-Year-round home with western exposure on Kushog Lake
-Roughly ¼ acre, pie-shaped lot with 100’ frontage
-Two bedrooms, an ensuite bathroom, and a powder room on the main floor
-Open-concept living/dining/kitchen area overlooking the lake
-Walkout lower level with one bedroom, one bathroom, a rec room, and “tonnes of storage”
Liz’s family has long been connected to the property – in some ways, literally. It’s next door to her family cottage, built in 1954 by her grandfather and father when he was 14. The neighbour’s cottage was “very rustic” says Liz, basically a one-bedroom Bunkie with an outhouse. Years ago, Liz’s family ran running water from their cottage to the neighbours’. Those neighbours eventually sold the property to her family and, about 12 years ago, Liz and Duncan took it over and continued to use the rustic space. In 2019 they decided to tear it down and build their dream cottage.
The Right Fit
Once they’d made that decision, the couple got to work researching builders in the area. After just one meeting with the Cedar Winds team, they quickly made a decision. “We walked out the door and knew right away that we’d be back. We clicked right away,” says Liz. “I don’t like to use the term ‘cookie cutter’ but we didn’t want to work with a builder who said you have to choose from a set of plans. We wanted to have something that didn’t look like anything else on the lake,” adds Duncan. The fact that Cedar Winds is a design-build company and that everything would be handled under one roof was also appealing.
Home Sweet Home
Partway through the planning process, with retirement from careers as elementary school phys. ed. teachers on the horizon, the couple decided that their dream cottage would in fact become their dream home. With plans to live on the lake for as long as possible, the couple was conscious of “ageing in place” design features, something that the Cedar Winds team factors into almost all of their projects. As a result, everything they need for everyday living is found on one floor, including the main bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and a stacked washer-dryer in case at some point down the road navigating the stairs to the lower level becomes a chore.
With a son and daughter both in their 20s they knew they wanted three bedrooms so the kids could comfortably stay with them.
Asked to name their favourite parts of their new home Duncan immediately deadpans, “I can go to the bathroom inside!” which, admittedly, is definitely a significant upgrade. Liz adds that, “I love the whole thing…but the combined kitchen and Great Room worked out wonderfully.” One of the highlights is the contrasting dark ceiling and trim with the light-coloured tile on the fireplace. “At first people [including Duncan] weren’t sure about the dark ceiling,” says Liz, but, “Now when people see it, they all say, ‘Wow, the ceiling is gorgeous.’”
With any major building project there are some unexpected hiccups along the way. But the Campbells say any issues that did come up were quickly resolved. In one instance, shortly after moving in there was a water leak on the weekend. “John Black [the project manager] dropped everything, called the plumber, and came right away to meet him,” says Liz. And when an appliance supplier sold their washing machine to someone else, not realizing there was a lengthy delay in backorders because of COVID, operations manager Nelson Evans negotiated with the supplier to give the Campbells upgraded models that were in stock. “We got a very nice washer and dryer at no extra cost!” says Liz.
Liz’s key piece of advice is to “make sure that you’re comfortable with the people that you’re going to be working with for a year or more.” When meeting with potential builders, Duncan advises that you “ask lots of questions. If they’re at all evasive or you don’t like the answers you get, that’s a clear sign that they’re not for you.”
While the answer should already be pretty clear, when asked if they would recommend Cedar Winds to others the couple’s immediate overlapping responses were “Definitely/Absolutely!” Positive feedback from another very satisfied customer.