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The Oke Woodsmith


FEATURING‌ the latest in custom designs and renovations


Makers of Distinctive Custom Cabinetry since 1983

www.woodecor.ca 2980 Forest Road, Stratford, ON


Daring to Dream

from one home to six hundred...

the history of Oke Woodsmith Building Systems

the design. Visitors to two of the company’s Oke WOOdsmith Building systems was model homes in Grand Bend came specifilaunched in 1984 with just one client and cally on cold days to experience the warm a tremendous vision. In the years since floors. then, the Grand Bend-based company “Concrete floors are warmer and the has built and renovated 600 distinctive colder it is outside, the better they are inside,” custom homes from Muskoka to Rondeau Randy says. Provincial Park for clients who have come At that point, clients began to apprecito expect the unusual. ate the floors and recognized the value of The idea for the company came about Oke Woodsmith, from left: Randy, Kevin and Wayne. building exterior walls of concrete to the in 1983 when the four Oke brothers – eaves because of the added comfort and Brad, Wayne, Randy and Kevin – reunited energy savings. with their parents for Christmas. Over Oke Woodsmith has since become Christmas dinner, Randy, Wayne, Kevin one of the leading builders of ICF homes in and Don made a decision to help build a Canada and is also the distributor throughhome for Brad in Southcott Pines in Grand out Ontario and Quebec for Lite-Form, an Bend. Wayne volunteered to quit his job ICF building system. The company sells the in Alberta to work on the project, Kevin systems to builders and to private individuals quit his job as a welder in the agricultural throughout Ontario. sector, and their father, Don, decided to resign from his management position. Over the years, the partners’ roles in Many years before, Don had owned his the company have changed. Randy is now own construction company. responsible for the design and sales of the With just one client, Oke Woodsmith was born. It was a courageous move, given the homes, and is also the general manager of the Oke Woodsmith office and manager of Lite-Form, Wayne acts as construction supervisor and Kevin, a finish carpenter, looks after recession of 1981. Success followed quickly. As a well-respected builder in the area, Don Oke had brought the drywalling and fine details. Don has since passed away, Betty has retired and Brad has 33 years of experience to the company. Don who was an equal partner in the company, left the company. Altogether, 30-45 staff members comprise Oke Woodsmith, including a team that is priced the homes and ensured his sons correctly estimated the time needed for each stage of construction. After completing Brad’s house the partners landed a contract for a $1-million responsible for the company’s framing, trimming and concrete work. Employing in-house staff instead of subtrades ensures consistency in each home from the time a site is excahome in Grand Bend, which raised their profile in the area. Randy and Brad worked for the company on evenings and weekends until the business vated to the time a client moves into a home. Annually, the company builds about 20 new homes and undertakes up to 10 renovation grew. Brad, who was still working for Bell, was the last brother to join full-time in 1986. projects. The partners have also designed and built many commercial projects including a Betty, the boys mother, became general manager in 1990. A key role for selling the homes centred on or involved the provision of architectural fire hall east of Toronto, as well as office complexes and agricultural buildings in Huron drawings to clients based on their ideas, budget and property. That was a new concept in an County. Oke Woodsmith is currently building homes along the Lake Huron shoreline from area where clients normally chose a stock plan and contracted a builder to construct it. Initially there was no charge for the drawings which included three revisions and Sarnia to Kincardine and all points in between. The company specializes in the unusual, pricing. If clients weren’t happy with the results, they weren’t obliged to work with the which attracts clients from young professional couples to empty nesters. While the company will always be a custom home designer and builder, the partners company. The concept worked for nine out of ten people, where a budget and design were created to their liking. The five partners undertook all aspects of the construction are turning their attention to the aging population as well. One project, Stone Meadows, work, from roofing to drywalling the homes. Randy believes that was a benefit. “It’s very a one-floor condo community in Zurich, is geared toward retirees. The development is one satisfying when you start a job from the ground up and finish it. Any one of us could build of the first of its kind in Huron County and a first for Oke Woodsmith. What the company a house from start to finish and lay the carpet, lay the tile, lay the hardwood – finish it is trying to do is provide similar qualities that it offers in a custom home, but in a smaller square footage and a more economical package. completely.” Randy hopes to create other similar communities as the company Along with building conventionally framed homes, in 1987, the evolves. He believes Oke Woodsmith’s future will be in the Oke chilcompany began building foundations and, later, above-grade exdren who, like their parents will join the company after working terior walls with Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF). The partners farther afield. believed they were headed in the right direction because of the “I’m hoping our growth is in family members – our kids – improved energy efficiency and sound resistance of concrete. joining the team,” Randy says. “That’s where you get genuine Home buyers, however, were skeptical until the company interest in the company and the ability to expand it.” began incorporating concrete floors with in-floor radiant heat into

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GLASS AND MIRROR 41 Third Street, Vanastra, Ontario





BUILDING FOR THE CENTURY At Oke Woodsmith, we do much more than build houses. We take design ideas from our clients, meld them with our own, and keep our collective relationship on track during the construction process and beyond.

Like any good marriage counsellor, we help our clients over rough patches when they second-guess themselves and need confirmation they’ve made the right decisions. We haven’t had a divorce yet; in fact, many of our clients are building their second or third home with us, so it seems we’re headed in the right direction. While anyone can build a house, we believe it’s much harder to build a home. Infusing a building with personality and function comes from listening to our clients throughout the construction process. Our foremen and building superintendents meet with clients daily on their property and ensure they understand what they’re getting in their new home. However, it’s not just our communication skills that attract clients to our company. We keep ourselves, and our tradespeople, up to date on advances in building science. Many of our houses are constructed of Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF), which we believe is the very best way to build a home.

During the construction process, we pour cement into insulated styrofoam forms that have been reinforced with rebar steel. The forms stay in place and become part of the finished wall, resulting in a concrete mass that eliminates drafts and deadens sound. ICF homes, in fact, are 100 per cent more energy efficient and 300 per cent quieter than a conventional wood-frame home. Homeowners never have to worry about being cold – even when gale-force winds are blowing off the Great Lakes during the frigid winter months. In the interests of comfort, we encourage our clients to heat their homes with radiant in-floor heating, which provides a consistent temperature from floor to ceiling and doesn’t circulate dust. We often pair radiant heating with engineered wood flooring since it doesn’t shrink as natural hardwoods do. Ceramic or porcelain tile are also an effective medium for transferring and retaining heat.

