Sunday, December 11, 2011

Winter Conditions

Well, we have a normal winter on our hands. Traveling conditions are very good. We can access almost any off road site we need right now.
We are driving trucks and equipment on most valley lakes now and even the rivers are in good shape.
We've had enough snow cover to keep the frost from going too deep which makes it easier to do dirt work.
If you are interested in doing a project yet this winter we can most likely do it for you. We have several projects going now and we will be starting some new ones soon but we still have room for a couple more before break up.

Try to make at least one person happy every day, and then in ten years you may have made three thousand, six hundred and fifty persons happy, or brightened a small town by your contribution to the fund of general enjoyment.

- Sydney Smith

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Free cabin winner

The “Free Cabin Giveaway” winner has been selected! We’d like to thank all entrants who took the time to explain why they felt qualified to win; and some were very close. However, our decision was based on several factors that made her exceptional. First, for privacy, her identity will remain anonymous.
At fifty-eight years old, she has lived in Alaska for over thirty years. Her husband of nineteen years was a disabled veteran; he died this summer. With one high school child still at home, it’s been very difficult to make ends meet with just a part-time job. It’s inevitable that she’ll lose her home because she no longer has the additional income from her husband’s disability from VA.
Our winner was able to buy an acre of land from some of the insurance funds, but is unable to completely build a cabin. This will not be a vacation cabin, but a primary residence. In addition, she does have the funds to do the finish the cabin.
Again, congratulations to our winner; not only someone in need, but who has suffered a great loss as well.

Jay Friesen,
Friesens Custom Cabins

Monday, November 7, 2011

Free Cabin

Only seventeen days before we make the selection for the free cabin. We have received many requests and we encourage you to write in for yourself,a family member or someone you know who is in need.
We are making plans to do another free cabin selection to anounce at the State Fair.
We haven't only received requests for the cabin, we have had folks write in that they want to help as well. Pretty cool!

A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.
Winston Churchill

Monday, October 31, 2011


Well, it is here. Winter that is. Temperatures are dipping into single digits and lower in some areas. The lakes in south central are mostly still open or very thin but will be ready for travel by the end of November. We have been inundated with requests for off road work and we are gearing up.
Now is the time to give us a shout if you're interested in building this winter.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Winter season

We are now pulling out our winter gear to be ready when winter hits. The first few days of cold weather usually exposes any weak links. The snow machines and sleds all have to be inspected and repaired if they haven't been already. Somehow it is hard to make yourself work on winter gear when the summer season is so busy.
This winter looks like a busy one too and we are ready for it!

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fall Foundations

The warm weather has extended our fall season by a few weeks. We are still able to put in foundations without dealing with frost. We are also able to pour without tenting and heating. We still have our freight boat in the water.
If you want to start a project yet this year let us know and we should be able to get it started.
We install wood, concrete and steel pilings all winter so we never stop building.

A fellow can΄t keep people from having a bad opinion of him, but he can keep them from being right about it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Family in Need

Our "Free Cabin to a Family in Need program" has generated a lot of interest. If you know of anyone in need, email us a message of their situation in 200 words or less so they can be eligible for selection on Thanksgiving day. A full description is on our October 1 blog and facebook post.

All generalizations are false, including this one.
Mark Twain

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cabin Giveaway

We introduced our Cabin giveaway to a Needy Family on October 1. We have had great interest in the program. I should have mentioned that since this is our first offering, we want to build this first cabin on the road system in Southcentral or Interior Alaska.
Perhaps we will be able to offer a free cabin to bush Alaska in the future but we want to do this first one in an area where we can drive from our Palmer headquarters to the site.

Thanks everyone for your understanding!

