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    • Taking Shape In Eagle Bay

      May 25, 2020

      Our project on Eagle Bay Road couldn’t be moving along any better. This week’s progress finds us well underway with drywall taping inside, and outside, we’re nearing completion of the HardiPlank siding (see photos below).

      Moving forward, our progress will be dictated by having the appropriate finishing selections and products on site at the right time. In that regard, we’re doing excellently, with our staff and clients having made the bulk of all critical decisions at this time.

      Interior doors and finishing trims were recently site-measured and ordered, as have interior wood beams, which are currently in production. Lighting fixtures have all been confirmed and ordered, as has the home’s flooring. Paint colours have been confirmed, and our painting and finishing crews are all dialed in with their schedules.

      Last but not least, our kitchen cabinets, countertops and appliances have all been ordered and will be available for install on time.

      Our thanks to all the staff and our subtrades, along with our clients, for the dedication and commitment to bringing the home to this stage on time—the rest of the process is expected to move smoothly. We’re looking forward to bringing you more photos of this beautiful lakeview home as we get closer to completion.

    • Keep It Clean!

      May 18, 2020

      Call us obsessive, call us whatever you want—but we’ve always like our job sites clean, and that’s the way it’s going to stay.

      We believe a clean job site is a safe job site. We also believe cleanliness leads to less mistakes, greater efficiency, and better cost control. We also believe it’s just good business practice. So regardless of whether it’s inside or outside at one of our projects, our staff are committed to keeping things neat and tidy. Of course, it’s not always possible to keep things clean in the middle of a specific task or phase of construction, but as soon as it’s possible, we get things back in order pretty quick.

      Case in point: one of our current projects in MacArthur Heights, being overseen by the master of clean, Project Manager Dean Friesen. The photos below show this stunning home at its current stage—insulation is just underway as this is being written.

      Progress to date includes completed septic system and field, and all mechanical systems have been installed—interestingly, this included our first ever “virtual” electrical walk-through with our clients, which went extremely well.

      Our drywall crew is standing by, waiting for insulation to wrap up. Outside, soffits and gutters are currently being installed.

      Siding, kitchen cabinets, flooring, overhead door, and light fixtures have all been ordered. Our clients are truly on top of their decisions and purchases, which makes our jobs that much easier. They’re excited to get into their home ahead of schedule, in time to enjoy the late summer and early fall from their west-facing water view deck. And you can be sure it will be thoroughly cleaned before we hand over the keys!

      More details to come in the weeks ahead.

    • Wrapped Up...Inside and Out

      May 11, 2020

      One of our current projects is a new, stunning lake view home on Eagle Bay Road. Great weather and astute building practices are allowing us to make excellent progress on the home.

      Inside, we’ve finished insulating and, as of today, we’re loading with drywall in preparation to start boarding this week. The photo at bottom right provides a great look at how the insulated home, complete with vapour barrier, looks just prior to drywalling. Very cosy indeed!

      Outside, we’ve also wrapped the home and have commenced with HardiPlank siding install, which should be completed within a couple of weeks.

      Other progress to note includes installation of the fireplace, Duradek vinyl decking completion, and a retaining wall on the east side of the home which is now in place. Flooring, natural stone for the exterior, and lighting have all been confirmed and ordered.

      The sun is shining, our crews are working hard (and safely), and, as a result, our clients are happy. Our thanks to them for allowing us to build their Shuswap dream.

    • Not Exactly Roughing It

      May 08, 2020

      Just prior to the upcoming May long weekend, we’ll be handing off one of recent projects on the North Shore to the owners. The project has been fascinating to complete, as it’s been an extensive renovation, including an upper floor addition, of an existing waterfront cottage. The collective goal of our clients, our staff and our subtrades has been to harmonize the traditional look and feel of the existing structure with modern conveniences and finishings.

      Needless to say, we really think we’ve all hit the mark. That is, we believe our owners will feel like they’re still enjoying the same rustic charms of their original cottage, but they won’t exactly be roughing it. We’ve married some of the best modern building technologies and luxurious finishes with traditional features to arrive at a stunning conclusion.

      As one example, we offer you the photo below of the new kitchen, which was not quite finished at the time the photo was taken. The maple shaker cabinets, with V grooves, have been flawlessly finished in white and clear lacquer. The shaker profile is timeless and fits in so well with the rustic trims and beams on the ceiling. The cabinets are complemented with Cambria Buckingham Summit Edge quartz countertops. The finished product is beautiful and functional, without being too ostentatious.