In this edition of the magazine, we’ve presented a cross-section of homes that exemplify our design ethic: we avoid hallways, particularly in smaller homes, since they represent wasted space. We also use a variety of ceiling treatments to define open-concept living areas, which is particularly evident in most Oke Woodsmith homes. We believe in filling a home with light. By placing skylights and windows in strategic places, including bathrooms, hallways, closets and even walk-in-pantries, we make a home as inviting as possible. We encourage our clients to accompany us to an annual builder’s show in the U.S, where they’re able to see the latest design elements. Our clients’ options are as broad as their budgets and imaginations will allow. They must be prepared, however, to invest time in making thoughtful decisions about finishes and materials which adds up to making the difference between building a house – or building a home.

At Oke Woodsmith, we’re building not just for the decade, but also for the century. Our hope is that the next generation will renovate and update our buildings a hundred years from now. Whether it’s a home or an office building, we feel confident that the structure will be as solid as the day it was built. Scan here to view more photos of all the homes in this publication and others in our portfolio.

Contact Information for Oke Woodsmith… ph: 519-238-8893 fax: 519-238-8894 email: woodsmith@okewoodsmith.com website: www.okewoodsmith.com

Oke Woodsmith Magazine’s production team… production manager: Lana Breier writer: Ellen Ashton-Haiste art director: Nancy Greenfield photography: Kelsey Oke printing: Sportswood Printing oke woodsmith, 2014 | 5


Top: The beach side of the cottage is all about the lake view, with expansive windows, cozy porches and a large covered patio. Right: A three-bay garage flanks the home’s covered portico entrance. Far right: The opposite side of the house also includes a sitting area landscaped with large rocks and dune grasses.


It’s big and grand but this vacation home has a rustic and cozy ambiance

Scan here to view more photos of this home and others in our portfolio.

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“The cottage” isn’t a term that generally conjures images of a three-level dwelling with 10,300 square feet of living space and sleeping accommodation for 30. But that’s what Oke Woodsmith Building Systems, in Grand Bend, has constructed for a Michigan family on the beach at Port Franks. With five pre-teen and teenage children and a large extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins, space was an essential requirement. Yet this vacation home, nestled into the sand dunes along the Lake Huron shoreline, exudes a rustic charm and cozy intimacy that belies its size and grandeur. Sharing the credit for this achievement are Michigan-based architect Michael Gordon and interior designer Jennifer Fozo. “What (the clients) wanted was something casual but resort-like in the old Adi­ rondack style, somewhat reminiscent of New England,” Gordon says. They also wanted it to reflect the environment. “They wanted to bring in the colours – the blues and greens of the lake, the beige of the sand – and make everything practical and functional, yet also elegant,” Fozo says. Finally, they wanted it to be comfortable and easy to maintain. “With five children, it’s all about easy living,” Fozo says. “They said ‘this is a weekend home and a summer home. We want everyone to come here and relax and enjoy themselves. We don’t want to worry about who is tracking in sand or who is sitting on the furniture in a wet bathing suit’.” So durable, water-resistant fabrics and rustic finishes were chosen to accommodate that desire. The design process started with Gordon, who says he scoped out the property when it was “still just a sand dune.” “I wandered around and looked at everything – the sun angle, what are the prevailing winds.” And then there were the municipal and conservation regulations for building on the dunes to consider. “There’s a whole overlapping layer of information – percentage of lot coverage you’re allowed and setbacks. You can’t change the topography, so the house really had to nestle into the dune.” But Gordon is no stranger to building on the water. And he knew what he wanted to achieve here. “I’ve done a hundred or more waterfront homes throughout the U.S. and in Canada and on some islands in the Caribbean,” he says. “So I know how people live in them, how every­t hing is about the view and about try-

Above: A full wall of windows offers a panoramic view of the beach and lake from the cottage’s great room. Right: The two-storey great room also includes a floor-toceiling stone fireplace with mounted flat-screen television. Below: A second-storey mezzanine gallery overlooks the great room, which opens to a rear dining area and kitchen.

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ing to make the house somewhat transparent, inside to outside.” His success in this is evident in the heart of this home, the open-concept great room and kitchen/dining area. The great room soars two storeys to a beamed cathedral ceiling, with square glassand-metal chandeliers. It features a floor-toceiling stone fireplace and a full wall of windows looking out to the beach and the lake. “That wall was a feat of engineering,” Gordon says. The three lower windowpanes, each about 49 square feet, are “the biggest pieces of glass that anyone’s comfortable putting in a residence,” he says. Then, the outer supporting columns needed to withstand the weight of the wall and the weather. Initially, wood columns were planned. But, Gordon says, Oke Woodsmith experts advised using a man-made product stained to look like real wood. “They are very talented craftsmen,” he says. “Those pillars do look like wood. We really worked as a team to come up with interesting finishes (indoors as well as out). I had the vision, and they came through.” “They were fabulous,” Fozo agrees. “Every­ one came together. There was a lot of camaraderie, and everyone really helped one another.” The transparency, in the great room, was exactly what Gordon hoped for. “When you’re in that room, it’s hard to figure out where the house ends and where the outside begins,” he says. “I love the whole feel of the great room and kitchen area,” Fozo says. “From every point, you can see that view. I think that’s what we tried to do with the entire house, bring the whole view inside.” And, for a large room with a large view, it’s also “really comfortable,” Gordon adds. “Even though it’s a huge room, you’d be comfortable sitting alone there with a cup of tea.” Behind the great room, the dining area seats 10 at a long plank table. The kitchen is anchored by an almost-10-foot island with a raised breakfast bar and lower working counter, with a deep farm-style apron sink and built-in dishwasher. Light granite counters contrast with dark-stained knotty alder cabinetry, installed by Stratford’s Woodecor, adding to the rustic ambiance. Paneling on the refrigerator matches the cabinetry. And, a clever touch here is a chalkboard embedded in the door. “That was my idea,” says Fozo. “With all those kids, it’s a nice way to leave a note – ‘at the beach’ or ‘we need milk’.”

Above: A dining area, in front of the kitchen, seats 10 at a long plank table. Left: The kitchen island, topped with light granite, has a deep apron sink and built-in dishwasher. Below: Dark wood cabinetry and ceiling beams in the kitchen and dining area, with contrasting light granite counters, add to the cottage’s rustic ambiance.

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A hallway connecting the great room to the master bedroom suite also leads to a screened-in porch, with cozy seating area and gas fireplace set into a stone wall. An outside entertainment patio, enclosed by a glass rail, offers an ideal place to enjoy the sun and beach views. Gordon says this is yet another way to create the transparency between outdoors and indoors. He adds that the porch’s screening system, another innovation suggested by Oke Woodsmith, makes it versatile through the seasons. “It’s very clever,” he says. “It’s retractable glass. You can have a screen or glass, so it can be sheltered from the wind and elements.” The master suite is a true retreat. It can be closed off. And, the screened porch and an opposite back stairway, separating it from the living area in the great room and kitchen, create “a nice buffer to enhance a sense of privacy,” Gordon says. The bedroom overlooks the lake through expansive windows. A cushioned window bench in blue and white striped fabric, flanked by white built-in storage cabinets, adds to the beach and lake ambiance. A French door accesses a private outside sitting area adjacent to the deck off the screened porch.