A good conscience is a continual Christmas.
Benjamin Franklin
US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer (1706 - 1790)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cabin Giveaway

We introduced our cabin giveaway program yesterday but neglected to mention that all submittals and questions must be sent to us via email. This will greatly expedite the process.
Thanks everyone!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cabin Giveaway

Friesen’s Custom Cabins
Cabin Giveaway 2012

We at Friesen’s Custom Cabins are implementing a new program to help a family in need by providing them with a FREE CABIN valued at $33,000!After October 1, 2011, a percentage of each cabin that we sell will go towards the building of a cabin for a family in need. Upon completion of this cabin in June 2012, a plaque will be posted on the wall with the names of each person we built for from October 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012.
Entries must be emaied to us with a description of your situation or someone that you know in 200 words or less. The winner will be posted on Facebook and our Blog on Thanksgiving Day 2011. The following criteria must be met to be selected:
You must have clear title to the property, and be on the road system.
This is going to be your primary residence.
We need to have assurance that you have the means to finish it enough to be livable; since this cabin will be a framed in shell.
The Cabin will be an 864 square foot single level cabin with two bedrooms, one bath, kitchen etc. We will be providing the dried-in shell built on the selected site at no cost.
In an effort to show appreciation to our community, we look forward to making a small contribution to those in need. Good luck to All!

Best Regards,
Jay Friesen
Owner/General Contractor

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall and Winter Season

The 2012 season is really shaping up to be really busy. We still have some start dates available for October and November. Since we were able to get some of our old crew members back we are able to handle more work than we anticipated.
We can pour sono tubes and put in pressure treated piling year round and we can do block and concrete slabs until about November first without doing too much in the way of heating and tenting.
Many of our off road projects are done after freeze up when the travel is easier across the lakes and rivers.
If you have project you want to discuss this year or in 2012, give a call or email and we'll get the process in motion.

The most merciful thing in the world... is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.
H. P. Lovecraft

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cabin giveaway!!!

On October 1 we will be announcing the details of our free cabin giveaway. We will announce it on our blog and on Facebook. Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The 2011 State Fair

Well, it's over for another year. I'm speaking of the State Fair of course. We had a steady stream of traffic through our little cabin. Many of our past clients and friends of clients stopped by to say hi and it was really a great time.
Many new folks stopped by to check out our company as well and we will be building for many of them in the future.
The Fair is a long term investment. Many that see us for the first time at the Fair may be five to seven years away from building their dream cabin and we want them to know that we will be here waiting.

To find what you seek in the road of life,
the best proverb of all is that which says:
"Leave no stone unturned."
Edward Bulwer Lytton

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The State Fair

The Fair has really been great this year. Hundreds of visitors and past customers and friends have stopped to say hi.
We have two days left and then it's over until next year. We were able to visit with a lot of folks who had never heard of us before and others who have been following us for years. Many people who come into our booth are friends of others we have built for and they are excited to get started building their own.
It is particularly satisfying to see everyone again some of whom I haven't seen for almost thirty years when I first got started in the business.

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do.
Dale Carnegie

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's Still Alaska!

A recent event reminded me why I live in this great state. One of our crew was delivering some materials to one of our projects in Chistochina on the Tok cutoff this past weekend when he blew out a tire. He had already had a flat on another tire so he had no spare. Able to find a friend in Slana for himself and his family to stay while we sent him a new tire, he waited. When he finally headed back to his truck to change the tire he found that the crew who was working on the road (CRUZ CONSTRUCTION), had jacked up his truck, pulled the tire, fixed the tire and put it back on the truck without so much as a note. We had to ask around to find who to thank.
Do you really think that would happen anywhere else? I already new CRUZ CONSTRUCTION was a great company but an act like this really shows they are much more. If you see the CRUZ crew working on the highway, give them a thumbs up, we could all learn something from them.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

- Winston Churchill

Saturday, August 13, 2011

2011/2012 Season

The Fall and winter season is starting to look busy for us again this year. We have a number of off road and road system projects in the works. We are going to be at the Fair from August 25 to September 5.
Now is a good time to start planning for Winter and next Summer. Let us know how we can help.

Boredom: the desire for desires.
Leo Tolstoy

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Alaska State Fair

We will be at the Alaska State Fair again this year. We will have many pictures and examples of our work. This is a good time to get aquainted and let us know how we can help you in your building needs.

