Tuesday, December 26, 2017

New For 2018!

We are going to be offering a few new products/services in the new year. Nothing too dramatic but new none the less.
  • New Pricing- There will be a few changes to our price list in the new year. After a review of our prices, we found that some styles and sizes were priced incorrectly and we also found it necessary to increase the pricing across the board as well.
  • FCC Cabincast- Our podcast host went out of business in November so we haven't done any new podcasts since then. We will be starting back with the new podcasts next week with a new host.
  • New A Frame Plan- We are replacing plan #4 with an A Frame plan. The A Frame plan has been requested many times before and since plan #4 has not been as popular as the other plans we thought we would exchange it for the A Frame instead of adding a new plan #13
  • Spray Foam- We are now offering spray foam insulation on all of our cabins, homes and shop buildings. We are using the 2 pound closed cell urethane which has the highest R-Value of all spray insulations.
  • New Project Manager- We also have a new project manager on board to assist in managing all of our projects this year. Korie Russell came on board in June 2017 and has a very wide knowledge in construction and logistics. He will be doing a lot of the field inspections and walk-throughs especially on the remote projects.
These are just a few of the changes we will be making  this year to hopefully be more organized and service our clients better. We also welcome any thoughts from our blog readers on how we can improve. Happy New Year Everyone!!

For 2018
Less talking – More Listening
Less Planning – More Doing
Less Soda – More Tea  (Coffee ok?)
Less Junk Food – More Salads
Less Complaining – More Encouraging
Less Worrying – More Hoping
Less Doubting – More Believing
Less Lazing around – More Working out
Less Frowning – More Smiling
Less Insecurity – More Trust
Less Weakness – More Confidence
Less Ignorance – More Understanding
Less Hate – More Love
Less ungratefulness – More Gratitude

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas from Friesen's Custom Cabins!

We at FCC wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I'm really not a fan of company Christmas cards since they are usually so impersonal. This year has been a very good year for us and all of our partners and we owe it too our clients. Obviously without you we have no business so we want to take this opportunity to say thanks!
We are in the process of making many changes for the New Year to serve our clients better especially in the area of communication and updating. We also will be offering some new plans and features which we will cover in upcoming blogs and podcasts.
We sincerely wish the best Christmas season for all and for all a few days to recover before the new year.

"Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won't make it 'white'." Bing Crosby

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The 2018 Season is looking good!

25 years ago when I became a General Contractor I had already been in the industry for 15 years and I couldn't imagine still doing this in "2018" but we are here and going stronger than ever.
The 2018 is already being scheduled but we do still have a few start dates available. We are currently working on our new price list but it won't go into affect until it is posted online.
The 2017 season was very strong, one of the strongest we have ever had, and 2018 may even be more busy. Fortunately we have a very experienced crew many of which have been with us for many years so it should be a great year.
We'll be working in all quadrants of the state this year from Ketchikan to Barrow and most points in between.
If you are needing a construction loan, now is the time to get it started. You can call or email us for referrals to lending institutions and loan officers in your area.
Please be safe during the Christmas and New Years season. We'll be working throughout the Holidays so don't hesitate to contact us or set up a meeting to get started on your dream.

Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossibleFrancis of Assisi

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Friesen's Urethane Services

We finally have our urethane equipment on line this year. We started offering the urethane product in the spring of this year and it has been very popular. We especially encourage spray urethane in floors that are on pilings above the ground and in walls and roofs in areas where it is very cold and fuel prices are high. It is also worthwhile in skirtings and between rim joists in crawl spaces and in between floor.
We are set up to go to remote areas with our equipment and we'll be on a travel schedule starting in the spring to different rural towns and villages. If we have three or more projects in one area we can keep the pricing lower than if we travel for only one project.
While it is true that urethane is more expensive than fiberglass insulation, the comfort and energy savings make it well worth the extra cost.
Right now we are scheduled to go to Dillingham and Naknek in the spring of 2018 as well as several Bering Sea Villages. If you are on the road system we can usually include your project in our travel schedule as well.
Please email us at friesenscustomcabins@gmail.com or call 907-746-2082 if you are interested in an estimate.

Some facts about our urethane product.
  • Saves energy operating costs. 30-50% per year
  • Reduces air and moisture infiltration-resulting in a more consistent temperature
  • Reduces dust and pollen infiltration
  • Adds structural strength to the building
  • Reduces the likelihood of mold
  • Reduces ice damages
  • Reduces HVAC capacity requirements
  • R-values remain stable over time
  • It has the highest performance of all insulation
  • It is permanent and will not sag or settle
  • We use a 2 pound polyurethane unlike other products which are .5 pound
  • R value is R7 per inch
  • It acts as it's own vapor retarder
  • It will pay for itself in a shorter time if you live in a rural area with oil heat
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Things to know about financing your dream!

