Kodiak Island Cabin Build

Started by 1akbig1bear, August 13, 2018, 03:55:25 PM

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Well I started a forum about two years ago called "Upcoming Kodiak Alaska Cabin Build" and we just returned from our second trip. I had an unfortunate hunting accident in 2017 and wasn't able to get out to our site plus this gave me more time to save up and get a bit more done. If all goes well then next year we hope to get the walls and roof on the main cabin but I thought I would share a few pictures with those who are interested or would like to provide guidance or feedback. Please copy and paste this link to see the progress we have made.

I hope you all enjoy it because me dream is one step closer.



Got to love remote logistics.  What are plans for the cabin?
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story


I completely agree with the logistics comment, there is just no room for error. An example I have is a $715 jug of hydraulic fluid for my bobcat. I had my brother do a bunch or work on it prior to shipping it to my property and he forgot to top off the hydraulic fluid, so it cost me $15 for the fluid and $700 for the flight out to drop it off!  d*
The actual plans for the cabin to have a 36x28 chalet, stick built with log siding. As you could see in the photos the beams I purchased were not small, 5 1/2" wide x 15" tall and 36' long, these suckers were heavy to say the least!
The cabin will have a complete covered metal roofing porch on one side, half covered deck across the front and then a 8x12 mud room off the side entrance. Downstairs will have a nice size great room with dining and kitchen just off of it, a single bedroom and single bathroom. Up in the half loft will be two nice queen sized beds built on the same wall but separated with a dividing wall for some privacy.
This will not be your typical off grid cabin as it will have a fully functional bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet. The bathroom will also have a washer and dryer in it! Our goal is to spend a considerable amount of time in it so we want some of the luxuries we have today but certainly not all of them!


Wow that is an incredible view... just about one of a kind. That is also a seriously impressive amount of work you've gotten done in just a few days time.

I wonder if the streams could be used to generate enough power to run lights... looks like you could have gravity fed water pressure in the house too. Maybe you'd only need a generator or gas for the major appliances.


Looks awesome...Great work....

What kind of tide changes do you have there?


Thanks for the comments NathanS.
We have done a ton of work in the short amount of time we have had and more than anything we have been blessed with great weather.

In regards to whether we could use the streams to generate enough power to run the lights, the answer is "I'm not sure"? I will need to do some research on that but my plans were to have Solar panels and a Wind Turbine to power the lights, refrigerator, water pump from cistern into the home and possibly the washing machine. When the sun isn't shinning the wind is typically blowing.

I do know I have enough water pressure for a Ram to keep the cistern full but for power I think I may need to do some work on the stream. The bigger of the two steams actually splits on my property and part of it goes into a low area that is just marshy but then the other flows out into the bay. If I dam up the area that flows into the marshy area and divert it all to the main stream then I would bet there would be enough to generate power. I've thought about doing this but it's lower on my list of things to get done right now. When I'm out there on a more consistent basis then I will start needing things to do and that's when this will take place but I can just run to Home Depot for the materials  ::)


Use to spend time at a small lodge on the shore of Hidden Basin in Ugak Bay and the owner build a beautiful small hydro plant to provide 100% of lodge electrical needs, even used excess power generation for electrical resistance heating of green house.  There was a small stream on site and a small reservoir was built a short distance up hill from lodge.   A six inch plastic penstock  provided water to small pelton wheel driving heavy duty automotive alternator.  The key to success of this plant was the large battery pack he purchased as surplus from the Coast Guard. 

Tesla is now offering a wall mounted battery pack that could serve such an installation, unfortunately it is not cheap.


Thanks for sharing the information, I will have to do some more research on it but sounds very interesting.
We spent every weekend in Saltery Cove which is really close to Hidden Basin, in fact shot a few deer in the basin itself in the mid 80's. I'm trying to think of the guy who runs the lodge but can't remember it for the life of me right now.


John and Tina Witteveen own Wild Creek Lodge (hydro plant), but they shut down the lodge operation in mid-2000's.  Not sure if they still own property.  Their permanent home was in the town of Kodiak.  I have their phone number somewhere and will try to find it if you are interested.


I know John but I do not remember how? Did he also work for Fish and Game?

Yes, please send me his contact information as I would like to understand how he was able to set it up!

Thank you!


We had such a good summer it has been hard to not think about the project and next steps. I will start my planning over the Christmas & New Years Holiday as we plan to get the walls, decking, roofing, windows, doors and siding on next year. I cringe when I think about the costs but knowing it is all out of pocket and no debt at the end is the comforting part. Most people will never ever experience the challenge of planning a project to this degree with the project being so far off the grid and the only way to get materials is by plane or the landing craft. There is no Lowes, Home Depot or large box store you can run to for materials. A local Alaska Hardware store is my only option (they can be challenging to deal with and notoriously mess up) unless I buy from the Lowes, Home Depot or some other in Seattle and ship to Kodiak, which is 1500 nautical miles away.

I did add some updated pictures and with captions to the progress we have made since we started the project to this link below, just copy and paste as I believe you will enjoy them. These photos are so worth looking at over and over again and wish this website could provide a better way to post photos. I can plan a tough build like this one but personally find it challenging posting photos to this website  ???. I love the comments so please keep them coming.



Looks pretty amazing, being that remote is something my wife and I dream about.

Doing a little photo test:


You are a rock star.  It is hard to believe how much you got done in the short time you have spent out there.  It must have been spot on planning and like my dad always says, "Who needs friends when you have a bobcat?"  I love the camo paint.

Similar to you, I am way off the grid and it makes everything more challenging for sure.


Thanks for the comment and yes, nobody will ever know how much planning goes into a project like this when the only way in is by boat (8) hours or charter plane. Heck, that's what makes it so fun though!


Well we made our 2019 trip and hope you all enjoy the new photos


Copy and paste and hope you like them


Looks awesome.

Lifting that ridge beam into place looked terrifying glad it went off without a hitch.


No doubt, moving that Ridge Beam into place was pretty crazy! We were glad to see it fit so well, weird thing is that I seems to be the only one really nervous about it.