A hallway, separating two extensive hisand-hers walk-in closets, features a marble bar counter with sink and mini refrigerator for morning coffee or nighttime snacks. The focal point of the elaborate ensuite bathroom beyond is the air jet tub, set beneath large windows with wooden slat blinds and surrounded by a wide marble deck. A mirrored wall at one end of the room doubles as a television. Two marble-topped vanities flank the doorway. An oversize steam shower, with a built-in bench, and a private toilet closet complete the ensemble. At the opposite side of the great room an expansive entrance foyer features a unique display wall for art or collectibles. A hallway from the foyer leads to a guest powder room, 1. Tall windows in the master bedroom, with a cushioned bench below, offer expansive beach views. 2. The master ensuite bathroom includes an oversize steam shower and marbletopped vanities flanking the doorway. 3. The focal point of the master ensuite bathroom is an air-jet tub with wide marble deck, set below a large window with wooden slat blinds. 4. Along one end of the upper level a dormitory, with bunk beds, for the youngsters in the family, can sleep up to 18.


laundry room and mudroom, with built-in bench and lockers and entry from the threebay garage. A stairway from the foyer leads to the upper level. Here a mezzanine gallery features lighted arched alcoves for artwork that mirror the ceiling arches overlooking the great room below and the arched central window on the opposite wall. The arches are a feature Gordon says introduce a bit of European chateau flavour. There are also arched openings looking down into the great room from the main stairway and from a loft office on the opposite end of the upper level. “When I design something like that, I like to echo and repeat the elements to keep consistency,” Gordon says. “So I used the arch over and over, reinforcing that aesthetic. It helps tie the house together.” The client’s large family was the inspiration for a dormitory that stretches across one end of the upper level. With six bunk beds and two queen-size beds, it can accommodate 16 to 18 youngsters. “If you have five children – and this is a weekend or summer home – and each child brings a friend, you can have 10 kids in tow at any time,” Fozo says.


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The dormitory features comfy seating areas, a wall-mounted television and its own ensuite bathroom. The upper storey also includes a second laundry room and two guest bedrooms, each with generous walk-in closets, joined by a cheater bath with double vanity and tub. The home’s lower level is all about relaxing and playtime. The central recreation room has a seating area around a large, wall-mounted television, a game table, pool table and wet bar, with a two-tier, granite-topped curved counter and perimeter cabinetry and counter space. The room opens to a large covered patio beneath the great room. It features a barbecue and outdoor kitchen and a wood-burning fireplace. A fire pit just beyond provides a perfect place to enjoy the summer evenings. Sliding barn-style doors on either side of the recreation room lead to adjacent wings. On one side is an exercise room plus an additional guest bedroom and bathroom. Here also is housing for the mechanicals, including the heating, cooling and water systems. This wing also leads to a boat garage along the side of the house that is current3


ly being used by the family as a basketball court. The opposite wing has a lake bathroom with shower and a blow dryer for the dog, as well as additional storage. It accesses an outdoor shower, as well, to wash off after a day at the beach. There is also access to a lower garage, initially planned as storage, but now used by the youngsters for a play area and indoor soccer games. While the emphasis is on the beach and lake view, there is also an outdoor sitting area on the other side of the house, landscaped with large rocks and dune grasses. 1. In the lower level recreation room, a sitting area faces a large, wall-mounted television. 2. The recreation area also includes a pool table and wet bar. 3. A lake bathroom on the lower level has a shower with bench seating and also includes a blow dryer for the dog. 4. A covered portico leads to the home’s entrance and foyer. 5. A covered outdoor patio, accessed from the recreation room, includes an outdoor kitchen, built-in barbecue and woodburning fireplace.


The entire house is designed for energyefficient all-season living. Its exterior walls are concrete, constructed with insulated concrete forms, a specialty for Oke Woodsmith, clad with Permacon manufactured stone and James Hardie fibre cement board siding. It includes geothermal heating. The interior oak floors, installed by Hucker Floor Coverings from Sarnia, are heated for additional comfort. The clients were “adamant about having the best energy efficiency,” Gordon says. In addition they wanted premiere monitoring capability when they’re not there. Thus, the house is equipped with electronics to monitor all elements, from heat to lights to alarms, from any remote location. “The home electronics is quite the package, with a lot of smart home ideas,” Gordon says. “So they are worry free.” Consideration was also given to the future, he adds. An elevator was installed to access all levels from the lower garage to the upper floor. “The cottage could transition to a more permanent home for them in the future, if they so choose, as the kids mature and as they mature,” Gordon explains. oke 5


ROOMS with a


Scan here to view more photos of this home and others in our portfolio.

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Many rooms in this home offer panoramic Lake Huron vistas


Watching the sunrise from the front porch, the soothing splash of the garden fountain in the background, and viewing Lake Huron sunsets from the rear patio as a cozy fire sets a peaceful mood, are just a couple of the many things a Plympton-Wyoming couple love about their new lakeside home. In fact, the lake view was a key factor for them, in building there. Paul and Linda had been living in nearby Enniskillen Township and were looking for a lake lot when they found this four-acre parcel of land in 2008. Located on the southeastern shore of Lake Huron as it begins to narrow to meet the St. Clair River at Sarnia, the couple maintain that, on a clear day, they can see the Michigan shoreline across the water. When it came to planning their home, there were two priorities, Linda says. They wanted as many rooms as possible to have the lake view and they wanted that to be immediately visible on entering through the front door. “So it was important to eliminate any interior walls that would block the view,” Paul points out. The foyer and adjacent dining room at the front of the house flow into the rear great room, where a wall of windows, arched at the top to mirror the barrel ceiling, offer lake vistas from just about any vantage point. Oke Woodsmith Building Systems was instrumental in fine-tuning the design features, the couple says. They chose the company after seeing London Health Sciences lottery dream homes Oke Woodsmith had built in Grand Bend. “We liked their style and we felt the fit was right,” Linda says. The couple had been working with a local designer to plan the layout for the home, 3,034 square feet on the main level and another 1,682 in the lower level. But that relationship had come to a standstill by the time they contacted Oke Woodsmith, she says. The company, helmed by brothers Randy, Wayne and Kevin Oke and supported by a team of talented designers, tweaked those plans to create exactly what Paul and Linda were looking for. “Oke Woodsmith has a ‘can do’ attitude that we really liked,” Linda says, outlining the qualities that attracted them. “It was the right attitude to make things happen. And they have very unique design ideas, definitely not cookie cutter.

