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Home Challenge

Steele Place Home 

In 2003, Greg and Heidi Bianchini saw the potential in Ladysmith and moved their lives and business, GNB Builders, from Victoria. Ladysmith offered the small town feel they wanted for their future family, along with affordable properties, close proximity to the bigger centers, airport, ferry and no traffic, to name a few features. In 2007, GNB Builders bought two lots on Steele Place in the Seascape development, with thoughts of building two spec homes or moving their family closer to town. Two children later, they decided they would stay in Aquila Estates and build their forever home.

Since moving to Ladysmith, GNB Builders has built a reputation for quality custom-built green homes. The company has primarily focused on custom homes, along with exclusively building for the Gales Development since 2014. In 2009, GNB Builders built a custom home on one of the lots on Steele Place that offered a spectacular harbour view. Last year, the Bianchinis saw the home market strengthen, so they decided to build a spec home on their remaining Steele Place lot.

“Building this home without a client gave us the opportunity to use some of our stock items as well as gave us the ability to be more creative,” says Greg. When GNB Builders builds a custom home, they pride themselves in developing the client’s vision and bringing it into reality.

The challenges on this project were the irregular shape of the lot and the weather. The lot is a large pie-shaped wedge topped off with a view.

“Stock plans could not be used on this project as nothing would fit properly that would take in the view and have the features we think are important,” says Greg. “The snow came at the exact worse time as we were trying to sheet and shingle the roof. This caused a delay in getting to lockup. If there was a bonus, the temperatures were so cold that the building stayed relatively dry.”

“We were very pleased how the home turned out and feel the home’s layout suits many families, such as retirees, families with small kids and young family needing an income helper. From our experience, many semi-retired couples are moving to our area and are looking for a home they can entertain and have family visit. They want a home that is easy to maintain, has a private area for the master bedroom and a guest suite with its own bathroom and lots of storage. At least 50 per cent of the homes we build include an area for sewing or crafts, ” said Heidi.

The main features of this home are:

  • Large Master bedroom with room for sitting area, large ensuite with double vanity, two person tub, large shower and an extra large walk in closet. Views, large windows, r/o gas fireplace, barn door and heated floors in ensuite.
  • Private guest bedroom with exterior French door onto patio with bathroom.
  • Den off of front door perfect for a home office.
  • Rough in elevator which can be used if owners want to stay in home as they age and perfect for storage in the meantime.
  • Additional bedroom on upper floor with large walk-in closet.
  • Large laundry room with a room for a 10-foot craft/sewing table complete with mountain views.
  • Bonus space (500+ Sq/ft) over garage, which could be modified for a bachelor suite or additional bedroom, games room, man or woman cave.
  • Open kitchen ideal for entertaining, with double French doors onto deck.
  • Kitchen and bathrooms with maple cabinetry topped with granite and quartz.

“We enjoyed this project and look forward to building another when time permits. Our staff did a great job, with Wade Dupont taking lead on this job. Wade started with GNB Builders in 2012 as a labourer and is GNB’s first apprentice to complete his Red Seal Carpentry ticket. Several of our apprentices worked on this project, learning many aspects of construction from foundation to exterior siding,” says Greg, who is committed into providing training to those entering the industry.

GNB Builders is currently looking to add another carpenter and labourer to their team, as they are booked for several years in the Ladysmith and Yellowpoint area. “It is nice to work minutes from your home with no traffic and on spectacular properties,” say Greg.

Here are some of the trades and suppliers on this month’s Home Challenge: Am Meter Electric – 250-246-4899, GNB Builders 250-245-5717, Mclaren Lighting 250-758-0138, Pope & Sons – 250-755-1117, United Floors 250-758-4664

About the author: Angie

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