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    • Dean's Gone Fishing!

      January 20, 2022

      It’s a bittersweet week for us here at Copper Island Fine Homes. One of our longest serving employees, Project Manager and journeyman carpenter Dean Friesen, is hanging up his toolbelt.

      We couldn’t be happier for Dean and his wife Becky, who will soon have a lot more time to devote to their mutual love of fishing, both here in the Shuswap and on Mexico’s Baja Penisula. But as Dean finishes his final week of work this Friday and concludes his 15 year association with us, we know that we’ll have to work that much harder without his steady presence on the new home and renovation projects that he has become so skilled at managing and moving forward to completion over the years.

      “Our company’s success and emergence as the Shuswap’s builder of choice is due in large part to Dean’s hard work, skill and knowledge,” says Marcus Picton, Copper Island Fine Homes President and CEO. “When you look back at our company’s impressive body of work over the years, and the awards and honours that we’ve accumulated as home builders and renovators, you can see Dean’s influence and craftsmanship everywhere. He will be truly missed in every aspect of our business. We thank him for his dedication and contributions, and while we’re reluctant to let him go, we wish him nothing but the best in his retirement.”

      “It’s hard to imagine how we could have been this successful without Dean’s steady hand and uncompromising commitment to quality over the years,” adds Copper Island Fine Homes founder Greg Vistisen, who is still consulting with the company during the transition period to the new ownership. “When I hired Dean back in 2007, I knew that I had recruited a hard worker and a skilled tradesman. But what I didn’t quite understand was just how committed of an employee that Dean would become, and what kind of a jobsite leader that he would turn out to be. He’s left huge shoes to fill.”

      Fortunately, helping to fill those shoes is none other than Dean’s daughter Heidi, who is also one of our prized Project Managers. So while we reluctantly say goodbye to Dean, it’s comforting to know that we’ll continue to benefit from the Friesen family work ethic for years to come. Additionally, we've hired some highly qualified staff in the past year -- in particular, our new Project Manager Doug Mann brings 30 years of construction experience to the position, and together with Heidi, will ensure Dean's legacy remains intact as we continue to build our clients' Shuswap dreams.

      From all of your friends and co-workers here at Copper Island Fine Homes, our sincere thanks, Dean, and best wishes for many fantastic days of fishing in your future.

    • Locked Up On the Golf Course

      January 10, 2022

      With new home construction, it’s always an important milestone when you get to lockup stage. The house is protected from the elements, secure, and ready to move into the rough-in stage.

      That’s certainly the case with one of our current projects, a beautiful rancher in the Shuswap Lake Estates golf course area. We actually had the roof shingled the last week before Christmas. Last week, our windows and doors arrived onsite, which we were able to install. We love these PlyGem two-tone windows, with black vinyl on the outside and white on the inside – up to this point, it’s been difficult to source two-tone windows, but Ply Gem (formerly Gienow) has really stepped up with these.

      An interesting note about this home is that the clients live in Europe and haven’t seen any of our work to date. In fact, they won’t see their new home until it’s complete. The time change between BC and Europe makes it difficult to speak on the phone, but over the years, we’ve spent a great deal of time creating systems and communication methods to ensure a smooth and efficient building process for clients who are out-of-country. Greatly helping with this build is a Vernon-based design firm hired by the clients, which has done a great job getting us all our information and sourcing the home’s finishes.

      With lockup complete, we’re moving into mechanical rough-ins this week, starting with plumbing, and followed by HVAC and electrical. We love how this beautiful home is shaping up – and how our crews have pushed through the winter conditions to get here!

    • It's All In the Details...

      December 31, 2021

      For our final update of 2021, we're pleased to give you a glimpse of some of the exceptional finishing work being done at one of our current new build projects on the North Shore. Specifically, we're taking a closer look at some of the exquisite tilework being done by one of our go-to tilesetters, Cory Closson of Salmon Arm. Our clients have spent a great deal of effort planning the tile layouts and selections, and Cory has been more than happy to work with such amazing choices.

