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Falcon Lake - Photography: Michael Roberts

Home Away from Home

By Kelly Gray
Photography: Michael Roberts

Timber Ridge Homes builds properties that offer an escape from the stresses of the daily grind. And they do it with an eye toward creating cottage country vacation homes that take lake life to a higher level.

A good case in point is a new build recently completed at Falcon Lake, Manitoba, about 150 kilometres east of Winnipeg near the Ontario border. This retreat is a 2800 squarefoot hybrid timber frame beauty on two levels.

“The Falcon Lake build is more contemporary than traditional,” says Jason Fehr, who together with partner Gerrilyn, operates the Mitchell, Manitoba-based business that has become a go-to company for design and construction of timber frame homes and cottages over the past 16 years. He reports that the Falcon Lake clients had viewed their show cottage at Caddy Lake in Manitoba’s Whiteshell Provincial Park.

“The Caddy Lake property wowed them and helped them decide to come to us for advice and construction,” he says, adding that the clients had found a property in the Muskoka region in Ontario cottage country as a template. “We were able to take their dream and turn it into a reality,” he remarks.

The Falcon Lake home away from home is an open and airy design that features 10-foot ceilings on the main floor. “We were able to achieve much thanks to our use of a truss system that permitted a complex roofline with no interior impediments. We used I beams, LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber), and other techniques in this approach,” explains Jason, remarking that LVL is stronger than solid timber and is manufactured by bonding together peeled or thin wood veneers under heat and pressure.

The high ceilings also provided the right setting for the massive tall fireplace that is a central focus of the great room. Here, stacked ledge stone reaches to the ceiling and marries well with the timber accents to create an interior design that complements the white of the contemporary colour palette.

According to Jason, they had to remove some of the veranda roof to accommodate the overall square footage of the building and have it fit into the allowable coverage of the property. They then installed timbers to create a pergolastyle roof over this portion of the veranda.

“We offer design advice starting at the front end to help our clients achieve the most from their properties. People tell us what they want to achieve in the design and we show them how this can be done,” he says.

Comfort is essential in a well-considered lake home. Helping Timber Ridge achieve this goal at the Falcon Lake residence was Durabuil
Windows & Doors, a supplier that provided the triple-pane glazing that opens the design and brings the beauty of the outside indoors. They also turned to WeatherMaster for solutions in the multi-season sunroom where a combination of glass and screen elements work to deliver a room that is comfortable from March through to November.

“The sunroom at the Falcon Lake home not only adds months to the use of this area but adds visually to the design. A porch is great, but a sunroom provides longer enjoyment of the exterior environment. And isn’t that what living at the lake is all about?”

Jason suggests the quality of their suppliers is certainly one reason for the growing success of Timber Ridge Homes. “We have a wide range of leading companies we do business with, and they help us stay on the cutting edge. For example, Falcon Lake-based Lumber One was the supplier of the building materials. They were able to deliver quality material on time and at a competitive price, and they are in the area so they understand how to get product to the site in the best possible manner.”

Relationships with local government agencies are another key element to how Timber Ridge was able to get this Falcon Lake property into the hands of the client as quickly as possible. “We have done 15 to 20 new builds in Whiteshell Provincial Park and have established a strong working relationship with Manitoba Parks & Recreation. We understand the regulations and the mission of the agency. Together, we work as a team to make the build as seamless as possible given the pristine nature of the environment in this beautiful area.”

Jason reports that for new clients it all starts with an initial meeting to establish the big picture. “Then we get together at the design stage and invite interaction as we move forward. All along the way, we encourage clients to be on-site as often as they can. This helps to ensure we are meeting all expectations. This was certainly the case with the recent Falcon Lake project, where we saw the client frequently. Our goal is to have the new home achieve its full potential, and when clients input and ask questions, this helps us get to a place of total satisfaction for them,” he says, remarking that as they build these cottage residences, they see how the new lake homes take on lives of their own, becoming just like a new member of the family.

Check out www.timberridgehomes.ca to discover how you can start making lasting lakeside memories.