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    • Tape and Mud

      March 13, 2023

      Over in Anglemont, we're making excellent progress on one of our current projects, a 2,500 square foot basement entry close to the golf course. As you can see in the photo below, we've wrapped up the drywall stage of this project. It's gone smoothly, allowing us to move forward with painting this week. We've hung all the doors and trimmed out them out, along with the windows. This means our painters will be spraying the doors and trims and rolling on the first coats on the walls in the coming days.

      Meanwhile, outside, we're also wrapping up the exterior. Siding is almost completed, and deck railings are being installed. The garage doors have also been installed.

      Cabinet installations should begin next week. Our clients are anxiously waiting to move into their home, and we're determined to deliver it to them on time. Stay tuned for more photos as the finishing stages move forward on this beautiful home. 

    • Build...and Repeat

      March 04, 2023

      Here at Copper Island Fine Homes, we think the best business is repeat business.

      When former clients ask us to come back and build a new project for them, they're paying us the ultimate compliment. It's a powerful signal that they're so satisfied with what we previously built for them that they entrust us with yet another project, which is often larger in scope than the original.

      A few years ago, we completed a beautiful shop for clients in Celista. This week, they contracted us to build a beautiful new home on the same property. As you can see from the 3D renderings below, it truly is beautiful...a modern West Coast style home that offers more than 3,500 square feet of living space on two levels, along with a four car garage. The home also features a 300 square foot four season room with extensive glass doors that can accordian open on three sides during our beautiful Shuswap summers.

      This home will feature premium finishes throughout, and promises to be among our most prestigious builds when it's completed in 2024. Our sincere thanks to our clients for the continued trust with building their Shuswap dreams.

    • Handoff on the Hill

      February 24, 2023

      Here at Copper Island, the days that we schedule for clients take possession of their brand new home are truly special. And today's handoff of a stunning view rancher in the Highlands subdivision of Shuswap Lake Estates was no exception.

      We started this home about a year ago with extensive groundwork and retaining walls that would allow the clients' vision to proceed. Today, after almost a year of hard work, we proudly reviewed the finished home and handed the keys to them. This spring and summer, they'll be enjoying the expansive lake and golf course views from the deck of their 2,500 square foot home. You can see a few photos below of the finished product. As you can, the home features a soaring great room vault and a massive triple car garage that's attached to the home via a breezeway.

      We're pleased to say that, despite lingering supply chain issues, we completed the home and handed it off on the exact day we pledged to do so. It's been a great pleasure to work with the new owners. On behalf of all of our staff and sub-trades, thank you for allowing us to build your Shuswap dream...and welcome to the Highlands!

    • Highlands Lockup

      February 18, 2023

      This coming week, temperatures are expected to plummet here in the Shuswap. Hopefully, it's the last of the cold weather. Regardless, at one of our current projects in the Highlands of Shuswap Lake Estates, we've managed to lock up the home in the nick of time, allowing work to continue regardless of what weather comes our way.

      The project, a walk-up rancher with beautiful views of the golf course, Blind Bay and Copper Island, has progressed well since Christmas. This past week, we continued with installation of shingles, along with windows and doors (see photo below). That means we're buttoned up from the elements, and our plumbing, electrical, and HVAC subcontractors are free to proceed with rough-ins. Following that, we'll move on to insulation and drywall. By that time, we should be enjoying better weather needed for efficient mudding and taping. 

      At that point, we can move on with finishing, and meet our goal of having our clients take possession so that they can enjoy some summer in their new home.

      This project is one of several that we're currently completing in the Highlands, and we'll also be starting another home here in the weeks ahead as conditions and lifting of road restrictions allow.

    • Gorgeous Celista Kitchen

      February 11, 2023

      We're pleased to update progress at an extensive whole-home renovation we're doing just outside of Celista on the North Shore. One of the main reasons the owners wanted to renovate their early 90s, 2,600 square foot lakefront house was to modernize it, and the kitchen was a top priority.

