The first step: building a shed

Building a shed is a great way to hone your skills before building your ACTUAL home. We also needed a dry and safe storage area for tools and supplies before we could start building our house because, let’s face it, a Chevy Suburban that is being lived in doesn’t really afford much extra storage space. Plus all of our worldly possessions were in a storage unit in Anchorage and we were tired of paying our monthly “rent”. So with all of this in mind, we set off to build a shed.

We planned the shed as a somewhat miniature version of our house (a box with a slanted roof). Mark drew up plans for an 8’x8′ floor with walls slanting from 8′ tall in the front to 6′ tall in the back and we were on our way. Well, kind of.

Even though the snow was melted, the ground was still frozen. This made the tasks of clearing and stamping out a footprint, then constructing a level foundation nearly impossible. Nevertheless, we persisted. We did our best to clear and level the ground (which involved Mark pulling some b.a. chainsaw moves on a frozen stump), knowing that we could jack up the shed and tweak the pilings at a later time.

PPE is sexy!


An aluminium barrier between the rocks and the wood will prevent water from soaking into the wood via capillary action
Floor joists on 2′ centers
Bam! Floor is done!

We discovered that setting and leveling a foundation plus building the floor is really the most difficult and time consuming part of a build. After we got that part done, framing the walls and putting the roof on was a breeze (cue 80’s montage)!

You could say that coffee was central to the build
All of our tools are battery powered and we charge the batteries from our solar system in the Suburban


And suddenly we had a functional, no-frills shed. We still need to finish the exterior (think roofing, siding, and plexiglass to put in gaps between the rafters) but for now, we’re covering it with a tarp and focusing on our main goal; building our home. So keep your fingers crossed that the ground thaws asap!



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