We are Hiring! Positions Available in Design, Production and Project Development

Kawartha Lakes Construction continues to grow and we are seeking knowledgeable, energetic, team-focused individuals with a can-do attitude and a passion for creative solutions. If you would like to be part of a collaborative and creative team based in the beautiful Kawarthas region, we’d love to meet you!

Check out our detailed job postings below and apply by sending a cover letter & resume to info@kawarthalakesconstruction.com (please indicate which position you are applying for in the email subject line)

 

“Workversary”- 5 Things I’ve Learned Working at Kawartha Lakes Construction

This past month marked my 3rd year working at Kawartha Lakes Construction and in the world of custom builds and renovations. Growing up, my Dad built two of our homes on his own so I had a first row view of the myriad of factors, the hard work and the planning that goes into building a new home. Construction wasn’t completely foreign to me but I still had MUCH to learn when I walked through the KLC doors 3 years ago. I remember one particular meeting where a couple of my colleagues were discussing how a current project’s staircase design would turn out…I snuck a side glance at one of our designers sitting next to me and muttered “someone wants fur on their stairs? Weird!” He burst out laughing and enlightened me that they were talking about F-I-R fir, not animal fur. Cue red face!

As with any industry, the home building & renovations realm has it’s own unique language and I experienced a definite learning curve when I started at KLC. To celebrate my “workversary”, I wanted to share some of the quirkier terms that are commonplace in our day to day that I’ve added to my vocabulary during my time at KLC.

Building Home
Clearly, I was a huge help in getting our family’s cabin built.
My family’s cozy cabin that took my parent’s 4 years of hard work to bring to reality!

 1) Subs: We’re not talking lunch options when we ask which subs are at a job. Short for subcontractors or subtrades, “subs” refers to the amazing network of professionals we work with to deliver our projects, from excavating to electricians to drywallers and beyond. I’ve gotten to know dozens of new faces over the last couple years and have learned that when it comes to building & renos, it truly takes a village. KLC is fortunate to have strong relationships with a wide range of talented local professionals that share our commitment to quality that are an essential ingredient to our success.

2) Autopsy: A bit of a grim term, in KLC world when one of our team performs an autopsy, they are looking back at a completed project and analyzing items such as hours of labour and materials costs. This not only allows us to see where we can improve but also helps keep our statistics accurate for future estimates. No dead bodies involved. 🙂

3) Parging: The first time I encountered this term, I was sure my colleague had typo’d the word purging. Nope, no typo! Parging is the thin coat of plaster/mortar applied to the above grade portion of foundation to leave a smoother, more refined surface. Its role is essentially decorative but it does also acts as a barrier against inclement weather. Now ya know!

4) SIPs: We have a seemingly endless array of acronyms that get tossed around the office on a daily basis, but SIPs is one of my favourites. You would hope it had something to do with wine and a dock, but alas, this is not the reality. SIPs stands for structural insulated panels. SIPs are made up of an insulating foam core sandwiched between two structural boards. They can be used for many different applications, such as exterior walls, roofing, flooring and foundation systems. SIPs are manufactured under factory-controlled conditions and can be fabricated to fit nearly any building design. The result is a high performance building system that is extremely strong, energy efficient and cost effective.

5) Design/Build: I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t utter these words but when I began at KLC, I was unfamiliar with this the term and furthermore, unfamiliar with the different approaches to planning a substantial project. Put simply, Design/Build is a one-stop shop, frequently describing our services as taking clients “from concept to completion”. Compared to the traditional design-bid approach, where an architect creates plans and then a homeowner is left to bid them out to various contractors, Design/Build is an “under one roof” approach to creating functional solutions, whether you are building a new cottage or remodeling your kitchen. Granted, I am now pretty biased, but it truly is the most seamless, comprehensive method to designing a project that is going to fulfill the function, form and budget of your envisioned project.

There you have it! Some insight into the lingo of the home building world that I have come to know and love. There’s no doubt that working in this industry provides the opportunity to learn something new every day, which makes it pretty easy to love coming in to work every day. 

Half-Load Season: What is it and how does it impact your building project?