      As you can see in the photos below, that's the exact stage we're currently at -- completing the spacious kitchen. As of this past Friday, the cabinets had been completely installed, and we're now ready for our countertops which are arriving this coming week. For this portion of the renovation, we've entrusted Salmon Arm's Renaissance Joinery & Millwork to complete the work. We've enjoyed a great relationship with Renaissance for more than a decade, and it's always a pleasure to collaborate with them, as their work is consistently excellent.

      Elsewhere in the house, the tilework in the bathrooms is well underway, and the fireplaces are also in the process of being tiled. Baseboards and trims are currently being installed. Our plumbers and electricians are on standby to move in and begin the finishing process.

      We'll look forward to showing you the finished product in the weeks ahead.

    • Prep for Step

      February 02, 2023

      The BC Energy Step Code is coming to the Shuswap. Here at Copper Island Fine Homes, we’ve been preparing for this for many years. But with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) moving to formally adopt the code this year, we think anyone considering building a new house needs to get themselves up to speed.

      The BC Energy Step Code is an optional compliance path in the BC Building Code that local governments may implement to require a level of energy efficiency in new construction that goes above and beyond the requirements of the BC Building Code. The majority of municipalities and regional districts in BC already require new construction homes to adhere to the BC Energy Step Code, and it’s estimated that 70 percent of new homes in BC are currently being built in full compliance. We expect the CSRD to announce that it will finally be implementing the code in the months ahead, joining the nearby municipalities of Salmon Arm, Kamloops, and Vernon, and the North Okanagan Regional District.

      Under the BC Energy Step Code, buildings must meet specific energy efficiency goals, using improvements in insulation, windows, furnaces, water heaters, lighting and other equipment and systems. It’s called a step code because it moves the industry towards higher efficiency in a series of steps. The lower steps are relatively straightforward to meet; the upper steps will be more ambitious. We expect the CSRD to move to step three of the code, which requires that homes be built to a standard that is 20 percent more efficient than what the basic BC Building Code prescribes. When it is fully deployed by 2032, the BC Energy Step Code will require a 100 percent improvement.

      To comply with step three the BC Energy Step Code, builders will have to use energy software modelling and on-site testing to demonstrate that both their design and the constructed building meet the requirements of the standard. They may use any materials or construction methods to achieve this.

      So what will this mean for our clients? There are certain required steps that will be required before a building permit will be issued, let any construction being allowed. First, an energy consultant will be needed to produce a report for the permit application, proving the theoretical thermal efficiency of a home. And in order to do this, certain information needs to be provided to base assumptions on. This means clients will have to be more proactive in the decision-making process to facilitate this. At the time the energy performance modelling is done, the following items will need to be known and finalized: full plans, window and door package, wall construction type, insulation specs, exterior wall and roof materials, and of course, HVAC system including furnace, heat recovery ventilation or HRV, A/C, fireplace, and hot water systems for in-floor heat if used.

      All this means that our clients will need to plan further ahead to make sure this doesn't significantly increase the duration of the pre-construction phase,” says Marcus Picton, CIFH owner and CEO.

      Meanwhile, we’re also stepping up our own game to ensure we’re ready for the BC Energy Step Code. We’ve been building energy efficient homes for many years that have exceeded building code requirements, where we have involved energy consultants and produced energy performance modelling reports. In fact, we have been routinely using the blower door test on projects to ensure efficiency and airtightness, and are used to doing what’s needed. But we know that we’ll need to do even more.

      “We have a local energy consultant we will be working with on all new projects,” says Picton. “We have been pro-actively working with designers to ensure they’re paying attention to energy efficient design, and with sub-trades, especially HVAC, to ensure energy efficient options are being used and that we are well informed so we can educate our clients accordingly. We have also been speaking with our framers and insulators to ensure all steps are being taken to achieve superior airtightness, which is the most critical aspect in achieving high performing homes. All home builders have until the end of 2024 to complete step code training, but I have already completed all eight modules required.”

      He adds that CIFH is looking further ahead to net zero homes and being able to build them now for those clients who want this, and not wait until they are mandated federally in 2030 or 2032 provincially.

      There’s no doubt this will add to the cost to building new homes. We’d recommend to potential clients who wish to avoid those costs is to submit permit applications as soon as possible, as compliance is not yet mandatory. But we’d also suggest that we believe the BC Energy Step Code is a good thing, and that clients should understand that it brings important benefits.