      Cory's been hard at work prepping the showers and floors. You can see the octagonal tile in one of the bathrooms in the left photo below. This bathroom will feature a floating vanity so that you'll be able to see the full tile layout. Why hide such gorgeous tile and craftsmanship?

      Meanwhile, the photo on the right below offers a preliminary look at the bar backsplash and its beautiful mosiac tile layout.

      Cory, along with many of our staff and sub-trades, is taking a well-earned break this week. But next week, he'll be back to finish these two areas and many more in this beautiful home, which we hope to fully complete early in 2022.

      From all of us here at Copper Island Fine Homes, have a Happy New Year!

    • Nice Views!

      December 24, 2021

      Here's a quick update from a new project we're working on above Anglemont.

      We're building this beautiful carriage house on a stunning two-acre view property. As you can see in the images below, the structure features living quarters on top of a huge open shop area. It will provide comfortable living and ample storage for our clients, who will ultimately build a main house on the property, which offers views, peace and tranquility.

      Currently, we're prepping for installation of a septic system that will have sufficient capacity to service both the carriage house and the main house. We've also installed a second 200 amp hydro line in order to save both time and money in the future when construction of the main house begins.

      After the Christmas break we’ll stand the next floor and have trusses delivered and installed.

      Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and brighter days ahead in 2022!

    • Locked Up...

      December 20, 2021

      As expected, the weather's turned, and a typical Shuswap winter is upon us. Fortunately, we find ourselves in excellent shape at one of our new starts in Magna Bay. We've completed our framing, window installations and roofing on this gorgeous custom two story in the nick of time. A couple of windows and doors have been backordered, but we've completed lockup thanks to some plywood.

      This week, with the Christmas break just a few sleeps away, we're pushing forward with mechanical rough-ins. Our plumbing, heating and ventilation crews have been onsite, and we're optimistic we'll have them complete by the time Santa saddles up. We also completed our electrical walk-through with the clients last week, and that means we're proceeding with electrical rough-ins as well.

      Also on the schedule are post-rough-in backframing and CSRD building inspections for framing. As you can see from the photos below, we've also got the house wrapped in Tyvek to help protect building materials and our crews from the elements.

      We're really pleased with the progress on this project, as December and January are always tough months given that trades tend to take off longer breaks throughout the holidays, and the new omicron variant is also slowing construction across the province. We will push as close to Christmas as we can, but we also appreciate that every employee and every tradesman who works on our homes deserves a real break during the holidays -- particularly after the year we’ve had.

      Look for more updates on this project in the new year.

    • Gorgeous Finishes!

      December 11, 2021

      Finishes are the order of the day as we near the finish line for this lakefront beauty in Scotch Creek. One of the finishing highlights are the stunning contrasts created by juxtaposing dark colours in feature areas against the lighter wall colours. Several feature walls have been created using six inch shiplap, which has been painted in a dark contrasting colour (Black Panther by Benjamin Moore). Additionally, all the interior doors have been similarily finished. So these intriguing lights and darks are present throughout the whole house.

      The interior designer for the project is Kyla Widdicombe of Sorrento-based Desired Effects. Kyla has worked for us for years and is one of our go-to designers. In fact, many of our projects that we profile here have greatly benefited from Kyla's expertise.

      Finishing will continue with this home early into the new year, which is when we'll be handing it off to its new owners, providing we don't have any more COVID or flood related delays and setbacks.

      More photos will be coming in the weeks ahead.

    • The Season to Shop!

      December 06, 2021

      No, not that kind of shop.

      Over the years, Copper Island Fine Homes has built many outstanding shops. Whether it's a man cave for toys, storage space for a classic car collection, or a luxurious workshop, we build them all. Right now, we're in the midst of building a big, beautiful shop for clients on Eagle Bay Road. We've now completed framing, allowing us to get down to the business of finishing the inside without worrying too much about the weather.