If you grew up in the Kawarthas, chances are you are familiar with the term “half-load”. However, for many of our clients who are not local to the region the concept of half-loads is not common knowledge and it can be difficult for them to understand why a project could be slowed down as spring approaches.

A township will place “half-load restrictions” on certain rural roads during the spring thaw. When a half-load restriction is in place, it means that vehicles over a certain weight class are not permitted to use the road (passenger vehicles are exempt from these restrictions). This includes larger vehicles like dump trucks, delivery trucks, concrete trucks, excavators and bulldozers.

The reasoning behind the restrictions is that in the spring, frost leaves the ground. As moisture comes out of the road bed, the road becomes weaker. Heavy loads can cause the road to sink and break apart, which can lead to permanent damage. Most rural roads aren’t built to handle the pressures of these heavy loads so to avoid rebuilding after every spring thaw, which would cost a lot of money in taxpayer’s dollars, townships impose restrictions to give the roads time to properly shed the frost.

As with anything Mother Nature related, the time period of half load season varies from year to year and there is no standard length. The restrictions are placed on the roads when the supervisor of the roads in the area deems that the roads need to be protected and will only come off when they feel that it is safe to drive on them again without major damage to the road and the road bed.

At KLC, we anticipate delays half-load restrictions may impose on our active building projects and plan accordingly. Because we work closely with our local townships to determine where the restrictions are in effect, we know how to plan around them. We make it our priority to stay in the know of current legislation and half-load rulings that apply to Peterborough County which allows us to deliver our projects on schedule.

If you are considering a custom build or renovation and would like to learn more about how to best equip yourself for a successful project (regardless of the time of year!) please do not hesitate to get in touch with us through the contact form on our website or call 705-652-5241.

Now Hiring: Carpenter/Journeyman

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Kawartha Lakes Construction is seeking an experienced carpenter/journeyman to join our Design/Build team. The successful candidate will have at least 5 years of experience as a carpenter, have a valid driver’s license, and possess the basic tools of the trade.

Kawartha Lakes Construction typically works within a 60km radius of Lakefield, usually in rural areas/cottage country, and often works on water access sites. Experience in operating boats would be an asset. Mandatory training, such as Working at Heights, WHMIS, and First Aid, would also be a benefit.

At KLC, a standard work week consists of 42.5 hours, and we offer year round employment. If you think you would be a good fit to our team and share our values of commitment, innovation & craftsmanship, please submit a detailed resume and include references.

Additional Criteria for Qualified Candidates

• Valid driver’s license and personal transportation

• Minimum 5 years of related experience as a carpenter/journeyman

• Able to work 8am-5pm, Monday to Friday, year round

To apply, please submit your cover letter, resume and references to ben(at)kawarthalakesconstruction.com

We thank all applicants for their time however only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

*No phone calls please*

Modern & Functional Garages Increasingly in Demand Throughout Peterborough & the Kawarthas

Peterborough_New Garage_Garage BuildHere at KLC, it’s always interesting to observe the trends in project types that homeowners contact our office about from season to season. Some trends are predictable…when the snow begins to melt, we can count on receiving a surge in calls from home & cottage owners feeling inspired to revamp their deck and outdoor living space. Some trends aren’t so expected. These last few months, garages seem to be back in a big way. We’ve received numerous inquiries from homeowners looking to either renovate their current structure at the home or cottage or design & build a brand new space. While I certainly didn’t see this trend coming, I suppose it’s not a surprising one when you consider how the garage’s role in the home has evolved. No longer a dingy space that’s sole purpose is to house a vehicle and maybe a few decades’ worth of musty cardboard boxes, the garage is a much more important component to the home. Today’s garage needs to be just as aesthetically pleasing as the home, as well as a functional and versatile space.

Garages Aren’t Just for Cars Anymore – Garages are no longer only solely designed for parking cars. More frequently, our clients come to us looking for a solution to transform their garage into a multipurpose, functional space. Some want the space to double as a workshop, a home gym or even a spare bedroom or rec area. As garages are more frequently being converted into additional living space, homeowners this year are looking for ways to make their garages more habitable. In the Kawarthas, regulations differ from township to township, so when planning a new project, we advise getting in touch with us to determine your project’s scope.