      “It will ensure a more energy efficient home which will result in cost savings in the long term and help protect the environment,” says Picton.

    • Truss Time

      January 30, 2023

      In the Shuswap Lake Estates Highlands, we're in the process of finishing two exceptional view homes and handing them off to their new owners. But we're also moving forward in the early stages of construction of another home, and have two more about to get underway in the next couple of months.

      Just before Christmas, we poured the foundation of a beautiful walk-up rancher designed by Kamloops-based Bergman Home Designs. Right after the holidays, our framing crew was onsite, and they've made excellent progress. Last week, we had the home's truss package delivered and craned into place, as you can see in the photo below.

      Next steps are to sheet the roof, install premium-grade fiberglass shingles, and install windows and doors -- all of which will allow us to lock the home up so we can proceed with mechanical and electrical rough-ins in relative comfort, no matter the weather throws our way.

      We'll look forward to showing you more photos as work continues on this fine home.

    • No Limit Ceilings

      January 26, 2023

      One design trend we've seen more of recent years is a move towards detailed ceilings. A great example can be found at yet another home that we're moving forward to completion in the Highlands subdivision of Shuswap Lake Estates. Our own finishing carpenter extraordinaire, Chuck Beaton, was more than up to the challenge of creating a unique ceiling space in this beautiful home.

      As you can see in the photo below, Chuck worked with the clients to come up with a coffered ceiling. The interlocking beams really create a nice dimension and detail in this room.

      We'll be wrapping up this project in the weeks ahead. Currently, our painters have been onsite, spraying trims, and painting ceilings and walls. Flooring is also underway, and next week, our cabinet installers will be on the job with cabinets and countertops. We'll proudly present more photos of the finishing as it proceeds in the next few weeks.

    • Big Drop in Lumber Prices

      January 21, 2023

      In a world where severe inflation is beginning to seem normal, it's quite a surprise when the price of any commodity plummets. That's certainly been the case with lumber, one of the biggest costs of building a new home.

      According to Marcus Picton, Copper Island Fine Homes owner and CEO, the commodity price is down to a quarter of it's recent peak, and the result is a big cost break for anyone considering building a new home in 2023.

      "While lumber products vary, I would say at the local timber yard we're seeing sheet goods such as plywood at approximately a third of their peak price," says Picton. "The price has been reduced due to higher supply and lowered demand, particularly in the huge US market where housing starts have dropped off significantly. The unprecedented demand during the pandemic drove up the price dramatically. This also drove up production, but now that demand is starting to wane, there's much more product available, and supply is outpacing demand."

      Picton explains that, for a regular 1,500 square foot family home with main floor, walk out basement and double garage, this has likely dropped the average cost of the lumber package, including the joists, beams and trusses, by approximately $30,000.

      "This is the single biggest price drop since the pandemic peaks of January, 2022," he adds. "The reality of this is that now would be a good time to consider building a house."

      The only caveat? The savings might not last long. Already, the forestry industry is responding to lowered demand and costs by reducing workforces and production. In turn, according to some industry forecasters, the relatively low cost of lumber today might not last long, as lowered production will once again lead to higher prices.

    • Highlands Home Stretch

      January 14, 2023

      We’re in the home stretch of finishing a beatiful new walkup rancher in the Highlands subdivision of Shuswap Lake Estates, as you can see in the photo below. This past week, the stunning granite countertops arrived and were installed on the classic white shaker cabinets, and that allowed our tilesetters to begin finishing the kitchen's timeless subway tile on the backsplashes.

      This coming week, even more finishing work is on the slate. That means plumbing fixtures will be installed, the HVAC system will be finalized, interior railings will be completed, appliances will arrive and be installed, and door hardware will be added. Looking beyond that, we're planning to install the flooring on the stairs and fire up the fireplace during the last week in January. And that's when we'll be wrapping up the little bit of exterior finishing that remains.

      Our goal is to handover this house to its new owners on February 24th, and thanks to the hard work of all our staff and sub-trades, we're on schedule to do exactly that. Look for photos of the finished project at the end of February. Our thanks to our clients for allowing us to build their Shuswap dream!