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    • Handoff in the Heights

      September 18, 2020

      As we hand off yet another Copper Island Fine Home to happy clients, we’re reminded that each house we build involves a relationship.

      In this case, we’re handing over the keys for a home that we started building early this year. But the actual process began in July, 2018, when we first met our clients, who are from Alberta and wanted to retire in Blind Bay. They needed help finding a building lot that met their needs and expectations—and in their case, a lake view at the top of the list.

      We assessed this MacArthur Heights lot for them and discovered it would indeed have a lake view after a few challenges were dealt with—some tall trees and a neighbour’s roof below were the main concerns. The trees could be easily dealt with, and we resolved the roof issue by having our surveyor shoot some elevation to ensure views would be available from both floors of a new house.

      Our clients went ahead and purchased the lot August 2019, and we started our custom design and pricing process to fit their budget. Last December, we reached an agreement and signed a contract. With that in place, we started work.

      Our original completion date was scheduled for November 27. Through hard work, creative scheduling, and a complete buy-in from our clients in terms of providing their choices and contributions on time, we completed the home this week. In the end, we were able to let our clients take possession nine weeks ahead of schedule, so that they could take advantage of the final weeks of summer to enjoy it.

      They’re looking forward to moving in, settling into their new community, meeting the neighbors, and enjoying the golf course. And their also looking forward to directing the landscaping of their impressive new home.

      Our thanks to our clients—like our staff and subtrades, they put a lot of effort into making their new home, with its impressive westward lake views, become a reality.

    • Finish Line In Sight

      September 06, 2020

      Our Eagle Bay Road view project is getting closer to completion. With just three weeks left at this stunning lakeview project, we find ourselves on track for an end-of-September handover to our clients, who are so pleased with our work that they opted to added a breezeway-connected garage which is now framed and ready for siding (you can see it in the photo below, along with the soaring floor-to-ceiling fireplace in the great room).

      Currently, we’re completing electrical finishing and lighting installs, painting touch-ups, finishing of all trims and beams, and shower doors. This week, we’ll also be completing the granite countertops, which have been back-ordered out of the USA due to COVID-19. And early next week, we’ll install carpets and appliances.

      When everything is completed to our satisfaction, we’ll begin our trademark Copper Island pre-occupancy cleaning process, and get ready for our final pre-delivery inspections.

      It’s been another exceptional project for us—with the spectacular views and such exceptional clients, we’ll miss working here!

    • Meanwhile, in Turtle Valley...

      August 29, 2020

      We’re a little behind schedule on our first ever project west of the Shuswap—a custom two-story in a relatively remote location south of Chase. Unfortunately, our framing crew had prior obligations on another project, which resulted in delays—but we’re moving fast on it now and looking forward to getting back on schedule, which is entirely achievable given that our framing crew now has some extra manpower.

      We’re happy to report that our foundation passed inspection with flying colours by the Thompson Nicola Regional District. Framing started earlier this week, with crawlspace walls completed, floor joists installed, and sub-floor sheeting glued and screwed. Exterior wall framing is now in progress, and our roof trusses will be arriving end of the coming week.

      Our roofers are standing by, and assuming we can get them on the project as soon as roof sheeting has been installed, we should be in great shape to get locked up before any weather issues. Windows and exterior doors are in production and on schedule.

      If there is anything negative to report, it’s the high cost of lumber. COVID-19 and USA trade issues have resulted in staggering 30 to 60 percent increase in prices in just the last few months.

      On the property itself, the septic system and well have now been installed. Our clients are still working with a BC Hydro design team to determine viability of onsite hydro versus solar and generator power.

      Our staff and sub-trades tell us that they’re really enjoying the outstanding weather and the gorgeous views and surroundings in Turtle Valley! Check out the photos below of our progress, including a worksite aerial photo taken with our new drone.

    • Another Renewal

      August 21, 2020

      In the past few years, we’ve been doing more and more complete rebuilds on lakefront properties. They’re great projects to work on, because they’re challenging and incredibly rewarding. So we couldn’t be happier to be just in the starting stages of one more of these types of projects, which is in addition to another one we have currently underway.

      This latest project is for homeowners who have outgrown their home and have a strong desire to upgrade to a new west coast style home that enhances livability for them and their family in the Shuswap for years to come.

      Plans for the new home have recently been completed—you can see the conceptual drawing below, right beside the photo of the existing structure that will be demolished. The plan features abundant rock and wood timbers which will allow it to blend beautifully into the neighbourhood. The driveway will be reconfigured up from the street to add height and allow for a basement (the existing home only has a crawlspace).

      While we wait to geotechnical assessments, engineering reviews, riparian assessment, and building and demolition permits, we’re busy completing the septic design and many other pre-building tasks.

      Demolition is currently scheduled for September, with construction to start immediately after. Our goal is to be locked up prior to the arrival of colder weather, which will allow us to work inside in comfort on this outstanding home.

      Our thanks as always to our clients for putting their trust in Copper Island Fine Homes.

    • That's a Big Hammer!

