Our North Idaho Home

The story of our Idaho home starts back in May, 2006.  Willow, Jade (still cooking), dog Chinook and I, headed north in search of land.
We camped in the back of our pick-up and looked at properties everyday.

We finally bought our lot in a little town of 650 folks, Moyie Springs, Idaho.  Sitting on a bench just above the confluence of the Kootenai and Moyie Rivers, Moyie Springs is about 30 miles from Canada, 10 miles from Montana and 7 miles from the largest town in Boundary county, Bonners Ferry, weighing in at a whopping 2,500 souls.
After buying our lot, it was back to Eagle Point, Oregon.  A month and a half later, Jade Liam Spicer was born and we stayed in Eagle Point for the next year.
Click to see Jade's Photo Album
Click to see Jade's Photo Album
In mid July of 2007, we headed back to our lot.  Our goal for the summer was to get our septic tank installed and build our Shop/Garage.

Once again we camped in the back of our pick-up.  We worked on our lot during the day and then at night, headed to the woods to find a campsite near a creek so we could take a bath.

The days were unseasonably hot with temperatures in the high 90s to low 100s.  Finding a creek at night was a high priority but that also meant there would be mosquitos.  With 3 of us crammed into the back of our truck, the nights were pretty miserable.
We hired K G & T Septic to install our septic tank and excavate the spot for the shop.

After being here about a week and a half, we were at a free barbecue at the Moyie Springs Store when we met Rio.  He invited us to set up our camp on his property, only 5 miles from our lot.
We set up our dome-tent near his beautiful outdoor kitchen and solar shower.
With camping conditions greatly improved, we spent the next few weeks building the shop and seeing some of the local scenery.
Forming the foundation. Willow (& Jade) digging for plumbing.
Ready for the slab.
Completed Slab. Starting on the walls.
Standing up the first wall. Eddie Framing.
Willow and Jade. Truss delivery.
Sunset Standing up trusses.
Roof sheathing. Shingles delivery.
Applying shingles. Ready for paint.
Kootenai Falls
Moyie River
Yaak River Falls Willow & Jade - Yaak River
Yaak River Falls Moyie River Dam
At the end of September, we left the completed shell of our shop and headed back to Eagle Point for the winter.
Our task for the winter was to design the home we would build next summer.  The lines of the locally famous Wood House in Eagle Point, Oregon, would be the inspiration for our design.
In late May of 2008, we (with the help of our wonderful friend Barry) loaded the contents of my workshop and our camping supplies into a rented truck and my tool trailer and prepared to leave.  The axil of the tool trailer broke the day before we were to leave so we had to leave it behind.
I drove the U-haul and Willow drove our car.  The trip was uneventful other than the night in the Pasco Econo-Lodge from hell, but that is a story in itself and I won't bother with that now.
After unloading and organizing our stuff Willow and Jade headed to Chelan, WA to visit her folks; I took the bus back to Eagle Point to fix the trailer and bring up some more things.
Our original plan was for me to return and bring the pick-up and my flatbed trailer.  Since we had to leave the tool trailer behind, I now had 2 trailers and 1 truck that we needed to bring.  I checked out renting a pick-up and found that I could buy one cheaper than renting so I bought another truck.

Once again our friend Barry joined the team and he drove one of the trucks.  The trip was uneventful other than being hassled by the cops for trying to take a nap on the side of the road.  But, once again, I digress.

Willow and Jade returned from Chelan to meet Barry and me when we arrived.  Our new friends and neighbors, Gary and Barbara were going to be out of town and offered us their house for a couple of days.

Weary Travelers
It was rainy so we gratefully accepted.  Barry stayed a couple of days and then returned home on the bus.  Thanks again Barry!

We set up our wall tent at Rio's place, moved our kitchen supplies into the outdoor kitchen and geared up to build the house.

We had our water service activated so we had water on site, but we were still having to use a generator for our power.
Cleaning up some brush and trees.

Good Helper

Break Time
Having completed the excavation for the house last fall, we were ready to start right away on the foundation.  We hired John Wells to help with the concrete work.
John was great, he charged us a fee for the use of his forms and then just an hourly rate while he was there working.  This arrangement allowed me to do most of the prep work by myself and we saved a great deal of money as a result.

Pouring the foundation.
Playing in the sand.
With the foundation complete, we are now on our own to start building.


Floor Joists
In July, Ron and Susan, Willow's folks, came for a visit and brought their grandson, Willow's nephew, Bennet.

Bennet stayed for a week and was a great help on the understructure, floor joists and sub-floor.  He was also great with Jade and having him here gave us an excuse to take a little time off.  We went swimming, sightseeing and canoeing while he was here.

