I did a quick search on your callsign on the k5ehx.net site, and it came up with 28 repeaters that should cover your area, some of them across the border in VE7. I know some of the repeaters there are on serious mountains, with good coverage. I'd start by programming in the repeaters from the k5ehx site, and see if you hear anything then.
If the exterior wall is concrete, or contains a lot of metal like the foil they use to wrap new buildings, that would be a pretty effective RF shield. Try your HT from a more open location like a local park.
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