From a custom green home perched on a ravine to a stunning new-build kitchen and spectacular renovations, Ottawa’s housing industry has fielded six 2023 provincial housing award finalists. The annual Awards of Distinction are organized by the Ontario Home Builders’ Association.
In all, over 135 finalist entries have been named in 49 categories showcasing excellence in building, design, professional renovation and sales and marketing across Ontario. This year saw another record-breaking number of submissions, leading to stiff competition from across the province.
Here at home, Amsted Design-Build set the pace with four finalist submissions, including two for kitchen renovations, one for a home renovation with a value up to $250,000, and a potential win as Ontario Renovator of the Year. Amsted has won the latter award four times as well as taking home numerous other trophies at the national, provincial and local levels.
Amsted’s finalist renovations ranged from a home makeover for a graphic designer who wanted to blend the charm of the original home with clean lines and funky colours to a kitchen makeover that opened up the existing space, incorporated views of the Rideau Canal and reflected the clients’ love of the outdoors, using reclaimed wood milled from their property for the renovation.
A strong team is a key reason for the company’s enviable track record, according to Amsted president Steve Barkhouse. “I think what makes them high performers is our openness and vulnerability when hiring, that we make it very clear what our values are, our deep commitment to excellence and customer service, where we are going and why, and what we need from everyone on the team to be able to achieve this. That excites them to do their best. Strong players like to work with other strong players.”
West of Main and Art & Stone Group are finalists in the new-home kitchen category for new low-rise homes 2,501 square feet and over. Open to the living room and featuring integrated appliances, striking focal points, and an esthetic that blends light and bright with moody and glamorous elements, the warm and efficient kitchen speaks to the clients’ fondness for entertaining.
“Integrating appliances and finding practical locations for all the equipment is always challenging to do aesthetically,” says West of Main’s co-founder Sascha Lafleur. “By panelling the refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher in the main kitchen we were able to camouflage them. In the pantry, we built in the microwave and coffee maker, and all small appliances are hidden behind a cabinet door, on a pull-out shelf for easy access.”
“The view from the sink is absolutely incredible, the stove hood fan tiling detail is gorgeous and the hidden butler’s pantry behind the kitchen!” adds Andrew Decristoforo of Art & Stone Group in an email. “Loved the furniture-like island and the pendants above it!”
West of Main and Art & Stone are both multi-award-winning companies.
Quarry Park Modern by RND Construction is competing in the category of low-rise green building, one to three storeys.
The luxury, 3,800-square-foot bungalow in Rothwell Heights overlooks a 25-foot vertical cliff, features a treed ravine and offers a modern sensibility, forest views, a flexible floor plan that could include multi-generational living and an open-concept dining/great room with 14-foot ceilings.
The home is also Net Zero Ready (a Net Zero home produces as much energy from solar panels or other sources as it consumes; a Net Zero Ready home is built to the same standards but does not yet include energy generating sources).
“It’s built on that ravine, so the design challenge was to make the home work structurally and esthetically,” says RND president Roy Nandram, who is a multi-award winner at the national, provincial and local levels.
“What I like about this home is its all-around luxury. It’s a very modern home in a cottage setting surrounded by trees.”
Winners of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association Awards of Distinction will be announced Sept. 19.