Jade's Birthday Party

The swing Jade got from Papa & SueSue

Kootenai River

Moyie Springs

Jade at the Garden Gate.

Bath time.
Ron and Susan came back to take Bennet home and once again it was back to the 3 of us.
First Floor Walls

House & Shop

Inspector Jade

Sacked out in the shop.

Laying out second floor walls.
Bennet, his brothers Carter and Weston, friend Ian and Dad Kevin stopped by on their way home from a camping trip.  I knew they were coming so I had built the first and biggest wall for the second floor.  When they arrived, we stood up that wall and then we took them to our favorite swimming hole on the Yaak River in Montana.

They stayed for the night and left in the morning, except for Bennet who stayed for another week.

Ernie and Carolyn, our neighbors from across the street, offered us the use of their electricity.  So, we stretched a cord across the street and no longer had to start nor listen to that generator, yippee!

Second Floor

Cousin Bennet
Bennet helped with the second floor walls and the placing of the trusses.  Once again he was a great help & very entertaining.  We took him to Sandpoint and put him on the train to return home.

Burying Bennet
The end of August was wet.  It rained a lot during the work on the trusses and the coming of fall was definitely on our minds.
On the really wet days, we worked in the shop on the wiring and plumbing.  We had several trenches open for conduits and sewer pipes and we needed to complete the wiring and plumbing in the shop before we could backfill the trenches.

The trenches made work on the second floor siding nearly impossible since we couldn't set up the scaffolding on the uneven ground.

We were beginning to worry about getting the roof on in time.  But there is always time to have some fun.

Jade's creation

Jade's & Mommy's bolt sculpture.
In September, the weather improved and we skipped the second floor siding and worked on the roof framing and sheathing.
The sheathing was completed and the weather outlook was good for the week so we dared to take the week off to go to Rabbitstick.

Rabbitstick was great; we saw many friends and enjoyed a week of wonderful weather.  The day we got back from Rabbitstick it poured.  We had water standing on the sub-floor.  Now, we were once again in a rush to complete the roof.

Our friend Jim, that we had just seen at Rabbitstick, stopped by on his way home to British Columbia.  He stayed for a week and helped us with the roof felt-paper and the metal drip edges.

It was a fun week hanging out with Jim and getting to know him better.  We also got a lot of work done.

With the felt-paper on, the house got very little water in it even though the second floor walls were incomplete.  That relieved a lot of the tension.

I contacted and hired a roofer to help me with the shingles.  We waited a week for him and worked on the wiring in the shop.

After a week he called and said it would be a couple more days before he could be there.  After those days went by he called and completely bailed out.

The last of our garden's bounty at Rio's Place.
By now, the middle of October, the nights are cold and damp.  The days are mixed with showers and sunshine.  We took advantage of a couple of nice dry days and we broke our camp at Rio's.  We were able to store our dry canvas and move into the still unfinished shop.

Our new camp.
We found another roofer and he and I finished the roof in a couple of days.

Now, with the roof done we turned our attention to finishing the plumbing and electrical in the shop so we can get our inspections.

Near the end of October we passed our inspections and backfilled all of the trenches.
With our inspections passed, we are anxious to insulate and sheetrock.  The nights have been cold here in the unfinished shop.  The coldest morning inside the shop was 28 degrees.  We discovered that we could hire a company to insulate the shop cheaper than we could buy the insulation ourselves.

Just after halloween, Jade's new tricycle arrived.
Aunt Barbara had sent money to buy a tricycle for Jade's birthday and it took us awhile to find the one we wanted.  After putting it together, we all had a spin.
After the insulation was done, we spent most of November and December finishing the shop.

Jade finishing sheetrock.
After sheetrocking and painting, we installed all the electrical outlets, switches and lights.  We built the work bench, storage shelf and bathroom cabinet; installed the sinks, bathroom floor and the woodstove and finished the attic storage area above the shop.
On the really nice days we kept picking away at the house but our main focus was to finish the shop.  The shop has turned into a very nice one room cabin/shop.  The temperatures dropped into the zero range for a couple of weeks but with the woodstove burning, we have been toasty warm.  We've actually been too warm; a couple of times it has been above 80 degrees.

After spending 2 days in a truck stop parking lot, due to road closures, Aunt Barbara arrived for a Christmas visit.
Barbara stayed for a week and a half.  We had a nice Christmas and a fun visit.  Jade got a little red sled and our dog Chinook fulfilled his life-long dream of being a real sled dog.
The new year is here and work continues on the house.  We have a bit of siding yet to finish, more windows to install and then we will start the plumbing and electrical inside the house.
Well that's all for now I have to get back to work.  We will keep you informed as we progress!

New Neighbor

This page was created by Eddie Spicer, © 2009.