It's always a great day when we see the results of our work and hand off a new home to happy clients.
We'll confess that we experienced our share of delays with this stunning new build on Eagle Bay Road. There were delays in our permitting with several government agencies, for both demolition of the existing home and the onset of construction of the new home. And COVID-19 also resulted in delays for several of our trusted trades. Nevertheless, we were in constant communication throughout with our clients, who were patient and understanding during the entire process, and are now ecstatic with the finished home. But don't take our word for it.
"From the very start, Greg’s in-house team, including Dean, Melody, Kathy and Heidi, were a pleasure to work with and were in constant communication with us," our clients recently wrote in a testimonial. "In addition, the on-site contractors were polite and professional, and worked to ensure the highest building standards...When we met with Heidi and Dean for the handover, we were assured that Copper Island Fine Homes would stand by their workmanship and ensure that any deficiencies, questions or repairs would be dealt with promptly. We would highly recommend Copper Island Fine Homes to anyone building a new home and would be more than happy to talk directly about our experience."
You can read their greatly appreciated testimonial, and testimonials from dozens more of our past clients, here.
As always, we're incredibly proud of all of the efforts of our in-house team and our extended family of sub-trades. The fact that they have continued to deliver such outstanding work in the midst of this pandemic speaks volumes!
We don’t really like to pat ourselves on the back too much, but it does seem as though we have become the Shuswap’s lakefront home renewal specialists. We’ve now completed more than a dozen whole-home teardown/new construction or renovation projects on or near the shores of the Shuswap Lake. And we’re just about to start yet another one.
The existing Scotch Creek home, which has been owned essentially as a recreational property by the Kamloops owners, just didn’t have the space needed for a growing extended family. We were referred to the owners by neighbours who we completed a renovation for a few years ago.
The owners asked us to explore the idea of building a second story on the existing home to create the needed space. But together, we determined that it simply wasn’t going to be cost effective or practical. So enter plan B--removing the entire house, followed by construction of an impressive new two story design.
Our first telephone contact with the homeowners took place this past February. We then had our first site meeting in late May, during the heart of the pandemic. By August, the owners had settled on preliminary plans, and in September, those plans began to be finalized.
Currently, we’re working on permitting and refining the design and finishing choices. The finished home will have a 1,436 square foot main floor, a 1,037 square foot upper floor, and a 711 square foot oversized garage. There will be four bedrooms, with the master on the main floor. Soaring 11-foot ceilings, varying pitch gable roof, and board and batten siding will all contribute to a stunning finished product.
Besides permitting, we’re also working on a hydrogeological septic design to replace the existing aging system, riparian lake assessment to maintain the pristine foreshore, and a simple simple asbestos site remediation along with a CSRD demolition permit so that we can begin the house removal process.
The existing home is shown below, along with the designer’s rendering of what will replace it. Stay tuned for more updates.
We’re finally underway at an extensive tear-down/rebuild project on a stunning Eagle Bay waterfront lot.
Ideally, we would have loved to have been well underway with this project at this point early in the fall, but Ministry of Environment approval delays forced us to slow down. However, earlier this week, we finally poured the footings for what will be an exquisite new home, and we’ll be pressing hard to get foundation walls poured next week. It’s always a balancing act trying to get back on schedule with winter approaching, pushing forward but taking great care to not compromise quality. As always, we’re confident we can achieve this balance.
Our work to date in order to reach the footings milestone has been somewhat extraordinary. Drain rock and filter cloth was prescribed by our geotechnical engineers due to the discovery of underground water. The approximately 12 to 18 inches of drain rock extends well past the footings to ensure no hydrological pressure under the finished slab. We also pre-drilled the underground water line in advance of footings, with the service coming up inside furnace room in the exact location required.
We’re pleased as always to note that our footing inspection by CSRD officials passed with flying colours.
Note the black silt fencing on the lakeside of the foundation as prescribed by our riparian biologist to ensure lake protection from silt and sediment run off. We’ve also prepped the site with poly sheeting on the east side of the foundation to protect the neighbours’ bank from rain and sluffing.
While we’re getting to work on foundation and framing of the actual structure, we’ll also be continuing outside with the design for extensive Allan Block retaining walls on the lake side to replace existing concrete walls that are in poor shape. Septic field design continues as well, as the field and tank location have been extremely challenging to determine due to lot slope and proximity to lake.
Our homeowners, who have vacationed for decades here but are are relocating from Calgary full-time, are well into their design phase and selections of appliances, cabinets, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, decking, windows, exterior doors, siding, and roofing. We’re working together to do everything we can to have selections made well in advance and orders placed because of anticipated manufacturing delays due to COVID-19.
Watch for more updates on what promises to be one of our most outstanding (and challenging) projects.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.