Survey crews have been on site staking out both house and garage corners for future excavation, as well as identifying the lake-side riparian zone for protective fencing.
In preparation for future excavation, danger trees including Cottonwoods and dying Birch are being removed to ensure both personal and property safety.
A Ministry of Environment Burning Permit was obtained after confirmation of positive Venting Indexes, which helps ensure proper conditions for burning and smoke dispersal. Tomorrow's anticipated 15 cm snowfall should cool any remaining embers down nicely.
Foundation crews are standing by for final Building Permit and 100 m Lakes Development Permit approvals.
KEYSTONE HOUSING AWARDS
February 4, 2017, Kamloops, BC - Canadian Home Builders’ Association Central Interior announced 24 winning entries in its 12th Annual Keystone Home Builders Awards of Excellence. The black tie gala was held at the Thompson River University Grand Hall where everyone gathered to honor the best in their industry.
Local builder, Copper Island Fine Homes Inc. of Blind Bay, BC captured the prestigious Gold Award for Best Single Family Detached home, plus Silver for Customer Choice.
Greg Vistisen, owner and President of Copper Island Fine Homes stated, “…Nigel and Margaret are a fantastic couple and it was very much a pleasure working with them on their new home. This award would not have been possible without their support or that of our suppliers, sub-trades and outstanding team members. Accomplishments like this truly require a team effort”.
“9 years ago, we accepted our first Keystone award. We were a much smaller company back then, having recently incorporated in 2004. Fast forward 9 years, we have tripled in size, built over 60 new homes, renovated more than a dozen, most being whole house renovations and, in the process, been honored with 10 Gold Keystone awards”.
“It brings me great satisfaction watching both the personal and professional development of each of our team members over that span of time. Their sense of ownership, pride of workmanship and commitment to client respect and service are outstanding. Our team has now become the face of Copper Island Fine Homes”.
“I am so very proud of our team and would like to recognize Heidi Friesen, Dean Friesen, Chuck Beaton, Tim Lukashuck, Kyla Widdicombe, Rob Burt, Kathy Moore, Melody Thomson, Tammy Packer, Dee Baillee, Danielle Fauteux and Tracy Vistisen for their outstanding commitment to supporting our clients and building quality homes”.
CHBA CI President Rob Lemire said, "The continued passion shown for housing by builders, trades and suppliers in the Kamloops region, has once again delivered some of the best homes in Canada over the past year. Tonight's awards have showcased these talents yet again."
CHBA Central Interior is a vibrant active association of 200 members, the voice of residential construction in this region.
In 2004, long-time Blind Bay residents and good friends Greg Vistisen and Cliff Bridges spotted an opportunity to capitalize on the strong housing market in the Shuswap. The pair both had full-time jobs. Greg was managing construction of a retirement home community in Salmon Arm, and Cliff was juggling two successful businesses, including the Blind Bay Car Wash. As a result, their original goals for their new company, Copper Island Fine Homes, were modest—build one or two spec houses a year as market conditions allowed.
By the company’s second year, the pair had completed and sold three houses. Meanwhile, demand for custom houses was making them reconsider their goals and realize that their new company desperately needed full-time commitments. Cliff was unable to make that commitment given his other business interests, and the two reached an agreement where Greg and his wife Tracy would take over the company.
Based on his experience as a project manager and early successes with Copper Island Fine Homes, Greg realized that the way forward required a fresh approach.
“At that time, Tracy and I began to see that, while there were some reputable builders in the area, lack of building inspections and other factors had led to a pretty old-fashioned approach to building,” explains Greg. “We saw the same style of house being built over and over. We saw little of the innovation that was becoming more and more common in the construction industry in different, more populated areas. We knew that, because of lack of building inspections, many houses weren’t even being built to code. And we also knew that it was very common for new home buyers to be paying significantly more in extra, unbudgeted costs at the end of the construction process. We were determined to change all of this.”
To address the lack of innovation and quality standards, Greg used a multi-pronged approach. He hired top quality journeymen carpenters, began building relationships with the area’s most capable trades, and committed himself and his staff to the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) voluntary education courses. When these education requirements became mandatory in 2015, Copper Island had already received all the certifications. Today, Copper Island is the only Shuswap builder certified by the CHBA through their two-year Registered Home Professional, Licensed Residential Builder, Renovator and Built Green Builder programs and is a Certified Energy Star Builder.
Greg also signed on to a state-of-the-art, cloud-based construction management application that allows him, his clients, and his staff and sub-trades to monitor every aspect of the construction process in real time. And he made the decision that every client should have the opportunity to learn about and make decisions about all aspects of their project, with the goal of developing a firm budget, well before any dirt is turned.
“We like to spend a lot of time before we build, doing research with the client,” explains Greg. “Everything is online and we can create accurate estimates for clients and revise them over time to make sure we meet their budget and minimize the number of cost overruns.”
All of this effort has paid dividends. The company has built more than 60 houses (and completed many whole-home renovations) in the last ten years. Along the way, they’ve won numerous accolades—in fact, they are the only Shuswap builder to have been recognized for excellence at the annual Central Interior CHBA Keystone Home Builder Awards (they’ve actually won 15). Most recently, during the 2016 Keystone Awards, they were awarded Gold for Best Single Family Detached Home valued between $750,000 to $1.5 million.
Perhaps more importantly, the company’s website has a page that is chock full of glowing testimonials from satisfied clients.
“The success of our business is very much related to the support we receive from our subtrades and suppliers, and our clients have been fantastic,” says Greg. “It’s been a really good relationship. Obviously, our staff is the core of our business.”
Copper Island specializes in building homes ranging from $350,000 to $2,000,000 throughout the South and North Shuswap and Salmon Arm. Greg and his staff help their clients find a house plan to take advantage of their lot’s features and terrain, do the permitting and regulation compliance, develop comprehensive budgeting, and provide assistance with interior design selections and landscaping options. The company looks after every detail, including 10-year home warranty, construction insurance, and WCB.
The Kicker appreciates the advertising support from Greg and Tracy Vistisen at Copper Island Fine Homes and wish them continued success. For more information, visit www.copperislandfinehomes.ca.