      August 12, 2020

      With all permits finally in place, we’re underway with our demolition of an existing waterfront house and outbuildings in Eagle Bay, which, when complete, will make way for a stunning new home.

      Our clients, who hail from Calgary, have fond memories of the existing home, as they’ve been spending quality time here for years. But when they saw the stunning new home that we recently built for a neighbour, they knew it was time for them to do the same.

      Of course, what goes up always come down much faster—particularly when one of our prime excavation contractors, George Doyle of D & L Backhoe Services, gets one of his largest excavators into the mix. It’s an incredible experience to watch him demolish an old home like this (see photos below).

      Of course, it hasn’t been all about just smashing the old home to pieces. Asbestos and lead were discovered in the original home, and during a week-long process, we successfully removed it. It’s interesting to note that engineering inspections revealed the original concrete foundation failed our strength test, and while it contained no rebar, it did have plenty of lake rocks for filler. That made using the foundation out of the question.

      Another part of the process is ensuring no environmental impact occurs during demolition, which is whywe’ve engaged Triton Environmental to monitor our work. We also hired an arborist to assess potential root damage from the excavator to trees close to new building structure. As it turns out, no trees were harmed during the work.

      Meanwhile, we’ve also had a structural engineering firm reviewing the house plans and providing prescriptions for a steel “moment” frame on the lake side to strengthen walls of essentially glass, which will maximize the stunning lake views.

      Original lakeside concrete retaining walls were determined to be in poor shape and are being removed along with the original house and detached structures.

      Our foundation and framing crews are standing by to start as soon as possible, in order to ensure lockup before the late fall stormy weather. Design decisions and selections are well underway with our clients. Our thanks to them for allowing us the opportunity to build yet another signature lakefront home!

    • High Drama!

      August 05, 2020

      Nothing adds a dramatic flair to a new home more than a vaulted ceiling. And the great room vault of this home, located along Eagle Bay Road, is that much more dramatic thanks to the exquisite finishing touches being provided by our skilled staff and sub-trades.

      The soaring fireplace is being completed with Black Rundle natural stone—it truly is an outstanding piece of work being performed by Marcus Masonry of Blind Bay. Adding to the drama are the custom dark-stained poplar beams, which are being done by our own finisher, Chuck Beaton, along with local carpenter Mark Orchard. All of this will be complemented by the stained wood handrail that’s currently in production with our cabinet supplier, Renaissance Joinery and Millwork of Salmon Arm (who will also be installing the cabinets later this week). Together, the level of craftsmanship represented by these finishes is truly outstanding. We’re taking such care with this project that, together with our clients, we made a decision to reject the factory interior doors originally ordered due to high moisture content; new doors have subsequently been built and installed.

      The first round of finishing trim is complete, with a second round scheduled for immediately after the final tile and luxury vinyl plank installs take place this week. As well, closet shelving and organizers have been site-measured and are in production.

      Meanwhile, the exterior is being completed with HardiPlank siding, Black Rundle natural stone, 60 mil Driftwood Duradek, and 42” Quartz Grey square top aluminum handrail with glass panels. As well, the septic tank and field have recently been installed.

      We’re currently working with our clients, who are currently located in Arizona, to coordinate the final stages of construction and arrive at an occupancy date that works with given Covid-19 complications, air travel restrictions, and homeowner needs.

    • Turtle Valley Check-in

      July 28, 2020

      Our first ever project west of Chase – a custom two story in Turtle Valley – is moving along nicely.

      As shown in the photos below, the foundation has been completed, and underground plumbing services have been installed and pressure tested. That’s allowed to us also complete the backfill and site compaction. Services have also been installed for septic and future hydro connections.

      We took no chances about radon gas, and finished the crawlspace with 6 mil UV poly with taped seams on top of radon rock. That leaves us ready for the basement slab pour and finish, which we’ll do alongside the garage slab pour and finish.

      Our framer for this project has been delayed on other job until mid-August. We’re confident, however, that we’ll have no problem making up time as we start and getting back on schedule.

      One of the many challenges of this rural property is no immediate or easy access to BC Hyrdro services. Our clients continue to assess the advantages of paying for necessary hydro upgrades versus installation of a 100 percent solar system.

      Looking forward, we’ve planned well: windows, doors, floor joists, roof trusses, and roofing materials have all been confirmed and ordered. Our clients are ahead of the curve with their critical choices and have selected fireplace, decking material, overhead door and other items well in advance.

      We’re looking forward to dry weather conditions for framing in August, with completion scheduled for the first week in September. Watch for more updates.

    • Old to New

      July 18, 2020

      Nothing makes us happier when someone is so impressed with one of our previous projects that they decide to hire us to build their own Shuswap dream.

      That’s the case with this new project in Eagle Bay, which will consist of complete demolition of an existing lakefront cabin and construction of an incredible new home. The Calgary homeowners have been coming to the Shuswap for years, but recently decided to move here full time. When they took a tour through their neighbours’ new home, which we constructed last year, they decided to move forward with us.