Above: A hidden stairway leads to a catwalk around the two-storey kitchen and accesses a loft office. Below: The loft overlooks the kitchen with its central island and coffee/entertainment bar on the right.

oke woodsmith, 2014 | 17



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“They always go the extra mile,” she adds. “And you never feel you are bothering them (with questions or ‘wish list’ requests).” In fact, says Paul, he and Linda had enormous input into the whole design and build process, something he thinks is rare today. In the end, they say they got exactly what they envisioned and wouldn’t change a thing. They worked closely with Oke-recommended interior designer Rae Ann Ladouceur, who contributed many design concepts, from colour combinations to the great room fireplace, Linda says. Along with the view, the fireplace is a focal point of the room. A narrow gas grate is surrounded by a floor-to-ceiling over mantle and set off by a sheet of limestone, from Strathroy’s Progressive Countertops, in vertical lines of browns and beiges, split in half and mounted on either side of the grate, toplit by three accent lights. “Linda didn’t want a traditional fireplace,” Paul says.

The back of the home offers panoramic lake views from every room, as well as from the second-storey loft balcony and outdoor patio.

“They always go the extra mile,” she adds. “And you never feel you are bothering them (with questions or ‘wish list’ requests).” “I saw the idea online,” she responds. “But Rae Ann gets credit for how the limestone is mounted and staggered.” With fewer interior walls to not impede lake views, the designers came up with unique ways to delineate the rooms, Paul notes, citing the dining room as an example. There, a freestanding wood pillar and recessed tray ceiling square it off, setting it apart from the barrel-ceilinged great room and foyer. The master bedroom, part of a suite accessed from the great room and foyer, also has an expansive lake view through a triple window as well as from an adjacent hot tub room. The couple had an outdoor hot tub at their Enniskillen Township home but wanted to bring it indoors here and opted for a lesscommon round tub, as opposed to square, Paul notes. And, they created a round room for it. The tub is sunk into a heated floor, with an expanse of windows on the lake side and a door leading to a private porch behind

the bedroom. On the other side, an electronic pet door, activated by transmitters on their collars, allows the family dogs into to a fenced area, safe from the local wildlife. From the outside porch, steps lead down to a stone-enclosed outdoor shower, perfect for rinsing off after a summer afternoon on the beach. “I call it my Petticoat Junction shower,” Linda says with a chuckle. “I’m thinking I should get a wooden bucket and mount it above the shower so it looks like the water is running down through it.” The whole purpose of the master suite was to provide a “quiet and peaceful area for relaxing,” a place to wind down at the end of their busy days, Linda says. Hence, lighting is muted and the couple opted not to have a bedroom television, although there is a small one mounted in the hot tub room. An expansive walk-in closet leads from the bedroom to the ensuite bathroom. Here, an oversize soaker tub overlooks the front lawn and long, winding driveway.

There’s also a spacious glassed-in shower. Dark wood cabinetry is offset by Bianco Antico granite – white laced with veins of brown and black – both on the vanity counters and the shower seat. The master suite also includes a convenient laundry room, where a unique feature is a built-in, pull-down ironing board. On the other side, the great room opens into the kitchen, anchored by a central island, with a deep copper apron sink, and lit by square metal pendant lights hung from the vaulted two-storey ceiling. Light cab­ inetry, with a custom antique glaze, from Woodecor in Stratford, is offset by copper coloured ceramic tiles in the backsplash and Alaskan Cream granite counters – a creamy base mottled with dark veins. Along the wall separating the kitchen from the great room, a coffee bar/entertainment centre features brown wood cabinets and copper-toned count­ er and backsplash. Engineered hardwood flooring, though­ out the main level is Castle Combe 2304 oke woodsmith, 2014 | 19






1. A rounded dinette, with a round tray ceiling, at the rear of the kitchen looks over the backyard and patio. 2. Focal points of the great room are the view through a wall of windows overlooking the lake and the floor-to-ceiling fireplace, enhanced with a slab of limestone, split and staggered to surround the narrow grate. 3. A recessed tray ceiling in the front dining room sets it apart from the adjacent foyer and great room. 4. Barn board doors separate a guest bedroom suite from the family room. 5. A round hot tub is sunk in the heated floor of a turret-like room off the master bedroom. 6. Entrance from the oversize garage leads to a hallway mudroom. 7. Off the kitchen, a covered concrete patio is enclosed by stone wall on one side and fireplace and built-in barbecue on the other. 8. A stone walkway leads to an outdoor shower enclosure just outside the master suite hot tub room.




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Soderbury Oak, from Hucker Floor Cover­ ings in Sarnia. It’s a barn board look that the couple feels adds to an ambiance of rustic charm. Above a rounded dinette, a 260-squarefoot loft office overlooks the kitchen on one side and, on the other, offers a panoramic view of the yard and lake through patio doors that open onto a spacious concrete deck with tempered glass railing. It was important that this space, in par­ ticular, have a lake view, Linda says. She explains that it provides a restful jux­ta­posi­ tion to the sometimes-dreary grind of office work. Paul and Linda had hoped to have a freestanding stairway from the open kitchen to the loft. However, municipal regu­la­ tions did not allow that. So Oke Woodsmith came up with another unique design feature, Linda says. They installed an L-shaped staircase behind the kitchen cabinetry and a catwalk around two sides of the kitchen to access the loft. A patio beneath the upper office deck, enclosed by a low stone wall on one side and wood-burning fireplace and built-in barbe­ cue on the other, provides a comfortable space for outdoor relaxation and entertaining. It even features a remote-controlled sunscreen that can be lowered to mute the effects of the hot summer sun. On the opposite side, the kitchen flows into a comfortable family room, with a wallmounted flat-screen television, flanked by built-in shelving, with a vaulted ceiling and arched windows that echo the great room. This room leads to a guest suite, with bedroom and a bathroom, featuring Hanstone quartz counters and a glassed-in shower. The area is separated from the family room by a barn-board door, allowing it to be completely closed off. The couple sees potential in this for a granny suite for aging parents or a temporary abode for in-transition kids or future grandkids. Between the kitchen and dining room, a hallway leads to a mudroom, powder room and entrance to the oversized two-car garage as well as stairs to the lower level. This level includes a recessed home theatre and spacious recreation area plus two guest bedrooms and a bathroom. Linda has decorated the lower bed­ rooms in themes. The “Ocean View” room has a wall mural that depicts glass doors leading to a wooden deck and boardwalk to the ocean shore. In the other bedroom, soft pastel hues and teak furnishings create what she

The front foyer flows into the rear great room with its cozy gas fireplace.

calls the “Bali” room. Outside pits have been dug away from the foundation to allow for larger bedroom windows that let in a flood of natural light. The house features concrete walls that are a signature feature for Oke Woodsmith, creating a warm and cozy atmosphere even on cold, wintry days. A portico with wood and stone pillars leads to the front porch entrance. The exter­ ior is clad in Maibec wood siding in Jeffer­son Tan, with staggered cedar shingles in taupe. Accents of natural bed ledgerock were custom­ized by Bill Doktor Masonry from Wyoming. The roof is Canadian Driftwood Tim­ berline HD shingles. oke

So Oke Woodsmith came up with another unique design feature, Linda says. They installed an L-shaped staircase behind the kitchen cabinetry and a catwalk around two sides of the kitchen to access the loft.

