Bruce Durrer has had his share of smooth landings over the course of his career as an Air Canada pilot, but possibly none could have been smoother than building his dream home with Beaver Homes and Cottages. Bruce and his wife, Sally, said the task was the most rewarding experience of their life. “We were building our dream home, and it was a dream to build,” said Sally. “The whole experience actually brought us even closer together!”
In November 2015, Bruce and Sally decided to begin their journey of tearing down their old cottage in favour of a new home. After looking through many design books and not finding the plan of their dreams, they stumbled across the Beaver Homes and Cottages catalogue while shopping at their local Home Hardware Building Centre in Port Elgin, Ontario. Blown away with the quality and quantity of home plans in the catalogue and on the website (beaverhomesandcottages.ca), Bruce and Sally were attracted to the Beauport II model. “The home was the perfect size,” said Sally. “It was big enough to host our kids and grandkids when visiting, but not too big to be too tough to keep up.” Although it was the perfect size and feel, they wished they could make a couple of little changes. That’s where their Beaver Homes and Cottages Consultant, Jim Lewis, came in to help.
“The common perception with 99 percent of the clients I see is that the plan is the plan,” says Lewis. “That couldn’t be further from the truth! I made sure the Durrers understood that this is their dream home, and we want to make sure it’s perfect for them. If they want something changed from the original plan, just ask!” Armed with this newfound flexibility, the Durrers added a substantial number of windows to the back of the Beauport II plan so they could enjoy seeing their backyard and the beautiful view of Lake Huron. As Bruce points out, “Flexibility is a key word when building any Beaver Home and Cottage. Flexibility on design, flexibility on product, flexibility on contractors! That’s what made working with this program so appealing.”
Wanting to be heavily involved with the project, the Durrers decided to become the general contractor for this build and hired a local contractor/close friend to help administer and facilitate the hiring of local trades. Never shying away from work themselves, Bruce and Sally poured a little of their own sweat equity into their home by cleaning up the worksite at the end of each day to ensure a safe working environment. “This kept the trades productive doing what they are paid to do, and helped keep us on schedule,” says Bruce.
The Durrers can hardly believe that two very ordinary people like themselves could accomplish such a feat as building their own home. But, with the expert advice of the Beaver Homes and Cottages program, it was one of the easiest things they had ever done. “We have an even stronger attachment to our home because WE did it,” said Sally. Bruce added, “to have a smooth landing, you first have to take flight, and we are so glad we took that flight with Beaver Homes and Cottages.”