      Hats off to our father/daughter project management team of Dean and Heidi Friesen for keeping things moving forward during the Covid panedemic and keeping trades safe!

    • Blue Skies

      May 02, 2020
      It's all blue skies and clear sailing at one of our current projects in MacArthur Heights.

      After pushing hard through some nasty weather in the winter and spring in order to start and finish this lovely view home on time, we now find ourselves on schedule and on budget.

      Our staff and subtrades are learning on the fly how to maintain appropriate distancing on the jobsite, which generally means having only one subtrade crew in the home working at any one time. Both of our mechanical crews (plumbing and HVAC) have had their respective turns for rough-ins, leaving only our electricians to do their work. That's expected to begin this week, and insulation and drywall will then follow shortly after.

      Our clients have been entirely engaged and have worked hard to complete many time-sensitive finishing choices. That's incredibly important, as it gives us the lead time we need during this pandemic to ensure products are onsite as required.

      Below are a couple of photos that show off the privileged lakeview location. We'll take great pride in showing you more photos of this stunning home as it moves through the next stages of construction.

    • A Clear Choice

      April 20, 2020

      One hallmark of modern fine custom home building is a luxurious bathroom and, in particular, a custom heavy glass enclosure and door that complements the beautiful tile and marble choices available. Nothing speaks to quality more than exceptional frameless glasswork that has clearly been individually customized for the specific application.

      These types of shower enclosures are almost always included in a Copper Island Fine Home. And when we need this type of glasswork, we invariably turn to one of our valued sub-trades—master craftsman Michael Lindblad, owner of Copper Cove Glass & Aluminum.

      Michael has almost 25 years experience in the industry. He and his father Ron were the original owners of Salmon Arm Window & Door. In 2012, after the company was sold, Michael took his hard won knowledge and Red Seal certification and opened Copper Cove Glass & Aluminum. He specializes in both commercial and residential windows and doors, mirrors, glass shelving, glass and aluminum deck railings, custom showers, and more.

      Below are some photos of two bathrooms we recently completed as part of an extensive renovation on the North Shore. The project consisted of an upper floor addition to an existing home, and the style and available space clearly required custom glass enclosures. When it came time to add the glass, we simply handed off the entire job to Michael. As you can see, he performed his usual magic, creating flawless enclosures of 10mm glass that are at once elegant, functional and easy to clean.

      Needless to say, the owners are clearly impressed with their stunning new bathrooms!

      You can learn more about Michael and Copper Cove Glass & Aluminum at

    • Putting On the Polish!

      April 14, 2020

      The photo above was taken last week at our first ever project in Sicamous—a resort home on the shores of Mara Lake, with RV storage and laundry facilities on the lower level. The lower level slab is now beautifully polished, and the entire building is now a week ahead of schedule. Our thanks to the hard work of our framers Gary Benna and Ryan Allen, and excavator contractor Mike Whitehead, for toughing it out through the winter conditions.

      Roofing has been completed, and underground plumbing was completed prior to slab placement. That leaves us ready for our framing inspection by the North Okanagan Regional District.

      Cabinets have laid out for trades on sub-floor, and we’re getting ready for mechanical rough-ins for heating and plumbing. When that’s wrapped up, our electrical sub-trades will wire the entire structure in preparation for insulation and drywall.

      As with all of our projects underway during this pandemic, we are maintaining strict hygiene on the site and appropriate distancing between our staff and trades.

      Our client is currently onsite enjoying the progress and confirming colours and finishes with our interior designer.

      If we can continue to make this type of progress, we’ll be in good shape to finish the job and allow the home to be entered into the rental pool for the summer.

    • Learning on the Fly

      April 08, 2020

      We’re quickly learning to build in our “new normal” of ultra-hygienic workplace safety practices and social distancing at all of our current projects, including this lakeview stunner on Eagle Bay Road.

      The project is entirely on schedule, thanks to the diligence of project manager Dean Friesen and the willingness of our crews to maintain their distancing onsite. That makes our clients, who have recently returned from the USA and are just finishing two weeks self-isolation, extremely happy.

      The photos below give you some idea of the progress. The basement framing is complete (note the engineered LVL stair stringers for ultimate strength and silence). Upstairs, the cabinet layouts are complete and rough-in plumbing has commenced. Our HVAC contractor has measured and is manufacturing custom ducting as this is being written. And our electrical walk-through is also complete, with rough-ins scheduled to take place as soon as HVAC and plumbing are finished.

      The fireplace has been ordered and will be installed as soon as it arrives onsite.