The master bedroom and adjacent indoor hot tub provide a perfect place to relax and unwind after a busy day.

oke woodsmith, 2014 | 23



Fast and easy installation

Steel/concrete design makes buildings rigid, solid and durable

Long reach without shoring to reduce number of load-bearing walls Less concrete and reinforcing steel than conventional slabs

Compatible with all traditional structural systems

hambro.canam-construction.com – 1-866-506-4000

A product and a partnership that make sense Hambro floor systems, a product of Canam, has been providing concrete flooring for residential projects throughout Canada and the United states for more than four decades. oke Woodsmith building systems, based in Grand bend, ontario, has developed a specialty in building homes with Insulated Concrete forms (ICf) and is constantly sourcing the best quality products to incorporate into those projects. so the long-term relationship between the two companies makes perfect sense, says slobodan Kukic, Hambro’s National sales manager. “When it comes to concrete floor systems, Hambro is the best option out there,” Kukic says. “any time people want systems like ICf, or they want in-floor heating, a concrete system like Hambro makes a lot of sense.” there are a number of reasons. It’s easy and quick to install. With Hambro’s patented steel joist support, the system requires less concrete and reinforcing steel than conventional slabs, saving on-site construction time. It also allows long spans and shallow profiles without shoring, reducing the number of load-bearing walls. all this reduces the cost. In fact, Kukic says the Hambro system is “a fraction of the cost of traditional cast-in-place concrete.”

hambro.canam-construction.com 1-866-506-4000

furthermore, it can be installed on any type of structure and offers maximum rigidity and strength. It’s also a non-combustible material with highly rated acoustical properties. “Not many steel and concrete systems on the market have such superior fire and sound properties as Hambro,” Kukic says. “It’s very simple and, at the end of the day, you have a solid concrete floor with all the attributes like fire safety and great acoustics.” Hambro’s forte is installing its floor systems in multi-family residential projects such as apartment and condominium buildings, senior care facilities, hotels, motels and affordable and student housing. While those comprise about 80 per cent of the business, he says the number of single-family dwellings they are working on has been increasing. “When we do single family, we do high-end, ultra-custom homes,” he says. “We are doing more of these homes lately. the ICf industry is growing as the economy is improving and people are building better quality.” this is an area where the relationship with oke Woodsmith is key. the building company is noted for its ICf construction in single-family homes. an example is a recently completed 10,000-plus-square-foot summer home on the lake Huron shoreline (pictured here), constructed for a michigan family. thus, it’s a business partnership that’s certain to continue and grow well into the future.

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26 | oke woodsmith, 2014

At Home In Huron Woods

Pat O’ROuRke Sales Rep.

519-871-7487 Proud to be involved in marketing Oke Woodsmith’s Stone Meadows condos and single family model homes along the shores of Lake Huron. 401 Main St., Box 2401, Exeter, ON N0M 1S7

519-235-1449 Bus b 519-235-4542 Fax b www.exeterforsale.com b E-mail: pat@exeterforsale.com

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StairS & railingS with the latESt in DESign INNOVATIONS

Toll Free 1-888-339-3321 b 519-264-9700 www.roes-stairs.com Mount Brydges Showroom, 22030 Adelaide

28 | oke woodsmith, 2014


There’s an “ah” moment every time Jane and Mark Chandler pull into the winding drive of their new Grand Bend home. “It’s ‘ah, we’re here. We’re home,’” Jane says. “It just gets better and better.” The Oakville couple were looking for the ideal location to build their retirement home when they discovered this lot, three years ago, in the Huron Woods neighbourhood, a forested enclave just east of Pinery Provincial Park. They had considered Muskoka, where Jane’s parents have a home, but didn’t relish the long drive that involved. Mark had grown up in nearby Dashwood, so the Grand Bend area was familiar. They couldn’t be happier with the choice. It’s a secluded site, surrounded by mature trees, yet just a five-minute walk to the Lake Huron beach. “It’s so tranquil and quiet here,” Mark says. “And there are no black flies!” Jane adds, referencing Muskoka’s insect menace. Both avid golfers, they appreciate the proximity of several premiere courses. And, “the beach is stunning,” Jane says. “I feel like I’m in Cape Cod or Florida when I’m there. I love the location. I love the view from our house.” They also love the home, designed and constructed by Oke Woodsmith Building Systems. The Chandlers knew the company’s reputation and maintain it was the perfect builder to help them realize their vision. They wanted an atmosphere of casual elegance, a place where they could entertain friends and also a comfortable place to spend family times, a place where their daughters, Lauren and Paige, could bring friends and, eventually, their own families. “We had a wish list,” Jane says. “And when we saw the plans, everything we wanted was there. We just did a little bit of tweaking. It’s just fabulous. And, the girls love it.” The home’s character starts with the exterior. Clad with rough pine board and batten siding, stucco and an abundance of manufactured stone, it blends seamlessly into its natural setting. A covered porch, with peaked roof, leads to the front door with its arched transom and sidelight windows. Inside, the foyer leads to an open-concept great room and kitchen and dining area. A vaulted ceiling carries through from the foyer to the great room, while a recessed tray ceiling over the dining area delineates it from the great room and the kitchen with its lower ceiling. A wall of windows in the great room overlooks the rear yard and wooded area beyond. The focal point of this room is a floor-to-

Above left: Between the foyer and open-concept kitchen and great room, a circular staircase with wood rail and decorative spindles sweeps down to the home’s lower level. Above centre: The front door with arched transom and sidelight windows enters to an expansive foyer with cathedral ceiling. Above right: The kitchen island is functional with seating for four and a generous workspace with double sink. Below: The kitchen’s ‘Soft Chamois’ cabinetry and light granite counters, balanced by the dark flooring and island base, creates an appearance of modern casual elegance.

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30 | oke woodsmith, 2014

“I wish to express my gratitude for the tremendous work that you did landscaping my lakeside property. I am thrilled with the final results and I am looking forward to next spring and summer so that we can all enjoy the fruits of our labour. You have a talented, professional team and it was a pleasure working with you all.”