      This week, we're getting the roof on. Once that's completed, we'll hoard in the overhead door and window openings, which will allow us pour the slab as soon as the weather allows. The windows and doors have been ordered, and they'll be installed as soon as they arrive. Mechanical and electrical rough-ins will be next, and finally, we'll be able to insulate and move forward with the interior finishing.

      The left photo below show you the front view, with one RV-sized door in the middle, and two smaller doors on either side for other vehicles and equipment. On the right, you can see how spacious the interior is.

      If you've been thinking about adding a shop or other outbuilding, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

    • Rare Railings!

      November 26, 2021

      Here at Copper Island Fine Homes, we've always realized that the quality of our sub-trades helps make us the Shuswap's leading home builder and renovator.

      So these days, when it comes to building and finishing the high end railings that our clients demand, we often turn to Rick Enns, owner of Rick's Woodworking. Rick has been building railings and supplying high end custom woodwork in Salmon Arm for more than 33 years. Besides gorgeous wood railings, Rick's area of expertise includes curved stairs, glass rail with wood, stainless steel, steel spindles, cable rail, stair caps and wall ends, shaker panel posts, and welded steel panels.

      Recently, we were pleased to have Rick and his son on the job at a stunning lakefront rancher in Scotch Creek, completing the custom stair railings that you see in the photos below.

      Finishing items like stair railings signal that we’re on the home stretch for this house. Plumbing fixtures, final painting, baseboards and trims, siding finishing, and appliance installation are all under way as we prepare to deliver the home to its new owners early in the new year. Our thanks as always to our clients for allowing us to build their Shuswap dream, and to Rick's Woodworking and all of our other excellent subtrades for contributing to our collective success.

    • Supply Chain Workarounds

      November 18, 2021

      Here in the Shuswap, we've been dealing with supply chain issues for the past year. Like many other industries, the construction business has been hard hit with material shortages and shipping delays. This week, with BC's catastrophic flooding, we believe these problems will only get worse. And that means we have to step up our creativitity in order to arrive at workable solutions.

      Here's a great example with one of our current projects, a stunning lakefront timberframe home that we're building in Eagle Bay. Supply chain disruptions and other issues have already pushed back our completion date of this home by approximately two months. In an effort to keep things rolling, we took an unusual step. With our window manufacturers/suppliers experiencing their own critical delays and being unable to provide the windows for this home on schedule, we opted to board up all window and door openings with plywood (see top photo below).

      This allowed us to let one of our most trusted subtrades, Web Insulation from Salmon Arm, to move into the job site (see bottom photo below). Derek and Darcy Web, who took over the business from their father Wayne several years ago, are on the job this week, installing insulation and vapour barrier. Once completed, insulation will allow us to keep precious heat inside the home, just as winter knocks on the door. In turn, being able to keep heat inside will allow our drywall crews to follow immediately after. In fact, we expect drywall and preliminary painting to be completed by the time the windows arrive near the end of January.

      For the foreseeable future, we expect more of these types of delays, so we'll continue to keep our creative caps on as we work to keep our projects on time and on track.

    • Throwing Stones

      November 06, 2021

      You've all heard the old expression, "People living in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." Well, that may be true. But here at Copper Island Fine Homes, we also believe that people building houses should throw stones.

      More and more, we find ourselves using stone slinging trucks to place crushed rock and other stone products, particularly as backfill inside of completed foundations. It's all about efficiency.  Stone slinger units allow a load of material to be placed quickly and accurately. They employ a conveyor belt which operates at high speeds to "sling" material into hard-to-access areas with precision. 

      The photo below was taken at our new project on Golf Course Drive in Shuswap Lake Estates. This truck, provided by Norwest Pumping Inc. of Kamloops, filled our entire 2,200 square foot foundation in just a few minutes. This is important when time is of the essence, and while the cost per hour for these trucks is higher than a standard gravel truck, they're able to place material so efficiently that we seldom need to spend any costly machine time grading the material after completion.

      Since the photo was taken, we've formed the foundation walls for the crawlspace of this beautiful rancher. We'll be moving into framing as soon as possible, with the goal of getting locked up before we get any serious winter weather. More details coming soon.