Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Building a house Part 1

We decided last year to build a house for our older years in Idaho. My husband grew up in Idaho Falls, and he is ready to "go home". 

The thought was a four year window. Get the grands all in school and then move when they are not looking. 

The pandemic lock down has changed all that. No need to stay in the East when we could not see our grandchildren on a regular basis. There are fines for going over bridges and we were told to stay inside. We could not attend Church, concerts, parades. Way to much control over our lives. We can do just as much with grands on Facetime while fishing on the Snake River. 

Of course, we could fish/crab the Delaware Bay or Jonas River, but the warnings to only eat one product from these places a year because of the heavy metals in the water....no thank you. Once the federal clean waters act was lifted in this area the states paid no attention and the fertilizer and metals began dumping again. @@ the mid Atlantic states are a mess! Western waters tend to be state controlled and clean. Don't let a cattle rancher catch you messing with the water!!! 

That is another topic for another day.

One of the challenges of building right now is that we are building with US products. The administration has high tariffs on wood from Canada and China. Both have been clear cutting and shipping at a loss to undercut the US market. We get it. So, we are backing US jobs and paying a higher price.

What does that mean to us? Currently our pice for framing materials is up 30%. Our costs for OSB board is up 50%. That also means that these products are fairly cut, harvested, and paid for. They do not include a bunch of formaldehyde or other chemicals used in China - not acceptable to us. 

We are buying our cupboards from a local craftsman. Most had stopped building because they were undercut by big box. With the tariffs, they are on par.  We are using local crews- who are legal and settled in the area. They are bussssyyyy, but will step in for a self build neighbor. We are using small businesspeople for our flooring products- also US made. Appliances are a challenge, but we are getting there. European or US made as long as they are fair wage items. 

We are putting our money where our mouths are. 
Fair wage, good products, growing economy. 
To us you cannot say, "I want the US to be a good place for the next generation" and then buy market flooded stuff from a different place. That is how we have always been. Buy local. 

So, on we go. No matter who is President- we want to be in the West. 

The building continues! 
 Hold on---it is going to be a ride for sure!


  1. Hi. I enjoy your writing and am sorry you are feeling the sadness of the isolation. It is a sad time. But you surprised me with the note about bridges, I can't find any evidence that anyone got fined for leaving maryland or delaware, it seemed to be dramatic headlines in march, then died away. My family has been up and down the coast from NC to Maine (responsibly) and everything seems fine. My other thought is that this mess should be behind us in about a year and it might take that long to get into a new house. Wishing you the best.

    1. I do know a person who was given a ticket early on. It is what it is. We were stopped, several times, traveling back into Delaware.
      Thank you for your best wishes.

  2. I am wondering Maryland, if you chose to cruise up and down the NC to Maine coast when states were asking for quarantine? Did you obey the "if you enter you should stay inside for 14 days" ? I know Maryland was really big on that one- as was most of the Mid Atlantic. I am glad your experience was different, but I really worked to keep within the guidelines that my state and base asked me to keep.