There are times when a builder’s vision for a home comes quickly, and others where that vision takes time to develop.
Arlt Homes’ Jason Arlt says he visualized the design for 42 Clear Spring Rd. immediately.
"The rear of the home faces south, so it was obvious that we had to design the home to take advantage of the south exposure to capture as much natural light as possible. With that exposure, you get the sun for about half the day, so we really wanted to take advantage of that. Also, having large windows at the rear of the home would allow for an amazing view of the wetlands behind the home."
Two design strategies were employed to allow as much light as possible in to the great room.
First, the rear wall was lined with glass in the form of huge picture windows on the rear wall of both the family room and dining room. Second, ceiling height was increased — a subtle but nevertheless significant design feature.
"The ceiling is 10 feet high, rather than nine feet high," Arlt says. "A higher ceiling allows more light to cascade into the great room, and also makes it feel bigger. The extra ceiling height also allowed us to put in eight-foot doors, a feature that always gets a fantastic (rating) from everyone who goes through the home."
He adds that an additional design feature allows the great room to retain its brightness while feeling warm and cosy at the same time.
"We chose white oak (engineered) hardwoods with a lighter stain. There’s a definite trend toward lighter floors because they mask dirt and work better if you have pets. The colour is lighter, but still warm, and requires less maintenance than dark hardwoods, which need to be (swept) more often because you can see dust and dirt on them so much easier."
At the same time, Arlt’s design team made sure they didn’t overlook the fact the great room needed to function well. Although it’s an open-concept area, each space (family room, kitchen, dining area) is distinct.
A staggered rear wall neatly demarcates the family room from the dining area, while a large island that seats three defines the kitchen. The dining area is then tucked off to the side of the kitchen, centred neatly between the aforementioned picture window, a buffet niche (on the side wall behind it) and patio door that leads to an elevated deck that overlooks the pristine wetlands.
"Flow throughout the great room is excellent," Arlt says. "It’s a great area for family life or entertaining. With entertaining in mind, we didn’t put a sink in the island to make it more of a multi-purpose space that you could use to eat at, serve off of or prepare food on."
Much thought was also put into how the kitchen and family room would be finished.
"For a contemporary/modern look, we installed flat-front cabinets with a Tuscan (medium) brown stain," he says. "They go beautifully with the (off-white/taupe) CaesarStone (quartz) countertops and white subway-tile backsplash.
For added interest, we put taupe tile inlays in over both the stove and sink. To add function, we placed the microwave in an inconspicuous-yet-accessible spot on the island, and also put pot and general-purpose drawers next to it."
Then, there’s the great room, which is a quietly spectacular space due to its picture window, gas fireplace and understated entertainment unit. "The idea was to create an area that had wow factor, but that wasn’t overpowered by it. There’s a gas fireplace set in a taupe tile stack and recessed TV niche with floating shelving that looks great without looking gaudy. The result is a clean, clutter-free look."
Meanwhile, a private corner was reserved for the master suite off the family room.
"It’s a totally separate space with a huge picture window, big walk-in closet with custom shelving and a wonderfully functional ensuite," Arlt says. "It’s not huge, but has everything you need — a (six-foot) soaker tub with (taupe) tile surround, five-foot glass/tile marble shower and vanity with quartz countertop and dual sinks. It’s well laid out so that two people can use it at the same time without a problem."
Head to the front of the home and you find a trio of versatile spaces that run off the wide, welcoming foyer. "The second bedroom was placed next to the four-piece bathroom (which has a 36-inch-wide doorway) and across from a den/flex room," he says. "If a parent wants to move in with you, it’s a perfect, private area for them."
Finally, there’s the bright, expansive lower level with more than 1,500 sq. ft. of livable space.
"Our goal with the basement was to offer people more secondary space — a media area, bar area and games area that could be used either for family life or entertaining. There’s also two bedrooms, which gives you two upstairs and two downstairs. The design of the home is very flexible so you can configure it according to your needs at different stages of life."
Arlt says he’s pleased with how the home turned out.
"It’s a home that’s been designed to be oriented to the way people want to live. I think its floor plan and style come together to create a beautiful, yet functional home."
Builder: Arlt Homes
Address: 42 Clear Spring Rd., Bridgwater Lakes
Size: 1,821 sq. ft.
Bedrooms: 4 plus den
Price: $879,000 (Including lot & GST)
Contact: Rose Lobreau, Royal LePage Prime Real Estate, 204-996-7616 or Heather Vandenberg, Royal LePage Prime Real Estate, 204-330-7600
As 2016 draws to a close and a new year begins, the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association wants to take this opportunity to recognize and thank the people who made this past year a success.
The residential construction industry is a huge part of Manitoba’s economy, accounting for $3.5 billion in economic impact, over 24,600 jobs, over $1.3 billion in wages and hundreds of millions of dollars collected by the government in tax revenue.
Of course, initial kudos must go to the volunteers and staff that drive the MHBA. There are nine standing committees within the association, with approximately 10 representatives per committee. That means 90 people are giving their time and expertise to the MHBA each year.
This indicates that numerous companies recognize the importance of being involved in their professional association. It doesn’t work without this kind of commitment.
The Manitoba Home Builders’ Association presents both large and small events. The Spring and Fall Parades of Homes are the largest and best run in Canada, with more than 75,000 visitors annually.
The MHBA hosts housing forums, educational seminars, awards evenings, dinner meetings, golf and curling outings and a variety of other activities that encourage interaction and professional development. A huge thank you goes to all of the various sponsors — too many to list, but many of whom can be found in the individual categories on the MHBA web site.
Legislation, policies, practices and procedures can be frustrating at the best of times. However, without full consultation, they can be almost impossible. Recognition and thanks must go to the open-door policies of Premier Brian Pallister and the many ministers and their staff whose portfolios have a tremendous impact on the residential construction industry, including Cliff Cullen, Heather Stefanson, Cameron Friesen, Ian Wishart, Blaine Pedersen, Eileen Clarke, Cathy Cox and Scott Fielding.
We look forward to being significant contributors in making Manitoba the most improved province in Canada.
Although relationships may be strained on one major issue right now, I also have to recognize Mayor Brian Bowman, the executive policy committee, city council and everyone at the planning property and development department. Hopefully, when the conflict is settled, we can move forward with the planning of a great city.
Local media ask tough but fair questions and report things as they are.
Honesty and integrity are two-way streets that they recognize.
Fellow industry associations work together to promote the Manitoba economy.
This past year was an excellent one for the residential construction industry. Manitoba succeeds through partnerships and so here’s looking to an even better and more productive 2017.
Mike Moore is president of the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association.