A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
Mark Twain

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Arctic Wings

Don Glaser has been taking us to remote locations for years. Don is one of the old time bush pilots and has seen Alaska as most of us never will. After flying well over half a century and many thousands of hours, he remains youthfully enthusiastic about flying and his attention to customer service is unmatched.
Don is so excited about flying you would think he just started and the newness hasn't worn off yet, but he has always been like that.
If you need float flying with a C-206 or PA-12 give Don a call at 495-3475, you are in for a real treat.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

July 4th!

Among the barbecues and fireworks we often forget what we are actually celebrating. Our independence was bought and is continuing to be purchased with the blood of our soldiers, let's remember them!
Have a great Fourth!

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. ~Thomas Paine

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Northern Pioneer Helicopters

Earlier this week we had Northern Pioneer Helicopters transport upwards of 50,000 pounds of building materials to one of our off road jobs and I was impressed. These guys are organized and did the job on time and on budget. They really know their stuff and I would recommend them any day.
Thanks Guys!

Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, political parties, nations, and eras it's the rule.

- Friedrich Nietzsche

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Planning for Winter Work

It may seem funny to start talk about winter work when the summer has barely begun. Now is the time to start planning for winter work. As soon as the lakes and rivers are frozen we will be starting our off-road work. Some years we were busier in the winter than we were in the summer which took us by surprise.
In South Central we can generally work all winter. It is preferable to do dirt work early in the winter before the frost gets real deep.
If you are anticipating a building project this winter, give us a call and we'll help with the planning process.

Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.
- Leo Tolstoy

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It is on!

The summer season is going strong so there won't be much time for rest until Christmas. We currently have projects in Denali Park, Petersville, Chelatna Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Kasilof, Cooper Landing and Willow. We will soon be going to Seldovia, Tok, Eureka and Chistochina along with our local work.
We have a lot of highly qualified help which allows us to cast a wide net 'as they say'.
The Cabin Kits have been a real hit and we are sending them statewide.
We are always interested in looking at new projects and still have some openings for this season.

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; But often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.
Helen Keller

Friday, May 27, 2011

Full Speed Ahead

The summer season is in full swing now. Road restrictions are off and most of the frost is out of the ground. Some of the higher lakes are still frozen but we will be able to start soon on those projects.
We have projects scheduled all over the state but we are still accepting new work. Our kits have been a big hit and we have our delivery time down to one to two weeks on the smaller cabins. We have also worked out an agreement with one of our sub-contractors to do foundations for our customers who purchase one of our kits but don't feel comfortable doing it themselves.

It's easy to have principles when you're rich. The important thing is to have principles when you're poor.
- Ray Kroc

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

2011 Start Dates

Thanks to bringing back some of our crewmembers from the past, we are going to be able to offer a few more start dates this season. Up until now we were pretty well booked for the season but with the extra help we will be able to take on a few more projects.
If you have a project that you want done this year, we may be able to make it happen for you sooner than we thought. We still have some winter dates available as well.
Give us a shout and we'll see what we can do!

A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?
- Albert Einstein

A cabin of course!
-Jay Friesen

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Remote Property

A lot of people call us for tips on looking for remote land in Alaska. I usually recommend Bernie and Barbara Vockner at Remote Properties. Just like we specialize in remote building, Remote Properties specializes in remote property all around the state. They are the most experienced team in this state when it comes to land in remote areas. Their website is excellent and easy to navigate. Check them out at

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Kit Pricing

We have finally finished the Kit pricing for all of the cabins on our site except the Plan# 8 which requires a concrete slab.
All of thes plans can now be ordered in kit form.

