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.

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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 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.

Monday
Mar 9
1am | 12c
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.

Wednesday
Apr 1
8pm | 7c
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.

Thursday
Apr 2
2am | 1c
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.

Sunday
Apr 19
7pm | 6c
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
Jun 23
2pm | 1c
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.

Friday
Sep 4
5pm | 4c
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.

Friday
Sep 4
9pm | 8c
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.

Saturday
Sep 5
2am | 1c
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.

Wednesday
Nov 18
12am | 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.

Tuesday
Dec 15
8pm | 7c
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.

Thursday
Dec 17
8pm | 7c
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.

Saturday
Jan 23
3pm | 2c
Season 2, Episode 4

Ryan's Song

While its full-steam ahead for Lee Raymond as he finally gets some much welcomed sun, Jim Wagner and his family begin the long process of starting over; building roads, leveling ground and ultimately trying to get their cabin in Chicken back up. Amidst all the fervor of the other two builds, Chuck Gerwig's site is oddly quiet. Disaster has struck. His righthand man, Ryan Beachy, has been tragically killed in a motorcycle accident. Now his build is suspended and a decision needs to be made, to continue or not.

Thursday
Feb 11
3pm | 2c
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.

Friday
Aug 25
9am | 8c
Season 6, Episode 6

Emergency Supply Run

At Bruce Chambers' build on LaTouche Island, the team comes dangerously close to catastrophe as they install a 1,000 pound ridge beam. At Mark Sam's build on Chichagof Island, the team runs out of critical supplies which sends Mark and Chris on an emergency run to Hoonah to find replacements. At Dave Poppert's build near Point MacKenzie, Dave is making progress with getting support columns into the loft area, getting him closer to having a roof over his build.

Friday
Aug 25
10am | 9c
Season 6, Episode 7

A Roof Overhead

At Bruce Chambers' build on LaTouche Island, rain has put everything on hold and the crew struggles to keep things dry. At Mark Sam's build on Chichagof Island, tensions run high on Rich's last day making the team uneasy. At Dave Poppert's build near Point MacKenzie, he and his crew rush to make up for lost time and work to get the trusses up and windows installed.

Friday
Aug 25
11am | 10c
Season 6, Episode 8

End Game

It's the end of the road for the three builders and their teams of helpful friends, family and handymen. At Point MacKenzie, Dave Poppert fights the cold and snow to finish his home in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Bruce Chambers lucks out when a friend comes to help put the finishing touches his Latouche Island cabin. In Southeast Alaska, Mark Sams and his team scramble to finish their cliff-side cabin on Chichagof Island.

Friday
Aug 25
12pm | 11c

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