Hut and a Getaway Cabin in Remote Alaska

The return of spring in Alaska means the race is on for three builders to begin constructing homes in the remote wilderness before the inevitable return of winter shuts them down. Three builders begin construction on a fishing retreat near Anchorage, a ski hut close to Valdez and a getaway log cabin in the Southeast corner of remote Alaska. Before breaking ground, one builder has to fly to his build site to inspect the piece of land he purchased without ever stepping foot on it, breaking the number one rule of land buying.

Tuesday
Oct 6
9am | 8c
Season 3, Episode 2

A Helicopter Drop, the Art of Scribing, and a Thousand-Dollar Mistake

The challenges of building homes in remote Alaska continues as Lee orchestrates a massive eighteen-load helicopter drop to deliver the equipment and supplies he'll need to build a two-story cabin on Bulchitna Lake. Elsewhere, Derek handcrafts logs with a scriber and begins the tedious process of cataloging each piece of wood that will eventually be helicoptered over to his build site. Plus, Tony forgets a crucial item back in town that sets him back over a thousand dollars.

Tuesday
Dec 29
1pm | 12c
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.

Tuesday
Dec 29
7pm | 6c
Season 5, Episode 3

Bump Outs and Burls

Alaskan builder Adam Tschappat's team is cut in half due to volunteer firefighter duties delaying his Family Legacy cabin build in the Wrangell Mountains. Mike Williams is facing a 100 degree change in temperature that is forcing him to focus on the farm and not the build in Eagle Song. Dave and Hans face rough seas, while some bad math pushes them further behind schedule on the Island Getaway build on Shelter Island.

Wednesday
Jan 20
12am | 11c
Season 5, Episode 5

Location, Location, Location

Builder Mike Williams is in a mad scramble to save his peonies from dying, sending his crew into high gear in Eagle Song. Dave and Hans's 50 thousand pounds of material make it to shore unharmed at their Island Getaway build on Shelter Island. Builder Adam Tschappat does some precision work from 2 logs to 12 logs high for his Family Legacy cabin in the Wrangell Mountains.

Tuesday
Feb 16
7pm | 6c
Season 5, Episode 1

Family Legacy

The three build teams kick off their builds in unique, remote Alaskan settings. Adam Tschappat and his family begin building a Family Legacy cabin in the Wrangell Mountains. Mike Williams and his family begin building a guest cabin in Eagle Song, near Mt. Susitna. And Steve Box and his builder friends, Dave Bartlett and Hans Moser, begin an Island Getaway on Shelter Island, near Juneau.

Thursday
May 12
8pm | 7c
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.

Thursday
Jul 21
2pm | 1c
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
Aug 16
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.

Thursday
Dec 1
11am | 10c
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
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.

Sunday
Mar 5
9pm | 8c
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.

Sunday
Mar 5
10pm | 9c
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.

Monday
Mar 6
12am | 11c
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.

Monday
Mar 6
1am | 12c
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
Mar 6
3am | 2c
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.

Sunday
Mar 12
9pm | 8c
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.

Sunday
Mar 12
10pm | 9c
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.

Sunday
Mar 12
11pm | 10c
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.

Monday
Mar 13
1am | 12c
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.

Monday
Mar 13
2am | 1c
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.

Monday
Mar 13
4am | 3c

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