– Christine



ceiling, cream-coloured stone fireplace with a dark wood mantel separating the gas insert from a flat-screen television mounted above. The mantel is echoed in picture shelves on the wall between the fireplace and rear window. The adjacent dining area and kitchen is a multi-functional area, perfect for mealmaking and entertaining, Jane says. She loves the abundant space, noting that she can seat 14 at the long harvest dining table. Four more can sit at the kitchen island. In the kitchen, ‘Soft Chamois’ cabinets, by Woody’s Custom Cabinetry from London, and Bianco Antico granite counters – white laced with veins of browns and greys – are offset by dark wood in the island base. Upper illuminated display cabinets, a taupe tile backsplash and stainless steel appliances all add to the ambiance of modern casual elegance. The colours for the cabinetry, doors and trim actually evolved from the flooring, Jane notes. “I love my floor!” she says, explaining that she had a definite idea of what she wanted but it took considerable time to find just the right product. The Chandlers finally discovered the black fumed oak, from Vintage Hardwood Flooring, dark brown planks interspersed with streaks of lighter browns and blonds, and installed it through the main areas on both the upper and lower levels of the home. From the dining area, patio doors open to an outdoor stamped concrete deck that stretches across the back of the house, with a built-in barbecue at one end, and rimmed with a glass rail anchored by stone pillars. It’s a favourite place to kick back and relax and enjoy the scenery. “We’re out there all the time,” Mark says. “It’s our second living room,” Jane agrees. It also showcases one of Mark’s contributions to the home – a state-of-the-art sound system that’s wired through the entire house. On the deck, speakers are embedded in some of the stone posts, providing complete surround sound. “The sound is incredible,” Jane says, crediting her husband with taking the time to make it really special. Barn-style doors from the dining area lead to the master bedroom retreat and ensuite bathroom. The bedroom is a peaceful oasis, decorated in soft pastels, with an abundance of natural light from the large rear window, two side windows and a walkout to the deck. The bathroom’s ‘Soft Chamois’ cabinets are offset by rich chocolate brown Cambria quartz counters. It also features a glassed-in shower and freestanding tub angled beneath corner windows. The bedroom and bathroom are joined by an expansive walk-in closet with built-in shelving.


1. In the master ensuite bathroom, a freestanding tub is angled beneath corner windows overlooking the treed side yard. 2. Barn-style doors close off the master bedroom retreat from the adjacent dining area and kitchen. 3. The spacious dining area, with seating for 14 at a long harvest table, also opens to the deck. 4. The master bedroom is a peaceful oasis, decorated in soft pastels with an abundance of natural light from rear and side windows. 4

oke woodsmith, 2014 | 31





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On the opposite side of the great room is a guest suite with a bedroom and bathroom with a shower. Behind the kitchen, a laundry room and mudroom complete the 2,363-squarefoot main level. This area also has access from the double garage and a stairway leading to a loft above the garage. The loft was not in the original plans, Jane says. But the Oke Woodsmith team suggested making use of the space. Its current purpose is to provide an office for Mark but, in future, it could be an additional bedroom or playroom for grandchildren. Between the foyer and the great room, a curved wooden staircase sweeps down to the home’s 1,448-square-foot lower level, with 915 square feet finished. This level has nine-foot ceilings. The surrounding landscape was dug out to allow for full-size windows and a walkout. “We didn’t want it to feel like a basement,” Jane says. The central area, here, is a recreation room with wet bar and a games area. Outside the recreation room is a covered patio with a hot tub and beyond that the Chandlers have created a stone patio with a rockery wall for a fire pit, the perfect place to relax on summer evenings. From the games area, double barn-style doors lead to a bedroom wing for the girls. Two bedrooms – one with a large window facing the rear yard and the other with front corner windows – have an adjoining bathroom with shower and white cabinet topped with a cream and brown quartz counter. Across the recreation room is another guest bedroom. Jane says the lower level is designed with their daughters in mind. They can bring friends and have an area for their own entertaining. There’s also access to an outdoor shower for washing off the sand after a day at the beach. And, she adds, there’s plenty of space to expand in the future. Current storage areas could be transformed for other uses, such as a media room. While the home is currently a weekend and summer retreat, the Chandlers look forward to spending increasing amounts of time there. They are enjoying the Huron Woods community, which boasts its own clubhouse, hosting events from Halloween parties and New Year’s Eve galas to regular coffee klatches and get-togethers. The Chandlers recently attended a welcome event for new residents and were overwhelmed by the friendliness of their neighbours. “This isn’t a cottage per se. It’s a home,” Mark says. “It’s definitely a longterm commitment.” “And, it truly is our dream home,” Jane adds. oke FROM THE TOP: 1 & 2. The home, clad in siding, stucco and an abundance of manufactured stone blends into its natural surroundings. 3. The master ensuite bathroom has ‘Soft Chamois’ cabinetry, offset by rich chocolate brown quartz counters. 4. A spacious laundry room features built-in cabinets and a quartz counter. 5. The Chandlers spend much time in good weather enjoying the rear stamped concrete deck that stretches across the back of the house, with a glass rail anchored by stone pillars.

“Builder/Contractor Specialists�

519-452-3220 1910 Huron Street at Clarke Road Mon-Fri 9 to 5 Sat 9 to 1 Our cabinets are supplied by Aya Kitchens in Mississauga www.ayakitchens.com

oke woodsmith, 2014 | 33


34 | oke woodsmith, 2014

Growing Cottage the

A rebuilt cottage in a mature Grand Bend subdivision incorporates modern convenience while maintaining the character of the neighbourhood

Top left: The kitchen’s maple cabinetry with custom glaze is distressed for a worn appearance but offset by Cambria quartz countertops and patterned porcelain tile backsplash as well as warm hickory hardwood flooring. Top right: Throughout the main level, ‘Revere Pewter’ colour walls and a white beadboard ceiling with accent crossbeams create a spacious and airy atmosphere. Bottom left: The front foyer features a trap door to a crawl space. A secret door in the panels under the open stairway also accesses the space. Bottom right: The comfortable master bedroom overlooks the front lawn and street through a dormer gable window.

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oke woodsmith, 2014 | 35

d r aw i n g o n e x p e r i e n c e ...

civil and Structural engineering environmental Science toxicology land Surveying MTE Consultants Inc. Kitchener 519-743-6500 Burlington 905-639-2552 Stratford 519-271-7952


...B u i l d i n g o n St r e n gt h MTE Consultants Inc. Publication: OKE Woodsmith Size: 1/2 page (7" x 4.75")

Whether you are a homeowner, builder, architect, or engineer, acid staining/polished concrete is the best way to add elegance and decorative beauty to any concrete floor.