      All of this means that we’ll soon be ready for insulation and drywall, and our crews are standing by to complete that work the moment rough-ins are finished.

      Outside, we’ve already started preparing for trim and HardiPlank siding installation.

      We’re pleased to report that all of our crews—staff and subcontractors—are remaining positive as we adjust to the realities of building during a pandemic. We’re also pleased to see that the BC government is allowing residential construction to continue at this difficult time, for several reasons. Many of our clients have sold homes in other locations and made firm plans to be in their new homes by a specific date, and if weren’t able to complete their homes, these clients would experience significant hardships finding alternate arrangements. We’re also happy to play a role in keeping our local economy viable and our own staff and contractors gainfully employed.

      Our thanks to our clients, and all of the professionals we employ or contract, for their flexibility and efforts. Sunnier days are ahead!

    • North Shore Wrapup

      April 03, 2020

      One of our winter projects, a whole house renovation and top floor addition on the beach in Anglemont, is wrapping up on schedule, despite a rough winter.

      Below are a couple of photos of the exquisite cottage exterior finishing that entirely complements the rustic yet modern finishings inside this spectacular home. It's a charming and timeless combination of siding, shakes and rock.

      As with all of our projects currently underway or finishing, we've paid careful attention to keeping everyone involved safe during this pandemic. Our thanks to our employees and trades who have worked so hard on this project for the past six months. And of course, our sincere thanks to our clients for their trust in us, and their own hard work to help us bring it to completion.

    • Distance Building During COVID-19

      March 29, 2020

      Here at CIFH, we’re doing everything possible to continue building for our current clients during this extremely difficult time—and finding ways to keep the new home aspirations of new and future clients viable and alive.

      As you may know, the BC government is allowing residential and commercial construction to proceed, providing strict safety protocols are followed (you can read more about COVID-19 and construction in BC at For CIFH, this means we are cautiously and responsibly proceeding with current projects, emphasizing safety and health for our clients, our employees and our sub-trades, and doing our part to contain the spread of the virus and flatten the infection curve.

      The reality is that many of our clients, past and present, have relocated--or are in the process of doing so--from other parts of the province or other provinces (and sometimes even other countries). This means we’ve acquired a great deal of expertise when it comes to interacting with our clients remotely or virtually before and during the construction process. We’re building on our remote or distance building expertise in light of this pandemic, augmenting procedures and employing new technologies as we move forward.

      What this means for current clients is that we can continue to comprehensively involve you in the building process without compromising our collective safety—we are moving your projects forward without giving up our ability to involve you in every aspect of the construction process.

      But what if you’ve been planning to build your Shuswap dream home in 2020 or beyond? Well, we’re confident that we can use the same virtual tools and approaches to get your project out of the ground as well. Trying to predict the end date of this pandemic would be senseless and pointless, but based on the expert scientific forecasts we’ve been seeing, it seems likely there will be some kind of partial or full resolution. That may leave us all in an environment of pent-up demand for new home construction.

      At the very least, it might be a prudent idea for anyone with a definite building timeline to at least proceed with the planning, selection, and pricing processes that precede ground-breaking.

      Virtual or distance building tools we’re already employing or augmenting include video-conferencing (or online meetings) with multiple participants—for example, clients, our design and estimating staff, suppliers and sub-trades. As well, we have long been using Corecon, the industry-leading comprehensive cloud-based construction management software suite designed for the construction industry, which allows virtual, real-time contract administration, materials procurement, time-tracking, correspondence, document control, quality control, scheduling and external team collaboration.

      We’re also excited to be developing a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use online, interactive estimating and best practice recommendation tool. This will utilize video conferencing with clients and allow us to walk them through an interactive spreadsheet, changing and selecting options in real time. The goal is for clients to easily see at a glance various building scenarios and their costs, promote discussion, and allow clients to make well-informed decisions. The spreadsheet will be dynamic, in that most options and choices will have links to give clients the ability to look and learn more about the various options.

      Additionally there will be online selection sheets that can be filled in by the clients simply by clicking in a box, and this will result in real-time changes and updates, allowing CIFH to almost instantly request quotes for materials and labour from our trusted trades and suppliers.

      The reality for many of us is that, due to social distancing, we are all finding ourselves with a lot more time on our hands these days. If you’ve been planning on building in the Shuswap, we’d like to suggest that a great use of some of your spare time would be moving forward with the planning stages of your project. Here at CIFH, we have the tools, technologies and expertise to move forward with you, safely and efficiently, using our distance or virtual capabilities.