'No Place Like Home:' Building Her Own

Constructing a Dream Cabin in the Alaska Wilderness

Jeannine Patané sits on a piling used as the foundation of her house near Fairbanks, Alaska. Courtesy Jeannine Patané hide caption

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itoggle caption Courtesy Jeannine Patané

Jeannine Patané had always dreamed of building a home in Alaska. After searching for years — and living in her car long enough to save the money — she found the perfect spot in the wilderness, then set about constructing the house herself. NPR's Susan Stamberg concludes her "No Place Like Home" series with Patané's story.

Patané's requirements for the site were simple. It had to be secluded enough for her to walk around naked without being seen by neighbors. And "it had to give me the feeling of home — of feeling comforted," she tells Stamberg.

The 12-foot by 12-foot cabin is now about three years old, but is still under construction — Patané plans to add siding next year, the deck still needs railings and she's building a tool shed.

She says the best part of living where she does is hearing the sounds of nature all around her. "I love during the summertime to go outside and just sit on my deck and listen," Patané says.

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