36 | oke woodsmith, 2014

Concrete Polishing • Acid Staining • Epoxy Garage Floors



When Mark and Clare Schmehl realized they and their children were outgrowing their cottage, they had to make a decision. They decided they wanted to keep the cottage in Grand Bend, long a favourite vacation destination. But expanding presented challenges. The lot was small and municipal setback regulations restricted how wide they could go. In addition, the Schmehls wanted to preserve the extensive landscaping and vegetation, which included a cobblestone entertainment area in the backyard. The team at Oke Woodsmith Building Systems proved equal to the challenge. The single-storey cottage was rebuilt in the footprint of the original, expanding upward with a second level. The Schmehls couldn’t be happier with the result, now a finalist in the Canadian Home Builders Association awards for renovations of $250,000-$500,000. “It’s amazing,” Clare Schmehl enthuses. It wasn’t, however, surprising to the couple. A few years ago, they toured a London Health Sciences lottery dream home in Grand Bend, constructed by Oke Woodsmith. “When we went through, I said ‘if we ever need to build this is who I’m going to Above: The Schmehl use’,” Clare says. “It was very good quality youngsters, ages 10 and and they have a style that I really like.” 12, each have their own In addition to staying within the footsecond-storey bedroom overlooking the rear yard. print of the original structure, the Schmehls like that the new cottage suits the established neighbourhood, north of the town’s centre. Right: Off the dining area, “Adding a second storey and recladding patio doors lead to the rear the exterior made the cottage blend well deck and barbecue. with the streetscape and is more proportionate to the surrounding cottages. We chose Below: In the divided main the Craftsman style to blend with the heribathroom, porcelain tiles tage cottages in this community,” says Randy resembling planks create a Oke, partner in Oke Woodsmith with brothrustic look for the tub/shower surround. ers Wayne and Kevin. “It has the feel of a period cottage.” “It looks like it belongs – new, but like it’s been there forever,” says Clare. The exterior Maibec wood siding, in Federal Blue complimented with white trim, natural cedar shakes and cultured stone, gives the cottage a “coastal feel,” says Oke Woodsmith designer Steve Poortinga. And, Oke adds, combining the siding in a horizontal/vertical pattern adds interest. Enviroshake roof shingles have the natural look of cedar but are actually a maintenance-free product, manufactured from recycled materials, and carry a lifetime warranty, something Clare and Mark appreciate. A guest bunkie and shed were given matching roofs. The family also loves that the spacious, partially-covered front porch was preserved. “That’s a key spot,” Clare says. “We sit there all the time, turn on the gas fire pit and read or play Scrabble.” The open main floor, with 624 square feet of living space, flows from the front porch to the rear deck, through a large patio door added to the kitchen dining area. A two-piece powder room is tucked behind the stairway providing facilities for guests on the main floor.

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38 | oke woodsmith, 2014


The former pine paneling was replaced with light-coloured walls and a white beadboard ceiling accented with cross beams. This adds to the spacious atmosphere, as does the addition of large west- and southfacing windows, which flood the space with natural light. The light colouring is balanced by the warm wood tones of hickory hardwood flooring from London’s Under Foot Inc. In the kitchen, Woody’s Custom Cabinetry, from London, installed new maple cabinets with a custom glaze, then distressed them to give an older, worn appearance, in keeping with the cottage character. The Cambria quartz countertops, with a subtle weaving of white and light greys, are offset by a backsplash of patterned porcelain tiles, in shades of blues and burgundies. The tiles, along with those in the upstairs bathroom, were imported from Spain and are one of Clare’s favourite elements in the new cottage. “A designer in Oakville (where the family’s permanent home is located) said the tiles would match my funky style and she was right!” Clare enthuses. From the foyer, an open staircase leads to the 631-square-foot second floor with three bedrooms and the bathroom. “The second storey could not be added over the entire width of the cottage due to the side lot setbacks but the flow from the main floor to the second floor works well with the open staircase,” Poortinga says. A large rear shed dormer was added so Top: Maibec wood siding on the Schmehl children could each have their the cottage’s exterior has been own room on the north side of the home, installed in a horizontal and both furnished with bunk beds for visiting vertical combination to add friends. interest and the blue colour A large front gable dormer was added gives it a coastal character. to accommodate the cozy master bedroom, with two spacious closets. Bottom: The patterned The upper bathroom was divided so that kitchen backsplash porcelain more than one family member could use it tiles, in shades of blues and at the same time. It includes a double vanity burgundies, were imported from Spain. with the same Cambria quartz counter as the kitchen. The shower/tub surround features imported tiles that resemble wood planks, giving a rustic appearance. The original cottage had a small crawl space. Oke Woodsmith dug the foundation down to five feet and finished it with a concrete floor to provide additional capacity for the mechanicals, including the 95-per-cent efficiency gas furnace and a humidification unit for improved indoor air quality. Although the space is accessed via a trap door in the foyer floor, an opening with a ladder was also created through one of the panels under the stairway for quick and easy entry. The Schmehl youngsters have found the space a great place to hang out on rainy days. “It’s like a little cave for them,” their mother says. The design process developed rather quickly, after the initial meeting. Oke Woodsmith was able to surmise the needs of the Schmehls and the challenges of the property. The company worked with the local municipal officials from the inception of the design to ensure that the proposed work would fall within the municipal requirements. Correspondence throughout the design and construction was primarily accomplished through email in order for the project to remain on schedule since the Schmehls live in Oakville. Clare credits Oke Woodsmith with many of the features that incorporate the cottage atmosphere with a modern home. “Oke Woodsmith has a lot of really good design ideas. We love our cottage!” Clare concludes. oke

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Contemporary Style with Personal Service Whether it’s a durable and functional new driveway or a decorative concrete patio that is great for entertaining; Southwest Concrete Innovations can help. With countless colour, design, and finish options contact us today and take the first step in creating the outdoor living space of your dreams! Specializing in stamped/coloured concrete and exposed aggregate.

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www.swci.ca 40 | oke woodsmith, 2014



Quality Engineered Roofing

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Enviroshake® Inc. products beat Traditional Cedar in every category: Aesthetics: Enviroshake® Inc. products are designed to authentically look like cedar. • Enviroshake® is the only composite on the market to truly replicate the authentic look of natural #1 grade taper-split cedar shakes • Enviroshingle® is the only composite on the market to truly replicate the authentic look of natural 5" perfection cedar shingles • The 8 profiles that the Enviroshake® comes in, and the 2 profiles that Enviroshingle® comes in, are all made from the 3D images of real cedar shakes and shingles, to ensure the wood grains, thickness, and sizes are all true to nature. • Enviroshake® Inc. is pleased to offer various color options to emulate a natural cedar roof in various stages of its life. Both Enviroshake® and Enviroshingle® are available in classic silvered cedar, aged cedar, or multi tone. All Enviroshake® Inc. products will weather, and as with cedar, there may be variations in shading and thickness of the shakes, giving the product a natural look on the roof. • Enviroshake® products look like real cedar shakes and shingles, because they have real wood fibers in them. The cellulosic fibers (natural wood fibers) used in the composition allow the Enviroshake® and Enviroshingle® to achieve the authentic look and thickness of a natural cedar shake and shingle.