FCC KIT Price List March 7, 2011
Plan #1 T1-11
16 x 20 640 sq ft. 12,644
16 x 24 768 sq ft. 14,944
20 x 24 960 sq ft. 18,394
20 x 28 1120 sq ft. 21,384
24 x 32 1536 sq ft 28,511
28 x 42 2352 sq ft 43,656
Plan # 2
16 x 24 768 sq ft. 16,576
20 x 24 960 sq ft. 20,719
20 x 28 1120 sq ft. 24,038
20 x 32 1280 sq ft. 25,239
24 x 36 1728 sq ft. 35,822
28 x 42 2352 sq ft. 48,839
Plan #3
20 x 24 1056 sq ft. 19,800
20 x 28 1120 sq ft. 22,787
20 x 32 1280 sq ft. 24,530
24 x 36 1728 sq ft. 35,884
24 x 42 2016 sq ft. 41,848
28 x 42 2352 sq ft. 55,660
Plan #4
20 x 24 1056 sq ft. 22,346
20 x 28 1232 sq ft. 26,070
20 x 32 1408 sq ft. 30,078
24 x 28 1456 sq ft. 30,828
24 x 36 1872 sq ft. 39,683
28 x 32 1920 sq ft. 40,627
Plan #5
16 x 24 384 sq ft. 12,529
20 x 24 480 sq ft. 13,794
20 x 28 560 sq ft. 16,094
24 x 36 864 sq ft. 23,034
24 x 42 1008 sq ft. 30,716
28 x 52 1456 sq ft. 44,366
Plan #6
20 x 24 960 sq ft. 21,040
20 x 32 1280 sq ft. 28,056
24 x 36 1728 sq ft. 37,493
24 x 42 2016 sq ft. 43,766
32 x 48 3072 sq ft. 66,691
32 x 54 3584 sq ft. 77,806
Plan #7
16 x 20 768 sq ft. 16,991
1 6 x 24 896 sq ft. 19,565
20 x 24 1120 sq ft. 24,460
20 x 28 1280 sq ft. 29,575
24 x 28 1536 sq ft. 33,980
28 x 42 2576 sq ft. 56,254
Plan #9
20 x 28 1120 sq ft. 25,602
20 x 32 1289 sq ft. 28,136
24 x 28 1344 sq ft. 30,713
24 x 36 1728 sq ft. 39,501
28 x 36 2016 sq ft. 46,084
28 x 42 2352 sq ft. 53,764

Friday, April 8, 2011

Summer Scheduling

The 2011 season is shaping up to be a real dandy. We still have some start dates available this season and we are scheduling some work for 2012.
Our kits have become extremely popular and we are currently building a new website for the kits to cut down the confusion between the built-on-site cabins and the cabin kits.
We are helping a number of clients right now with the financing paperwork for their construction loans. Please bear in mind that the average construction loan takes a month or two to process if things go smoothly, so give yourself plenty of time.

I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be "happy." I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter and to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.

- Leo C. Rosten

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Square footage costs

Frequently I am asked to quote the square footage cost of a finished home over the phone. Every time I have done so, I have been wrong. Usually too high or too low, never right in the middle.
At a home builder's seminar a few years ago, the instructor compared that question to 'how much does a bag of groceries cost'. In other words, there are a lot of variables. I know there is an average cost per square foot but I have never been able to pin it down.
A general rule of thumb in south central Alaska on the road system is between 100 and 140 per foot. (Once you get off the road the cost can be as much as 50 t0 75% more depending on location) Next you have to determine how to calculate the square footage. Do you include open areas and stairwells as living space, what about the garage if there is one, attic space, basements etc.? Is it on one floor or two? Is there city water and sewer or are you going to need a well and septic? The questions keep coming at you.
It is really best to get a firm quote based on a certain design. We can usually provide you with a quote within a few days if it is one of our designs or something close to it.

The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues.
Elizabeth Taylor
British movie actress (1932 - 2011)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Looking for land in all the right places.

If you are looking for remote or recreational property in Alaska I have a couple of recommendations for you. We have worked with both of these companies before and they have a vast knowledge of the state and many properties listed throughout the state.

Klaus Steigler-
Bernie Volkner-

One must have a good memory to be able to keep the promises one makes." – Friedrich Nietzsche

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Planning Ahead

It seems like the financial institutions are slowly loosening up and loaning money again. Terms are going to be more restrictive and requirements more stringent but it is happening.
For planning purposes, it generally takes three to six months to process an owner/builder construction loan. It can sometimes be done in less time but it is normal to spend several months in the process.
If you want to build this year, now is a good time to start the process.