More Space, More Toys! – While garages are becoming more versatile in their purposes, safely storing vehicles is still a primary concern. When clients approach us looking to rebuild or renovate their space, one of the first questions we ask about is how are you going to be using the space, not just currently, but looking ahead a few years down the road? How many vehicles do you have? Obviously, Large SUV’s take up much more space than small cars, so planning accordingly is key. If you have children who will have their own vehicles in the near future, plan for that as well. And if you own a boat, ATV or other vehicles, do you want them housed in your garage as well? Storing these recreational vehicles in off-site facilities can be costly…taking an inventory of current and future vehicles/space required is a must.

Clean n’ Tidy – It’s not just the outside of the home or cottage that our clients are focusing on this year. Creating an appealing garage exterior that not only complements the home but also reflects the tastes and style of the homeowner is becoming a priority for homeowners. Furthermore, nobody wants to lift open their garage door and let their neighbors see the mess hiding within their garage. There are a range of trendy new garage organization ideas, including overhead storage, additional cabinetry, and gridwalls.

Whether you are looking to build a new garage, renovate your existing garage, or simply make a few upgrades, our team of Design/Build professionals are here to help. Visit us online, or call 705-652-5241 to speak to one of our team members today.

Renovation Mistakes from DIY Expert

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One of my favourite blogs to follow is A Beautiful Mess, run by two sisters Elsie & Emma Larson. They have taken the concept of DIY to the next level and have built themselves quite a little empire focused on home decor projects, recipes, and crafts. Elsie recently posted on lessons she learned from navigating her own home renovation and I found it quite interesting, as the tips she shares echo the advice we at KLC give to homeowners on a regular basis.  We frequently ask clients who are keen on going the DIY route to seriously consider if they have the time and energy to manage a new reno on their own. It may seem like no big deal and a simple way to save money when first embarking on a project, but we constantly hear from DIY’rs who have gotten into a reno and have bitten off more than they can chew, spending way more time and money on the project than they had anticipated. What should have been a positive and enjoyable process turns into energy draining, stressful experience. It doesn’t have to be this way! Read on to learn from Elsie’s mistakes (and check out her original post here).

Mistake #1: Taking on too much at once: In Elsie’s situation, she attempted to redo an entire home before moving in, thinking she’d beat the stress of having to live in a construction zone. After completing the first step of demoing the kitchen and all the bathrooms, she and her husband came to the realization that they were already over budget! Completing the remainder of the rooms (already over budget) became a draining, unenjoyable experience for her and her husband, with no chance for wiggle room or upgrades along the way. At KLC, we have a very detailed planning process that helps our clients understand the function, form and budget required to support a specific project and work through the process to arrive at a functional solution that meets their needs, which would ensure something like Elsie’s situation would never happen. 

Mistake #2: Taking quotes as a final price: Elsie confesses to being very naive in this area. She misinterpreted initial quotes, didn’t get things in writing and, as with many renos, problems came to light midway through the project that tacked on additional costs. At KLC, we complete a feasibility study for all of our projects that help unearth any potential problems that may rear their ugly heads (this is not to say that problems don’t happen, but we proactively work to identify them early on!). In addition, we are fortunate to have a strong network of local subcontractors and vendors with whom we have well established professional relationships. These connections allow us to present our clients a very clear picture of all options and cost considerations by the time our planning process is complete.

Mistake #3: Working long distance: To save money, Elsie and her husband hired all trades themselves. During the three month renovation, they were living out of town and had friends drop by the house weekly to check on the progress. They quickly learned managing subcontractors is not always a simple task! As Elsie says “Forgoing a general contractor is a good way to save money, BUT it’s also a lot of work. If you want to do this, you need to be available, basically full-time, to supervise the contractors, making sure they show up (!!), do their work, and answer questions all day, every day.” At KLC, we pride ourselves on the various means we take to keep our clients informed. Clear, consistent communication is an essential! Our Design and Production departments provide weekly updates to our clients while also scheduling regular site meetings with project’s key contacts to provide constant and effective communication. Our team is always available for open communication to ensure every project runs smoothly.