• The Lifetime Warranty is further complemented with full transferrability for up to 50 years, thus adds value in future home sales. Maintenance & Durability: One of the safest, most durable roofing products available. • Mould, mildew and insect resistant, will not rot, crack, or peel, maintenance free, and hail resistant! • Enviroshake® Inc. products are fire retardant to meet Class “C” fire ratings and when complemented with a Class A underlay, can meet and exceed regional building codes that require a Class A fire rating. • Impact tests show you don’t need to worry about damage from falling tree limbs, hail, wind, or even walking on your roof. We have the highest certification level available – LEVEL IV UL 2218. • We’ve solved the freeze/thaw problems associated with cedar. Weatherometer results, under 5x magnification displayed no delaminating, cracking, erosion or chalking to affect the performance of the shake. • Enviroshake® Inc. products exhibited superior performance in Miami Dade tests for wind speeds up to 290 km/h. Environmental Impact: Enviroshake® Inc. products are green!


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Scan here to view more photos of this renovation and others in our portfolio.

42 | oke woodsmith, 2014


New Face On Heritage A hundred years ago, the building that now houses MacLachlan Insurance Inc. in Thedford was carted into town on a horse and buggy.

There are pictures of that, says company president Dan MacLachlan. The building has evolved over the years and has been used for a number of purposes – including a grocery store, restaurant and apartments – before MacLachlan turned it into an insurance office 25 years ago. But a recent facelift by Oke Woodsmith Building Systems has brought the structure into the 21st century with a thoroughly modern appearance. “It looks like a brand new building,” MacLachlan says. “Hardly a day goes by without someone commenting on it.” It wasn’t initially intended to be such an extensive facelift, he says. “It was one of those projects that just kept going and going. It snowballed from replacing the front windows to brickwork, then siding and so on.” But he allows that the white siding and multi-coloured brickwork that had clad the building for 30 to 40 years was getting tired looking. Oke Woodsmith replaced the front brick wall with Lamina stacked stone, in Margaux beige, a combination of brown, beige, grey and gold tones, from Pantene Building Supplies in London. Two-tone brown siding, from London’s Gentek Building Supplies, installed in a vertical/horizontal pattern gives an eyecatching appearance to the rest of the building, MacLachlan believes. The vertical board and batten siding on the lower portion of the building and in the front peak is a nut brown called Dark Drift. Horizontal clapboard on the upper portion is a lighter Pebble brown. The roof was replaced with Regent Grey sheet metal from Exeter’s Andex Metal Products. A front picture window and patio door on the side wall of the front office that opened into a garden were replaced with three windows along the front and two on the side, all finished with white trim for a clean, modern look. One of the most striking changes to office’s façade was the new sign. The previous signage was a red awning with white lettering, lit from behind. The new version is a stucco panel that stretches the width of the building with dark raised lettering.


oke woodsmith, 2014 | 43

HMS Insurance & Financial Services Inc. MacLachlan Insurance Inc. Home b Auto Commercial Farm b Boats b Life Serving Your Community for Over 80 Years www.hmsinsurance.com

67 Main St., Thedford, ON 519-296-5593 / 1-888-970-5555

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197 Parkhill Main St., Parkhill, ON 519-294-6871 / 1-877-294-9666

Helping you with all your home projects!

RONA Cashway Zurich www.rona.ca Hwy 84, Zurich, Ontario 44 | oke woodsmith, 2014

519-236-4393 hours: 8-5 mon-fri; 8-3 sat; closed sunday phone

It was designed by Oke Woodsmith and constructed and installed by O’Brien Designs from Zurich, a small company that Oke Woodsmith often uses, says Randy Oke, who operates the business in partnership with brothers Wayne and Kevin. “I was really impressed that they were even able to create the little insurance bipper three dimensionally,” Oke notes, referencing the blanket-wrapped figure that denotes the Insurance Broker Identity Program. O’Brien’s were also able to create the three dimensional logo for HMS Insurance and Financial Services, MacLachlan’s parent company. The sign is lit from overhead with three old-fashioned style wall-mounted lights, sourced from Living Lighting in London.


“They are a high end builder,” he says. “And they pay attention to the details. They will notice little problems and fix them as they go along.” Replacing the sign was the one thing MacLachlan said he was hesitant about, being partial to the former awning. “But now I think it’s the best thing that they did,” he enthuses. “It’s made a huge difference. It ties everything together.” MacLachlan says he chose Oke Woodsmith to do the renovation work because he has worked with them in the past and has always been pleased with the results. “They are a high end builder,” he says. “And they pay attention to the details. They will notice little problems and fix them as they go along.” And, he’s thrilled with the new appearance of his office. “I really like everything that they did. It all gives a new character to the building.”

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21593 Richmond St. N. • 519.660.8314 • www.arvaappliances.com • STORE HOURS: Mon. to Wed. 9-6 • Thurs. and Fri. 9-8 • Sat. 9-5 • Sun. 12-4


PAUL & ROB 519-854-3418 519-636-2923

Robert Dawe

1627 Healy Rd London ON N6G 5P2 F REE EST IM AT E

519-955-4310 Bayfield, ON

email: info@southshoreglass.ca

534 Ontario St. P.O. Box 588 Wyoming, ON N0N 1T0

46 | oke woodsmith, 2014

Phillippians 2:5-11

web: www.southshoreglass.ca

ph: 519-845-0208 fax: 519-845-3737 email: bdokter@mnsi.net

For everything under foot and then some.

101 - 4093 Meadowbrook Drive, London, ON www.underfoot.com ph: 519-652-5900 b fax: 519-652-5905 Proud members of the Oke Woodsmith team since 1993

InnovatIve RenovatIons let us help you envision the possibilities!




Taking advantage of the view along the St Clair river was forefront in the addition and changes

A modest vacation retreat becomes a gracious Craftsman Style home Before

Turning a simple cottage into a year round retreat overlooking one of the world’s best sunsets

Modernizing and personalizing a small century home in the middle of an urban setting

The need to retire and enjoy the northwesterly view of Lake Huron inspired this renovation

Moving would have meant exchanging their 100 ft frontage and their view of a beautiful ash forest



NATIONAL AWARD WINNING BUILDER P.O. Box 9, 70964 Bluewater Highway 21, Grand Bend, Ontario ~ 519-238-8893 www.okewoodsmith.com ~ woodsmith@okewoodsmith.com