One of the biggest hurdles to get over when you are wanting to build a new home or cabin is financing. There are many ways to finance but the most common is the conventional construction loan. I am going to give a brief  description of the steps required. The process can be very frustrating and seemingly impossible at first but we can help you through the pit falls.
  • The first step in acquiring a construction loan is getting pre-qualified for your long term financing. If you call our office we can give you the names of people to call at various institutions for your long term financing. By long tem financing I am referring to your conventional 30 year mortgage.
  • Once you have been pre-qualified for X amount, you can apply for a construction loan. The bank will give you a packet of endless paperwork that we can also help you with.
  • It is important to note that the bank will want you to have some skin in the game when it comes to a construction loan. You will need to have a minimum of 20% down which is a considerable sum if you are considering a 200 or 300K project. Sometimes the bank will take your lot value into consideration providing it has been paid off and you own it free and clear. They may even take into consideration your equity in the lot if it hasn't been paid off.
  • We can help you with your budget, schedule, sub-contractors as well as design decisions. Your project must have an appraisal and it must appraise out higher than the loan amount of course.
  • Once you have finished your project, your long term financing will take over and you will close your construction loan and start paying your mortgage which will be at a much lower interest rate.
  • The process seems daunting at first but we have guided many people through it over the years and it can be very rewarding building your dream.

"Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting." ~(Anonymous but sounds like Jesus Christ)

Friday, April 21, 2017


Our DIY Kit Seminar is going to be on May 20. We have had tremendous response so far and we have a few spots left if you want to attend. We will cover all the steps of building one of our DIY Kits and lunch will be provided as well.
If you are planning on purchasing a kit or have already purchased one, it will be well worth your time.
Please call 746-2082 or email at friesenscustomcabins@gmail.com to get your name on the list. See you there!
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning    

Thursday, April 20, 2017

FCC Cabincast #8 FAQ's Part 2

Have a listen to our podcast #8. Today we answer more Frequently asked questions. Please email or message us on facebook your questions. We'll try to answer them all!
Thanks for listening!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The FAQ Podcast Part 1

Have a listen to our latest Podcast. We are going through some of our favorite FAQ's. This is part 1 in a 3 part series. The podcast is definitely amateur since we are not professional broadcasters but we are trying to improve it a little every week.
Thanks for listening!

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” -Winston Churchill

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Fairbanks Office

We are in the early stages of opening an office in the Fairbanks area. Over the past 25 years we have built many projects in the Fairbanks area and we feel it is time to have a local presence.
We have a number of projects scheduled for the Fairbanks area this year and have had many more requests for work as well.
Our office will likely be a small office cabin between Fairbanks and North pole and our search for a suitable spot has begun.
The Fairbanks office will cover work from Cantwell to Fairbanks, and from Fairbanks to Delta Jct. and Tok as well as the Yukon River villages and North Slope.
Any comments and suggestions from those of you in the northern region are welcome and we look forward to being able to serve your area better.

                                            A recent project in Fairbanks

"The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure." Dale Carnegie

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

DIY KIT Seminar 2017

Good News, we are planning another Free DIY Kit seminar in May of this year. Last year we had over 50 people attend and another 50 or so on the waiting list. To be effective in the seminar we can only reasonably accept 40 people. We are shooting for May 22 for the seminar. It will start at 10:00 and end no later than 3:00 with a break for lunch on us.
If you have one of our kits or anticipate building one in the future, the DIY Seminar is a valuable tool and will help you tremendously in the building process. Please email us at friesenscustomcabins@gmail.com if you plan on attending since space will be limited.
See you there!!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Check out our Alaskan Cabincast Episode 5 featuring Paul Holmes "Bushbuilder Extraordinaire"

This is Part one of a  two part podcast.  Paul Holmes worked with us for 23 years until he was forced to retire due to health issues. Paul worked on hundreds of projects with us in all types of weather all over the state of Alaska. He was one of those guys who was always ready to go no questions asked. He still does some consulting work for us from time to time. His stories are great and he has a lot of them. I think you will find the podcast worth your time.

Check out this great Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/alaska-cabincast/id1202291697?mt=2

This is Paul hauling some windows and materials to a remote jobsite.

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Alaska Cabincast Episode 4

Thanks for the unbelievable response to the podcast! We are now up on iTunes and Google play. Take a listen to Episode 4.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Grip Strut Steps and Snow Grates

We try and introduce new products and options each year as they are requested.

Grip strut snow steps have always been popular but they were a special order item. We now are offering grip strut steps and snow grates. These are excellent for snow country. They make going up the steps much safer and the snow falls right through. We can also put snow grates in front of the entry door to stomp the snow off your feet before going inside.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Alaska Cabincast Episode 3 Winter building

Check out our podcast! We are only on our third episode and so far the response has been...well....um...underwhelming, but we won't let that stop us haha. It isn't as easy as it looks as I am finding out.
This episode is about winter building. Thanks for listening!

