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    • Finishing, In & Out

      April 10, 2021

      One of our most challenging current projects, a West Coast stunning new build on the waterfront in Eagle Bay, is moving into the finishing stages—inside and outside. The photos below illustrate the finishing stages we’re at with both the interior and exterior.

      The exterior finishing is, to say the least, extensive and beautiful. It features a combination of acrylic stucco, stone, and siding. As you can see below, with three levels on the lake side to finish, our crews have erected scaffolding to provide the highest quality while maximizing safety. The stucco and stone areas have been wrapped and prepped with wire in preparation for scratch coats. The brown areas in the photos are finished in gorgeous Lux siding, a metal product that offers the look of wood with virtually no maintenance.

      Meanwhile, inside, the entire home has been fully boarded, and mudding and taping starts this coming week. We should be ready to start painting within three weeks.

      As you can see, this gorgeous home features a great deal of glass to take advantage of the amazing Shuswap views, looking north and west.

      Our homeowners, who have vacationed for decades here and are now relocating from Calgary full-time, have been exceptional to work with, as they made virtually all of their critical designs for design, mechanical, electrical and finishing well in advance—absolutely vital given manufacturing and sub-trade delays due to COVID-19 and the frenzy of construction that we’re currently experiencing despite the pandemic. Watch for more news and photos featuring this home in the weeks ahead, as we work diligently to ensure our clients can enjoy their new home this coming summer.

    • North Shore Frame Up

      April 03, 2021

      Here’s a quick update on one of our current projects, a custom new home in the North Shore community of Scotch Creek.

      This project had a rocky start. There was an existing cabin on the property that had to be torn down. But before we could do anything, we had to work hand in hand with the clients to help them secure all necessary assessments and permits for demolition, septic system, riparian, and actual construction. Given the pandemic last year, we experienced many frustrating delays in this process.

      But it’s now full speed ahead, and we’re working hard to make up for lost time. As you can see in the photo below, we’ve finished framing the main floor of this stunning lake front home. In fact, all the floor trusses and framing materials for the second floor are already in place, ready for the coming week when we get back to work after the holiday.

      We don’t anticipate any more significant delays with this project, and we'll look forward to finishing it at some point later this year, so that the owners have an opportunity to enjoy some warm weather in their spectacular new home. More photos coming soon!

    • St. Ives Timber Frame

      March 27, 2021

      Progress is steady at one of our new builds in St. Ives on the North Shore—a stunning timber frame home on the lakeshore.

      We thought we’d showcase some of the intricacies of timber frame builds. In portions of this home, the roof is constructed with tongue and groove (T&G) lumber on top of the roof beams. The underside of the T&G, as you can see in the photos below, becomes an incredibly beautiful finished ceiling in these cathedral parts of the home.

      Meanwhile, on the top or outer side, we do things in what seems at first to be an unorthodox order. First, the electrical rough-in wiring gets installed, typically with channels routered into the T&G. Once that’s done, a waterproof membrane, which also acts as a vapour barrier, is applied over the T&G. And once that’s on, we can proceed with cellular foam insulation on top of the membrane, which is ultimately covered with the roofing material itself.

      All of this means that we’re ending up with a completely finished ceiling in certain portions of the home—well before drywall is installed in the rest of the house. And obviously, that means we have to be careful with the rest of our work from this point onwards, so that these beautiful ceilings aren’t damaged in the process.

      As you can see in the photos, our windows have been delivered and installed, underground plumbing has been completed, and the basement slab has been prepped and poured. As well, our roofers have been working on sealing up the roof in between the days of rain that we’ve had.

      Watch for future updates as we move into the finishing stages of this home.

    • Turtle Valley Wrap Up

      March 20, 2021

      As we break ground for new builds at multiple sites, several of our projects are coming to a conclusion. One of those is a custom two story country home that we've been building in Turtle Valley. The home, which we're preparing to hand over to its new owners this week, marks the first time we've built west of the Shuswap Lake.

      This beautiful home, built for a family relocating from the Lower Mainland, gave us some unique challenges -- for example, we had to build it without hydro on site. Given the rural location, the cost to bring in a BC Hydro connection was prohibitive, and the owners made a decision to power the home with renewable sources including a solar array that provides the main source of electricity. During construction, we relied on generators and, once installed, the solar array, to provide our power.

      Here are some interior photos of the nearly finished project. We're still in the final stages of finishing and cleaning, so that's why you see the floor protection still in place. We're hoping to get some finished and staged photos later this week. Our thanks to our staff and sub-trades who worked so hard to bring this to completion, and to the new owners, who entrusted us with building their Shuswap dream.

    • Breaking Ground

      March 08, 2021
      Out along Eagle Bay Road, spring is already in the air, and that means we're breaking ground for a spectacular new custom home on the shores of the Shuswap Lake. As you can see in the elevation drawings below, it's a three-level home with basement, main level and loft, boasting about 2,800 square feet of living space along with generous outdoor spaces, carport and garage.

      The style of the home has elements of chalet, craftsman, and post and beam. It will feature a great deal of solid wood beams and rock work, including generous rock-clad posts on the lake side of the home. The outstanding design was created by Peter Manolakas of Manolakas Designs, based in Cochrane, Alberta. We believe the finished product will look absolutely at home in its rugged, pristine surroundings, and take full advantage of the gorgeous views looking northwest across the Shuswap to the mountains beyond.