So there you have it! One couple’s lessons in home renovations. This is not to say that DIY is never the route to go and that you are destined for failure should you opt to run a renovation on your own. But it’s a valuable exercise to look at your own living situation and ask yourself, how busy am I? Do I truly have the time or even desire to to do this? As Elsie mentions in her blog post “It’s a VERY frustrating job to manage a renovation. It takes management skills… hiring, firing, disciplining and managing a timeline with a LOT of working parts and a lot of places where expensive delays or mistakes could happen.”  At KLC, any questions, options and selections are front loaded so that our clients can make their choices in a stress-free timeline, prior to dates upon which important elements of the project hinge. This is the foundation of KLC’s Design/Build process. Our contracts are fixed cost, specifically identifying all work and materials to be supplied. We also plot out a complete and detailed schedule so that all involved can plan for the project.

Pondering a new renovation yourself? We always love to chat! Give us a call, email or drop by our office in Lakefield.

Now Hiring: Project Lead

Project Lead

The Project Lead holds the leadership position on a particular job site and is responsible to ensure it is produced smoothly, effectively, profitably and safely. The Project Lead position commands a journeyman knowledge and ability of carpentry skills, problem solving, communication, and management skills to perform the job and delegate work as necessary. This responsibility includes thorough and efficient organization of materials, labour, sub trades and equipment/tools during the project. The Project Lead must also deal with the client in a positive, responsive, and professional manner to ensure an exceptional client experience.

Required Skills / Attributes
• Accuracy in the correctness of work duties performed
• Alertness in grasping situations
• Creativity in finding new or better ways of doing things
• Friendly towards clients, fellow workers, vendors, and sub trades,
• Positive attitude and personality
• Ability to manage and direct staff effectively, providing detailed instructions on how to do each task
• Be able to mentor and train staff in multiple areas
• Exhibit a professional personal appearance
• Be physically fit
• Demonstrate commitment to crew performance and ability through consistent supervision
• Pay particular interest/maintain a high degree of orderly housekeeping on the jobsite
• Dependable and able to perform all tasks so that a minimum of supervision is required
• Possess a strong sense of drive to get the job done
• Able to handle stress well and thrive in a crisis situation
• Courteous and polite attention shown to others
• Be realistic in asking for resources to get the job done

Additional Criteria for Qualified Candidates

• A valid driver’s license and transportation
• Have at least 5 years of related experience
• Able to work 8am-5pm, Monday to Friday, year round

To apply, please submit your cover letter and resume to ben@kawarthalakesconstruction.com

Or drop off in person to:
Kawartha Lakes Construction
3359 Lakefield Road, Lakefield

Island Construction: The KLC Way

It’s no secret that winter construction presents its own unique set of challenges to Ontario builders. To put it simply, when the snow flies, life at job sites becomes a little more complicated and lot slower. The extreme cold is not only tough on workers; tools and heavy equipment operate more slowly and break down more frequently. Lack of daylight hours is another problem…in the warmer months, if a crew needs to get a few extra hours in to finish, the sun is out until 9 pm. In the stark, short days of January, daylight is scarce and job sites usually wrap up by 4:30 pm. Absenteeism also increases, due to both illness and poor driving conditions (or school/bus cancellations!), which further slows down production.

With all of these obstacles to battle, who in their right mind would even bother scheduling winter construction? Well, here at KLC we rarely turn down a challenge and working through the winter months is no exception. We embrace the season and even continue production on our island projects, which offer their own separate ballpark of challenges above and beyond those of a “regular” job site. Many of our clients have cottages on Stoney Lake, and with over 1000 islands scattered throughout its waters, some developed and some not, it made sense for us to get comfortable with island life! We have carved out a niche as a company that excels at working in remote, rugged locations and over the past couple years we have been taking on water only access projects more frequently. We’ve been able to do so by equipping our teams with specialized tools and equipment to complete these island based projects more efficiently.