Friday, January 27, 2017

New Garage Sizes For 2017

We have been offering two and three car garages and larger for years and we have built smaller garages as well but we never have had them on our site....until now! The following garages have basically the same features as our two car garages except the walls are 9' instead of  10' and the doors are 7' tall instead of 8'. Naturally we can upgrade the doors if desired.  One personnel door and two 3 x 3 windows are also included as well as the concrete slab.

                                      12 x 20 Single car or small SUV: $12,995


                                   12 x 24 Single car or full size pickup: $14,400


14 x 24 Single car or full size four door pickup: $15,895
                          16 x 24 Single car or full size four door pickup: $18,495

                             20 x 20 Two small cars or two small SUVs: $18,995

 "He that hath a garage in Alaska hath a good thing for he can fill it with many things and the cars dwell outside."
(Ancient Alaska proverb)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Planning your dream!

Many people come to me and ask what size cabin or home do you think is best for me? The only way to answer this is by asking a few questions.
  • What is your budget
  • Do you plan on living there full time?
  • How many are in your family?
  • Do you have frequent visitors?
  • Are you or members of your family able to climb stairs?
  • How are you planning to heat ?
  • How long to you plan to own it, do you plan to sell it within a few years to upgrade?
  • Do you plan to add on in the future?
There are many other considerations as well but you have to start somewhere. Most folks already have a good idea of what they want and what they can afford before they meet with us.
Size is a very important issue when determining what you are going to build. Naturally, every square foot cost money so the larger you build the more it will cost. Modern houses on average are much larger today than they were even in the 1950's and 1960's and there are many more features as well. If you are building a remote cabin, chances are it will be smaller than a home in the city or on the road system.
With the  "tiny home" movement we have seen all the features of a 1500 square foot home compacted into 200 square foot much like motorhomes and campers have done for years.
For planning purposes, if you can give us a basic idea of what you would like to build on a bar napkin sketch, we can start narrowing it down for you. Once we have a basic plan started, we can do the 3D walkthrough in our office, place all your furniture electronically to see if everything will fit, give you a firm cost of everything until we arrive at a final design and cost. We can normally turn drawings around in 24 hours so you have a place to start.
Send us your dreams on a simple sketch and before you know it you'll have a completed home or cabin to enjoy.
"Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do." Pope John XXIII

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Alaska Cabincast Episode 2.

Thanks for listening to our first episode of the Alaska Cabincast. We received no bombs in the mail yet so we decided to do episode #2 this week. We'll try and have a new episode every week until people tell us to stop!

“Don't be afraid! We won't make an author of you, while there's an honest trade to be learnt, or brick-making to turn to.”
Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Alaska Cabincast- Our first Podcast

I have attached our first podcast. Hey, we know we are much better at building  than broadcasting so if it hurts your ears too much at least you can turn it off. We will be bringing new and better contact each week.
Feel free to leave the most negative comments. LOL

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bush Shipping Part 2B Summer Transportation

In Bush Shipping Part 2A we covered the basics of summer transportation of materials. We will explore a little further in this post.
Many remote recreational lots are in areas where there were state land sales or state land disposals. Others are homesteads, remote parcels, patented mining claims, agricultural plots, manufacturing sites, open to entry sales and many other programs. In the old days you could take a dozer and blaze a trail to the site and this is still a possibility in some areas, however, things are much more regulated today for building trails, crossing streams, and private and government land. In most areas there is usually some sort of ATV trail that is suitable for hauling materials. It is important to take other users into consideration when using these trails in summer since hauling 40 loads of material over a fragile ATV trail can really tear it up and anger other users which is best to avoid if you plan on being a good neighbor. When you start cutting trees to make the trail wider you might meet with some resistance as well.
We have found in many instances if the trail is more than seven or eight miles and not improved it is sometimes more economical to use a helicopter to haul materials if there is a suitable staging area close by.
  • Helicopters are expensive but they are very quick way to handle building materials, often you can get everything hauled to the lot in one day and be ready to build. You also have to consider the ferry time when you use a helicopter. You will be charged  when they leave their base of operations and the clock runs whenever the rotors are turning until they return to their base. Even at the higher cost this is a very efficient way to transport materials to a remote site.
  • Float planes are a good option if you are near a suitable lake or river for landing. Dehaviland Beavers and Otters are the workhorses of the float plane world and you can move a lot of material with either of these aircraft. The important thing is you need to have a suitable spot to offload and people to help when the plane arrives.
  • Boats and barges are a great choice if you are on a waterway suitable. Remember, the difficulty of getting materials and equipment from the landing spot to the site must be considered in figuring costs.
  • Track Vehicles are an excellent means of transporting materials in the right area. They can haul a big load through wet and muddy areas usually right to the site. In some areas they are not practical since the trails are made for ATVs and the track rigs are too large.
There are many methods of  transporting materials to a remote building site, more than we have discussed in this blog. Remember to take into consideration transportation to the staging area, loading and unloading, and transportation from the landing area to the building site. These steps are very important and can take a lot of time and effort.

"In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.” 
— Les Brown