      The initial hope was that a new home could be built on the original home’s foundation, but when performed numerous tests on the foundation, we found it simply wasn’t constructed properly. So the entire structure will be demolished, and the new house will be moved toward road to conform to the 15 meter Ministry of Environment setback regulations.

      In siting the new home, we paid special attention to the driveway slope and access to Eagle Bay road to ensure safe access, particular in winter conditions.

      Inspections resulted in the discovery of asbestos, so we have hazmat crews on site next week to remove it prior to demolition. We have already completed archaeological, geotechnical and floodplain assessments, and we’re working with Triton Environmental to assess and monitor our on-site lake protection measures as required by the CSRD throughout construction. Hydrological engineering and septic designs have been completed; the design is intricate to ensure the fit of the septic field between the house and road, as well as tank location for gravity feed from the main floor.

      Exceptional plans have been created by Kelly Meyer. They are so detailed that they allow all of us to confidently work through the planning, pre-estimate and design processes, not only for the home, but for landscaping, rock walls and septic installation.

      As you can see from the conceptual drawings below, the home will be stunning—for example, note the wealth of lake-facing windows (which, incidentally, require engineering and a steel structure to stiffen the lake wall and protect it from wind flex).

      Kitchen designs are well underway by Deanne Roberts of Fine & Dandy Design. Mechanical system designs for HVAC, plumbing and electrical are also underway. We’re also reviewing options for solar and radiant floor heat, with an on-demand boiler for radiant and house water.

      Other work to date includes securing of a demolition permit, a 100 meter lakes development permit, construction insurance, and Travelers home warranty. WCB has been notified of demolition. We have also completed a hydro design review, with a decision made to upgrade to 400 amp service. And lake water drilling and pump design have been reviewed, and installation is in progress.

      We look forward to all of our projects, but needless to say, we’re particularly looking forward to completing this outstanding home given its features and challenges!

    • Another First for Copper Island

      July 11, 2020

      Late last year, Copper Island Fine Homes took on its first project in Sicamous. This month, we’re expanding our range again – this time to the west.

      Our clients are an extremely nice young couple with family from the Lower Mainland. They’re relocating to the Shuswap for a more peaceful lifestyle, and have purchased an acreage in the beautiful, bucolic Turtle Valley, southeast of Chase. Both have experience with the construction industry – he works in the manufacturing supply side, while she is an interior designer who has developed the house plans for the project (they’ve been touched up by a local plan drawer).

      The home features 1,192 square feet on the main floor, 1,017 square feet on the upper floor, a 562 square foot garage, and a 464 square foot loft above the garage.

      Finishes will include HardiPlank siding, Cambridge asphalt shingles, Tyee vinyl windows, Lennox propane furnace with air conditioner, power-vented propane hot water tank, maple shaker cabinets, Hanstone quartz counter tops, laminate, tile and carpet.

      We started our excavation in June, and recently completed the foundation, as shown in the photos below (forming on the left side, the stripped foundation on the right). Hats off to our foundation crew, Drew Blaine and his team, who hit it hard through the wettest summer and even worked over Canada Day to bring us back on schedule. The footings and walls have been inspected and passed by Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD), and we’re now waiting for a little concrete curing before we get started on perimeter drains and backfilling.

      Looking forward, our floor joists, roof trusses, windows and exterior doors are on order. Septic design, well drilling and solar design discussions are in progress. The project presents some interesting challenges – for example, the hydro supply to the property is currently limited and requires design work which may require a six month or more delay; our clients are currently exploring solar and generator backup options. As well, access to the property required a steeper switch back road cut through the forest, and water can only be provided via a well.

      We will continue to move the schedule forward as efficiently as possible without sacrificing quality or sub-trade health during the ongoing pandemic, with the overall goal of moving our clients in as quickly as possible.

    • Home on the Hill

      July 02, 2020

      Despite the soggy conditions, our current projects are all progressing well. Case in point is this stunning view rancher in MacArthur Heights, where Brian and his crew from A-1 Siding are more than up to the task. They’ve got the house all wrapped in Tyvek, and they’re currently installing flashing and 4” Smart Trim details on all the windows in preparation for HardiPlank siding.

      Inside, our crews are also making good headway, albeit in the comfort of drier conditions. Our project manager, Dean Friesen, is overseeing the finishing stages. Cabinets have been installed, along with counter tops. Our plumbers are also on site, starting their finishing with sink and tap installations. Closet shelving and organizers have been measured and ordered, and once flooring has been completed, installation will begin. And our finishing carpenter, Chuck Beaton, has started hanging the interior doors.

      Looking forward, our hardwood install is scheduled for the week of July 27th. We’re also waiting on a few back ordered lights before the entire lighting package can be delivered for installation. A second round of painting will also begin later this month. And the home’s deck railing is now in stock and will be installed once the upper deck posts are completed.

      Next week, our clients will be arriving for a tour and inspection. We’re absolutely sure they will be pleased with the level of progress and first glimpses of their stunning lakeviews!