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During the warmer months, our production crews and sub-trades shuttle back and forth from the islands via boats, while larger materials and equipment gets brought over by barge. In the winter, when ice conditions are safe, crews work off the ice and access job sites on snowmobiles and ATV’s. During the fall-to-winter transition, there is the inevitable “ice in” period where our crews halt production and must wait for ice conditions to become safe for travel. While we usually have a good idea of when to expect certain conditions, this is always a guess at best and we are at the mercy of whatever Mother Nature chooses to throw at us. This year, for example, KLC’s boats were on the lakes much later than normal, well into December. However, the mild temperatures seen through December and January combined with the raising & lowering of water levels by the Trent Severn Waterway have hindered ice production and it’s been a dance of red light/green light in accessing our island jobs on a consistent basis.

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Winter isn’t all bad though, as working off the ice opens up possibilities that water makes difficult or even impossible. Delivering materials over the ice can be much easier and economical, allowing us to run ATV’s directly on to the area of the island being worked on. Working on areas in the winter that are surrounded by water through the summer allows us to stage safely off the ice. Another perk is that frozen ground can actually protect landscaping that would be damaged during the summer months.

While there are many reasons it is preferable to work in warmer weather conditions, there are also numerous activities that can be done safer, faster and with less labour involved during winter construction. And, as many of our team members have learned over the years, if dressed appropriately working outside on a nice, sunny February day can be quite enjoyable!

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Best of Houzz Design Award 2016

 

Remodeling and Home Design

Kawartha Lakes Construction of Lakefield Receives Best Of Houzz 2016 Award

Over 25 Million Monthly Unique Users Rated Top-Rated Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in Canada and Around the World

Lakefield, Ontario, January 11, 2016 – Kawartha Lakes Construction of  Lakefield has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Design by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The Design/Build firm, which has serving the Kawartha Lakes area since 1988, was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Design and Customer Satisfaction. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers.” Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2015. Winners will receive a “Best Of Houzz 2016” badge on their profiles, helping Houzz users around the world who discover and love a professional’s work to learn even more about that business’ popularity and satisfaction rating among their peers in the Houzz community.

“Houzz has been an amazing tool for our team and our clients. When we begin the Design phase of a new project, if our clients are not on Houzz already, we encourage them to create an account and begin exploring and creating their Ideabooks. It’s a wonderful resource and really helps our clients communicate their vision with our team.” – Scott Wootton, Owner, Kawartha Lakes Construction.

“Houzz provides homeowners with a 360 degree view of home building, remodeling and design industry professionals, empowering them to engage the right people and products for their project,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing for Houzz. “We’re delighted to recognize Kawartha Lakes Construction among our “Best Of” professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

Follow Kawartha Lakes Construction on Houzz – www.houzz.com/pro/kawarthalakesconstruction/kawartha-lakes-construction

About Kawartha Lakes Construction

Kawartha Lakes Construction is an award-winning Design/Build firm located in Ontario’s stunning Kawartha Lakes region. Our team of professionals can help you expand on your vision and bring your project ideas to life We offer custom built homes, cottages and renovations. Our mission is to provide an exceptional client experience.

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin and Sydney. For more information, visit www.houzz.com

Juniper Island Store Rebuild

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Juniper Island Store Rebuild-It’s been a few weeks since our last check-in on the progress of the Juniper Island Store on Stony Lake. We know this project is near and dear to the hearts of many locals and cottagers and we wanted to provide an update on where the rebuild is at. If interested, you can view a time-lapse video of the project we have posted on our YouTube page here

At present time, KLC has prepared the site for the work that will be completed during the winter months and pulled our boats and crew off the lakes. The next few weeks our team will be stuck in a bit of a limbo, waiting for ice to form and for conditions to be appropriate for our crew to travel across on snowmobiles.

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The rebuild is well on track, with all windows and doors in place, roof on, staircase installed and decks fully framed. All drywall materials have been delivered to the island and will be installed when our crew is back on the island, along with all finished surface material for the interior. The building is locked up tight and awaiting our crew to return in the New Year and work through the winter months. As mentioned previously, ice conditions will determine exact date of our return but our Production Manager (who has been crossing his fingers and pleading daily with Mother Nature) is predicting the last week of January. There may be no action on the island at present time, but our team is busily working away, using this time to iron out fine design & technical details that need to be attended to. 

For more information & to receive regular updates from KLC, you can sign up for our newsletter using the box below this post!