Incredible undertaking - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Incredible undertaking

NIBCA to celebrate 30th anniversary of building home in less than seven hours

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Posted: Saturday, July 7, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 11:32 am, Fri Nov 16, 2012.

Six hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds.

Evalyn Adams remembers the time as if it was yesterday, but it was 30 years ago today that the North Idaho Building Contractors Association shocked the world by building a three-bedroom house in Post Falls in that amount of time.

The economy at the time was sputtering similar to today.

"It was without a doubt the most fantastic project with which I've been involved," said Adams, who was NIBCA's executive officer during the effort.

The project featured on the national TV show "That's Incredible" and on the radio with Paul Harvey, was believed to be a world record at the time for fastest-home built and injected a renewed sense of spirit in the local economy.

The home built confidence with buyers and builders alike.

"We built that house to try to find something positive to talk about," Adams said. "At that time interest rates were around 18 percent, but we wanted to emphasize it was still possible to buy a home."

Adams, the NIBCA, the Professional Women in Building and others are planning a 30th anniversary reunion celebration of the "one-day house" on Sept. 19 in conjunction with NIBCA's annual general membership meeting to kick off the group's season. The "That's Incredible" show will be shown, along with photos from the construction, during the dinner.

The time, site and cost for the event are to be determined, but it is open to anyone interested. Updates will be posted at or for more information call 765-5518.

The idea for the one-day house came from a bet in Boise during the board meeting of the Idaho Building Contractors Association.

A Boise group had built a home in about a month, which prompted a rally cry from the North.

"It was really to prove to the Boise builders that we could do it better and faster," Adams said. "The focus was on the fact that people could afford to buy a house and that there was money available."

NIBCA's army of 300 volunteer craftspeople, led by co-chairmen Al Bowen, Jim Crowe, Mike Hughes and Fred Paige, went to work on the meticulously organized project and got it completely finished, building inspection and all, in less than seven hours.

"They had detailed instructions for every crew for every job on the project, and each crew had different-colored T-shirts so they could be identified," Adams said, adding that the projected finish was eight hours. "It was amazing to watch."

The home, which has had just two owners, was pre-sold through the Idaho Housing Association to Richard and Melinda Galbraith for $39,500.

NIBCA volunteers even moved in the couple's furniture and they were served a gourmet meal on the first day in their home on what is now Global Court off Greensferry Road near the Spokane River. The project was so fine-tuned that Melinda's mother called the just-hooked-up phone moments after they took ownership.

"There was even smoke coming from the chimney of the wood stove that the owners had requested," said Cliff Anderson, who was the co-chair for the NIBCA associate members at the time. "The landscaping was done and the sidewalks were poured. It was totally complete."

Adams said the couple must have immediately felt at home.

"They were so happy and comfortable that almost nine months to the day (of moving in), they had a brand new baby boy," she said.

Adams said the building project not only drew international attention, but it helped instill a can-do attitude with NIBCA members and the community.

"There was a positive feeling of accomplishment when things seemed impossible," she said. "It helped nail down that the industry is alive and ready to serve."

Several NIBCA members involved in the project went on to be successful in other fields.

"The 30th anniversary of this extraordinary event will be a great time for us to reflect," said Larry Jeffres, current NIBCA executive officer. "It will be a celebration of something that was incredible."

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1 comment:

  • mister d posted at 9:08 am on Sat, Jul 7, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    I also remember that event and it was fun and unbelieveable. Is there anything like that planned for the future?

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