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    • Blending New & Old

      March 03, 2022

      In Celista, we’ve just started an intriguing new project involving a renovation and an addition to a lakefront home that was originally built about 20 years ago. The owners are seeking to update it it into a permanent home; one that’s large and comfortable for their family and friends.

      Below you can see the architectural plans for the addition and renovation. And you can also see our progress to date.

      The original home had about 1,400 square feet on the main level, with an additional 500 square feet in an upper loft. The basement has also been completed. The new addition features a 400 square foot addition to the main house, a new 800 square foot garage, and a 900 square foot addition to the main house that will be on top of the garage. When completed, the home will have approximately 4,500 square feet of finished living space, plus a brand new garage that is huge by any standard.

      The owners are busy with making their finishing selections and watching the progress. In the weeks to come, we’ll be finishing the trusses, sheeting and shingling the roof, starting mechanical rough-ins, and working on connecting the old to new for plumbing, wiring, and HVAC.

      Here at Copper Island Fine Homes, we love the challenge of these types of renovations and additions. If you’ve been dreaming about a little extra space or a renovation to modernize, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

    • It’s All In the Finish

      February 22, 2022

      Our dynamic duo of finish carpenters, Chuck Beaton and Mark Orchard, really put the “fine” into every one of our Copper Island Fine Homes.

      Every trade is vital when it comes to building custom homes, and you certainly need a solid foundation and structure underneath. But often, a home’s beauty is judged on what’s actually visible in the finished product. And perhaps nothing is more visible than the custom finish carpentry.

      We understand this, and that’s why we’re so proud to have Chuck and Mark on the tools for each build. Chuck hit his 10 year anniversary with Copper island last summer, and Mark has been working with us for four years.

      “These two guys do just incredible work, are always willing to jump on any project I give them, and are never afraid to take on a finishing challenge we’re presented with,” says Heidi Friesen, Project Manager. “Their work is next level and always done to the best of their ability.”

      The photos below feature Chuck and Mark wrapping up a beautiful shiplap ceiling with stacked beams at one of our current projects on Eagle Bay Road. The next step is to have them stained and clear coated.

      Other finishing in this stunning home is also underway, including flooring in the basement and interior stone/tile work. Our thanks to Chuck and Mark for their fine finishing, and to all of the trades who have contributed to yet another Shuswap dream home.

    • Next Level Stairs

      February 10, 2022

      One of the best building trends we've seen in recent years is a move to open staircase designs. With open railing systems and open treads, these types of stairways create an airy, light-filled effect on both the top and bottom levels that they connect. Little wonder why homeowners and designers are moving more and more to this trend.

      Of course, there's a little bit more to creating stairs like these than simply framing them in. The right tradespeople are vital to bring a designer's open staircase design to completion. One of our go-to's for this type of work is Rick's Woodworking out of Salmon Arm -- Rick and his son Craig provide us with beautiful wood staircases and other fine wood finishing. And when we need metal work on these types of stairways, we often turn to Al Babakaiff from AB Welding in Salmon Arm.

      When we put these two trades together, they create beautiful marriages of wood and metal. That's certainly the case with a stunning lakefront home we're completing in St. Ives on the Shuswap's North Shore. You can see photos of their close-to-complete work below. The open tread design and the spacious mid-point landing make these stairs a central focus in this home, rather than simply a way to get from one floor to the other.

      We're working hard to bring this home to completion. Tile is almost done, and plumbing finishing is also underway. A few minor cabinet finishes and counter will follow, along with final electrical finishing. Supply and other issues have brought numerous delays to this project, but we're on the home stretch, working hard to be able to wrap it up and hand over a beautiful new home to its owners.

    • Immaculate Handoff

      February 02, 2022

      When it comes to turning over the keys of one of our projects to the new owners, we pride ourselves on immaculate handoffs. That is, we take an uncompromising approach and strive to finish every last detail and clean every last spec of construction dust before sign off. After all, the dream homes we build here in the Shuswap are often the biggest purchase our clients will ever make -- so why shouldn't they be immaculate and perfect when they first take possession?

      Here's an excellent -- a stunning lakeshore rancher that we started building in Scotch Creek last year. Next week, we'll be presenting the keys to this exceptional home to the new owners. And you can see from the photos below, the home will be in sparkling condition when that happens.

      Our thanks to our staff, sub-trades and suppliers for their outstanding work on this fine home. And above all else, our thanks to our clients who allowed us the privilege of building their Shuswap dream.

    • Flexibility Required

      January 28, 2022

      In December, we told you about how we’re finding creative ways to work around supply chain issues that are making it challenging to maintain critical schedules in the building process. In particular, we told you about one of our current projects, a beautiful beachfront timberframe home in Eagle Bay. This home has many custom finishes, and it’s often securing those types of specialty finishes and products that have been impacted greatly with supply chain disruptions.

      With this home, the custom windows turned out to be a major problem – despite ordering well in advance, we had significant delays getting them shipped onsite. Our solution was to board up all window and door openings with poly and plywood in order to heat the interior, so that we could move forward with insulation, drywall and painting.

      When our windows finally arrived last week, we were standing by, reading to the install them. In the photo below, you can see the home new looking sharp with the windows now in place, and some of the exterior finishing started.

      Tile work and interior rock work is now underway. Currently, we have exposed beams being installed in the living room ceiling. Our painters have completed preliminary coats and are on standby for when all the doors and trim are installed. Flooring is lined up for the third week in February. Cabinets will follow at the beginning of March. We have a tight schedule on this house but are doing everything we can to stay on top of it.

      This year, we definitely expect more of these types of delays, but we’ll continue to find flexible solutions as we work to keep our projects on schedule.

    • 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.