Part 1: Concrete Stem Wall Foundation – James David Custom Homes – Coeur d’Alene Idaho

Four years ago, when my wife and I visited Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we fell in love with the natural majestic beauty of this pristine area. We loved the quaint, small-town feel, but appreciated the large city amenities that it held. Since Coeur d’Alene is one of the fastest growing cities in the Northwest, we knew that this was the perfect place to expand our business, building luxury homes in beautiful settings.

Building in Coeur d’Alene

James David Custom Homes is a premier luxury home builder in Southern California. We know the area, the topography, and the code. We build homes with your choice of style and floor plan, everything from Contemporary to French Provincial, from Industrial Modern to Colonial Eclectic. We pride ourselves in providing the client with optimal performance, the highest quality workmanship, and white glove customer service. We maintain our brand’s reputation for trust, integrity, and relationships.

So is this different in Coeur d’Alene?

Yes….and no. We continue to provide the same excellence in customer service, We walk you through each detail of your build and keep you informed with each step of the process. We continue to collaborate with you, exchanging ideas and understanding all decisions that are being made.

Our workmanship remains unparalleled, with the highest quality materials, the most skilled and experienced staff, and the best, fairest pricing available. We believe that no detail is too small to receive our full, undivided attention. We work to keep you informed of our performance, and will respect timelines.

Building in Coeur d’Alene is unique.

The terrain is different. Instead of working in the Southern California hills, we are now building in the forests of the Rocky Mountains. Instead of building near the ocean, we are building near the Spokane River and Lake Coeur d’Alene.

The climate is different. Southern California offers temperate, sunny days for most of the year. Coeur d’Alene offers four seasons, offering a cold, moist climate in the winter, and a warm, dry summer. The daily mean temperature ranges from 29.8 °F in December to 69 °F in July and August.

The people are not different, and our business is based on working with people. We have found people in Southern California as well as Northern Idaho to be friendly, gracious, and treat you with warmth and respect. This, for us, does not seem to have anything to do with geography, but rather with the way we treat our neighbors, coworkers, and clients.

Building Dreams in Coeur d’Alene

To get an idea of our work in Coeur d’Alene, I want to walk you through this luxurious build, nestled in the pines on six acres of forest atop a hill overlooking Lake Coeur d’Alene. This 5800 square foot dream home has vaulted ceilings, a three-car garage, and views to die for. Using native materials when possible, and antique recycled timbers, adds to its beauty and sustainability.


Since this home site is on a 40% grade, our crew spent time excavating and removing dirt, debris, and boulders, so that a foundation could be built on a completely flat platform. Once the surface was completely level, we began to lay the foundation.

When building on a hill or mountainside, the first priority is to be sure that the home has a strong foundation. It must withstand erosion, support the weight of a large home, all while seeming to blend with the natural landscape. In this build, we had to start with a retaining wall in order to stabilize the home being built on a hillside. We used plywood forms to pour four hundred sixty linear feet of concrete to support the wall. Strengthened with rebar, the retaining wall ranged in height from two feet at the lowest to fifteen feet at the highest point.

Boulders stabilize the property and retain the natural slope of the land. This added beauty also made the entrance passable and safe. Boulders weighing from two to three thousand pounds were set at an angle with a heavy-duty crane, tilting them slightly to get the best retention.

Trusses and Timbers

Ten foot ceilings and a huge expanse required us to use cranes to set the trusses in place. The complex roof line required precision to lift and set in place. A vault in the master bedroom, great room, and foyer range from fourteen to nineteen feet. These spaces are complemented by distressed, reclaimed timbers that came from a 250-year-old barn. Not only are they beautiful, they each weigh approximately one ton, so careful handling was important.

The loggia and the patio used glued laminate timbers that were reinforced with 8 x 14 steel plates. The crane operator was able to set these in place efficiently and precisely.

More about James David Custom Homes

With over thirty years of experience, JDCH has built luxury dream homes in Southern California, and, now, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. It is our honor and privilege to work with some of the best clients to help them realize their dreams. Our homes represent the best in structural integrity, livability and sustainability, and our expertise shows in all that we do. We offer unsurpassed customer service because, not only is this our business, this is our passion.

We love building in Coeur d’Alene because of the great people, the beautiful, natural backdrop, and being part of a city that is growing.

If you want to see this new custom house being built, follow the video series on our YouTube page

If you haven’t been to Coeur d’Alene, what are you waiting for?

If you are planning to build your dream home, either in Orange County or Coeur d’Alene, we can help.

Contact us today to get started, or check out our portfolio to see the beautiful homes we have built and get ideas for your own.