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of.
Benjamin Franklin, 'Poor Richard's Almanack,' June 1746
US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer (1706 - 1790)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bringing em back!

We may be able to open a few more construction start dates this season. I have been approached by several past crew members about coming back and working with us this year.
These guys have built many projects for us over the years and know our system and quality expectations.
It is very difficult to hire new people and get them up to speed on how we operate and treat our customers. There are many qualified craftsmen out there but only a few have the do-whatever-it-takes attitude that we are looking for.
We haven't hired any new crew in quite some time, we just keep bringing them back whenever we can.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. ~ Mohandas Gandhi

Monday, February 28, 2011

Pricing Updates!

We have updated our pricing recently. The increase on the cabin plans was 5%, however this will likely change in the next couple of months since our costs have gone up more than we thought since 2007. The garage plans went up the most after we found we were not even breaking even on some models.
Price increases are extremely unpopular. In hindsight, we would have been better off increasing the price slightly each year instead of doing it all in one season. I don't expect profit margins to stay on par with the past because the market is still in the doldrums but we do need to stay profitable to stay in business and take care of our customers for years to come.

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
Benjamin Franklin
US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer (1706 - 1790)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Plan #10 for 2011

This is our newest plan. We will be posting the pricing on this blog later today and on Facebook. We will also have a new page for it on the website.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Shout out to The Webmaster

George Lochner at has been our webmaster since we started a website in the 1990's. Charles Lochner, George's brother designed our brochures before the internet was available.
George has been the best guy to work with on keeping our website tuned up. He always has great ideas and is very prompt about his work.
If you need a professionally designed website, talk to George, you won't be sorry.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Survival Tape

Today we had a broken and leaking propane line on our weed burner torch. I was looking around the truck and found the Survival Tape I bought at the Alaska State Fair. Since that was all I could find we decided to give it a try. To say the least, we were impressed!

Monday, February 14, 2011


We have received our web traffic statistics for the past year. We had 20,000 visits, 250,000 page views in 45 countries, all fifty states and all Canadian Provinces. Naturally, most visitors are looking for ideas and only a small fraction will actually become our clients.
We have received so much interest in our kits from the lower forty-eight that we are working on a plan to accomodate our lower 48 friends.
Our main focus is building cabins on site here in Alaska but we have received a lot of interest in the kits.

If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.

- Albert Einstein

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Repair Work

We receive many requests for repair work on remote cabins. Although we are not able to accomodate everyone; I try to either prescribe a solution or recommend someone who can do the work.
Don't hesitate to call if you have need of repair work. If we can't get to it, we can find someone who can or provide a plan of action you can do yourself.

He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals.
Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Susitna Energy

If you have lived in Alaska for twenty years or so, you will remember Mckay's Hardware in Anchorage. Mckay's Hardware was one of the old fashioned hardware stores that had everything, and I mean everything. I once searched every hardware store in Anchorage for a specific type of specialized lineman's pliers with no luck. I went to Mckay's and asked if they had the pliers and they asked me what color!
This was always the case, if you needed something, no need to shop around; just go to Mckays.
Well, if you are looking for specialized products for living in the bush or off the grid, Susitna Energy in Anchorage most likely will have what you need. Wood stoves, oil stoves, propane stoves, solar panels, windmills, inverters, generators, satelite phones and just about every other thing to make rural living comfortable.
We have dealt with Susitna Energy for many years and they are truly a pleasure to do business with.
Check them out at or call them at 337-1300. You won't be sorry!

"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities - brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.”
John W. Gardner

Monday, January 31, 2011

Ice Conditions

The weather this winter has made for excellent ice travel. We still have several start dates available before break up.
Many projects are much more cost effective if done in winter. Let us know if have building needs across the ice.

Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

- Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011 Pricing

We posted on November 29th that the new 6% price increase would be effective on January 1, 2011. Due to the busy schedule, we haven't had time to do the updates yet so the pricing will remain the same until February 1, 2011. So far, noone has complained except our accountant.