      The photo beneath the plans shows our excavation contractor, George Doyle of D&L Backhoe, clearing the lot and prepping it for foundation excavating and septic field installation. Watch for more updates on this fresh start in the coming weeks.

    • High-Tech HVAC

      March 02, 2021

      We’re working towards completion of a spectacular lake-front new build on Eagle Bay Road, and we’ve just installed what is truly a state-of-art heating and cooling system that’s perfect for a home of this calibre.

      Below is a photo of the home’s mechanical room. Obviously, what you see is not a traditional furnace system. It’s a pressurized, high-velocity small duct HVAC system that was sourced from Edmonton-based Hi-Velocity Systems.

      The Hi-Velocity SDHV (Small Duct High Velocity) System is an energy-efficient air delivery system that can be designed to provide heating, cooling, filtration, ventilation, humidification and dehumidification. It’s quite different than a conventional furnace, with the main difference being that the ducting has a much smaller diameter. The insulated and sound-proofed mini-ducts, which are flexible, fit inside a framed wall so you can take the heating/cooling anywhere you want, including right down to floor level in a basement.

      The idea is to create even temperatures from floor to ceiling. This system also has the capability to have heating and cooling zones in the house, as opposed to everything being on one thermostat.

      Not only does the system create a healthier and more enjoyable indoor living environment, it saves money on monthly operating costs. And the Hi-Velocity System can remove up to 30 percent more moisture from the air than conventional systems, leaving a constant and comfortable sensation on the occupants’ skin.

      It’s just another reason why we’re enjoying building this amazing West Coast style home. Watch for more updates as we move ever closer to completion and handing off this home to its new owners.

    • Lumber Ready

      February 27, 2021
      We're ready for framing at one of our 2021 signature projects, a brand new lakefront build in Scotch Creek that will provide the new owners with gorgeous views of Copper Island. The foundation you see in the photos below was mono-poured -- that is, the footings and walls were poured at the same time. Needless to say, combining the two steps required additional preparation, but ultimately saved us time and resulted in a superb, strong foundation to build on.

      In the photos below, you can see that we've backfilled the basement portion of the foundation with stone (the garage has been backfilled with sand). The reason? This is the method we have been using for years. We believe that there simply is no better backfill material (and our engineers agree). It's extremely easy to place and level, and it's virtually self-compacting. Compared to using gravel (or, as builders shamelessly used to use in this area, the native soil from the excavation), it's also a breeze for our plumbers and electricians to lay in their underslab surfaces. And needless to say, nothing drains better while providing the most stable platform for the concrete slab that will eventually poured above it.

      In the coming weeks, we'll provide some updates as the framing work gets underway.

    • Posts, Beams, & Trusses

      February 20, 2021

      We’re making excellent progress at one of our current projects, located on the North Shore in St. Ives. Late last fall, we started this job by tearing down an existing home on the beautiful lakefront lot. Construction of the new home started with an insulated concrete form (ICF) foundation, and now we’re well into the framing stages.

      As you can in the photos below, we landed the posts, beams and trusses this week, utilizing a crane for some of the larger lifts. All the posts and beams have been supplied from Canadian Timberframes, located in Parson, just southeast of Golden. The company is renowned for its timber frame components and structures, doing business throughout North America.

      As with most of our West Coast style homes, this one will make extensive use of glass to take advantage of the stunning views of the Shuswap Lake.

      If the weather cooperates, we’ll be in a position to lock this home up within a month, or earlier. Our goal is to ensure that our clients will be able to enjoy their home at some point this fall. Watch for future updates, as this home will incorporate some beautiful and trend-setting features.

    • Baby, it's cold outside!

      February 12, 2021

      It doesn't happen often. But sometimes, you just don't have a choice.

      This week, we had to shut down three of our job sites, including the new build in Scotch Creek that's shown in the photo below. Why? The answer, if you look at the photo close enough to see the steam fog rising off the lake in front of Copper Island, is obvious: it's just been too cold for our crews to work safely. The photo was taken this past Tuesday with the thermometer dipping to -17 C. Cold temperatures are one thing, but when you combine them with high wind chills, the result is too high of a risk for frostbite. And of course, tools also don't work well when it gets this chilly.

      Fortunately, the forecast is for significant easing of the cold snap over the next week. In fact, according to Environment Canada, we could be into the plus side of the thermometer by Wednesday. The lumber package for this particular job will be delivered next week, and our framers will be on the job as soon as it's viable.

      Until then, stay warm!



    • One Year Ago...

      February 06, 2021


      The photo above was taken one year ago, when Copper Island Fine Homes was honoured by the Canadian Home Builders' Association with the prestigious Keystone Award for Best Single Family Detached Home valued at $1,500,00 and over. We also won two other Keystone awards that same evening -- one for Best Design Feature, and one for Best Customer Service.

      Receiving the award are owners Greg and Tracy Vistisen (on the left), and our father/daughter Project Managers, Heidi and Dean Friesen.

      The award was for a gorgeous lakefront home that we had recently completely in Scotch Creek. It was our most challenging project to date, and took us almost two years to complete. Greg, Tracy and Dean were no strangers to being awarded Keystone awards, but for Heidi, the event was particularly significant.

      "It was my biggest house to date from start to finish," she recalls. "These three people standing up there in the photo with me had the confidence in me all along. They have pushed me to grow and succeed alongside of them. Always have always treated me with the most respect and always valued my thoughts and opinions."

      We thought we'd revisit the occasion because, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are no Keystone Awards this year. We're hopeful we'll see them return in 2022!