Category Archives: Building a log home

Toyostove OM-128 Hydronic Heater and in floor heating/ radiant installation (Part One)


 In Fairbanks, Alaska, home heating has become a focal point of modern design with heating fuel costs so high. Radiant floor heating has become the standard in most modern homes because of its relative efficiency to other applications but also becasue of general comfort levels. There are various hydronic heaters on the market but here in Fairbanks, Alaska, the most commonly used is the Toyostove OM-128 Oil Miser.


Our friends at Monkeywrench Mechanical, one of Fairbanks best plumbing companies, are doing the heating install.


Once the kitchen cabinets are layed out, the in floor tubing will be installed just before the gypcrete or concrete floor is poured.

Check back in a few weeks to see the pour!

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Fall projects for Straight Ahead Construction (Part 1)


We picked back up with this Fairbanks, Alaska log home this week. Monkey Wrench Mechanical is our trusted plumbing subcontractor and they roughed in the vents, drains, and supply lines.  IMG_1608

The mechanical room is going in as we speak. Hopefully we will be heating this place in a few weeks to start moving in and finish it up.

Fairbanks Alaska builderSee more links to this project here.

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How to stabilize a tongue and groove second story of a home

In Fairbanks, Alaska, we are fairly minimalistic people and often this is applied to homes. In this home the second story is 1 1/4″ plywood and 2X6″ tongue and groove over two log walls and three log beams.

See that house here

The floor is a bit bouncy, as planned, but there were measures taken in advance to deal with it. The first was having several trusses engineered to attach some hardware to.

See those trusses here.

The next was having some receiving plates made to support steel rods that go through the beams.  Last week I posted pictures of these plates on our Facebook page and asked what they were for. Lots of great responses to that question!

Here are the receiving plates installed. Click here for a better image.


The exposed nut washer and some threading

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Fairbanks Alaska construction contractor Straight Ahead Constrction

Now the support rods running from the roof rafters down through the interior closet and bathroom walls into the floor below.

Straight Ahead Construction Fairbanks, Alaska

Once the nuts were tightened, we were on to stocking sheet rock and doing the vapor barrier for the lid.

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Curbless shower install in a non-conforming bathroom area remodel

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Custom curbless shower remodel in Fairbanks, Alaska

This bathroom was not part of the original design of this house and was a closet before becoming a master bath.


The original remodel was a disaster from the get go. Look at how small the shower cavity is. The high point in the shower was 5’6″ inches. The homeowners wanted to install a simple walk-in shower stall but as you can see from the space, that would have left some wasted and awkward space.



Here we removed the tub and previous wet wall.


We went the opposite direction to include the angled wall as the back wall for the shower surround.


James fastens the Densheild to the wall.

After Ful access, ADA, universal design showers and bathrooms

Let’s revisit before


This shower has a zero profile transition from floor into the shower.

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Previously curbless showers were thought of as an ADA use only but now in Fairbanks we are moving towards “Universal Design”. The concept being that you plan for the future today.  New homes should have some design incorporated that allows for any disabled, short or long term, person to use the facilities. Plan design in advance allows for control over the way it looks and saves 10’s of 1000’s of dollars down the road on remodels.  If you are building a custom home in Fairbanks, Alaska, contact us about Universal Design ideas.

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Contact or call (907)978-3344 for a free estimate.

We are locally owned, licensed, bonded, insured Fairbanks, Alaska remodeler and general contractor.


Still winter here!

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Building a log home (Part 4- Roof is on)

The 12/12 (45 degree pitch) roof on this custom Fairbanks, Alaska home.

Laying out felt (tar paper) for quality built roof.

We pushed the roof metal up the ladder.  It was cumbersome and luckily the weather cooperated.

Luke screws down the last few rows of screws as we bring the steel across the top back to front (left to right).

Tom is at the peak tied off and loving the pitch.

Now the other side…

Tom and Luke work on the valley next to the dormer…

…really far off the ground. That extension ladder is 40 feet long.  We moved purposefully.

Below is a valley on the eyebrow that helps protect the logs.

Front entry corner eyebrow.

View of finished roof from southeast.

The northwest view does not show much roof but you can see the finished eyebrow corners.

The house is ready for any number of next steps such as windows and siding.  We will reconvene in July to figure out whats next.

Thanks for visiting.  Please see our website for more information or like us on Facebook.

Contact or call (907)978-3344 for a free estimate.

We are locally owned, licensed, bonded, insured Fairbanks remodeler and general contractor.


Building a log home (Part 3- Trusses on the roof)

Truss day.  Lots of people to help stand these trusses.  Fairbanks Truss manage to get down the narrow driveway.  We laid this out and cut some blocking the previous day.  To see the double wall construction link back to “…Part 2”  of this home.

The longest truss is 28 feet.  They are all 11 1/2 feet tall.

Swinging out over the guest cabin.

The boom did not have the reach to get across to the west gable end so we set them down as close as we could, sheeted the gable end, and stood it.  We built a temporary wall in the center of the room to support the truss peaks.

There are no photos while rolling trusses because everyone needs to be on task.  Taking pictures is a distraction.

Above- The east gable end is sheeted on the ground before operator Jay put this lat one exactly into place with no adjustments necessary. He’s done this a couple times.

Above and below gable shot before and after sheeted gable went up.

Eve on.

South side sheeted with 5/8 inch CDX plywood.

A little head scratching on another architectural detail above the bay.

Below is the detail worked out.

Roof is sheeted and ready for felt (tar paper).  We should have that done and some tin on the roof today.  Photos of the finished roof next Thursday. Any questions?

Thanks for visiting.  Please see the Straight Ahead Construction, llc website for more information or like us on Facebook.

Contact or call (907)978-3344 for a free estimate.

Straight Ahead Construction, llc is a locally owned, licensed, bonded, insured Fairbanks, Alaska remodeler and general contractor.


Building a log home (Part 2- Floor and Walls)

The second story deck of this Fairbanks, Alaska log home is down.  In the previous post “Building a log home (Part 1- The Plan)”there are photos showing the logs and beams before this deck went down.  Here is a scan of the floor plan sketch.

The deck consists of 2X6 T&G flooring with 1 1/8″ plywood over the top.  The T&G makes and attractive ceiling downstairs and then plywood provides a strong sub floor.

Now the plywood


The south wall goes up.  We put Tyvek on in advance for two reasons.  First, its just easier to have it on and tape the corners.  Second because of the log “eyebrow” shield at the bottom of the wall. The eyebrow helps protect the log from weather.  Though Tyvek is commonly used for finish siding in Goldstream Valley we will use it for its intended purpose and side the place in the fall or spring.

A few shots of the eyebrow detail.

We put the steel roofing and flashing on nearly all of the eyebrow to reduce ladder time later.

The bay walls

Here is the double wall detail from inside a window opening.  The walls are spaced 11 7/8 inches at the outside edge.  We will blow in insulation creating an r-38 wall.

A view of the bay double wall before top plating.

Top plates are on.  We will lay it out and get ready for trusses the first week in June.  These walls are so sturdy already that the normal bracing used seems overkill.

Keep your eye out for Part 3 where the 12/12 (45 degree) pitch roof goes on and you see me on the ground the whole time.

Thanks for visiting.  Please see the Straight Ahead Construction, llc website for more information or like us on Facebook.

Contact or call (907)978-3344 for a free estimate.

Straight Ahead Construction, llc is a locally owned, licensed, bonded, insured Fairbanks, Alaska remodeler and general contractor.



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