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Building A Custom Home On A Golf Course
The Journey Begins

by Scott A.Sumner
     Most people have thought, dreamed or tried to build a custom home in their lives.  After all your home is your castle, where you spend the most time.  Why not make an attempt to create a space that is exactly what you want.  I decided to give it a try after living in a condo or apartment almost all my adult life.
   It is a daunting task planning a home as when you start the number of decisions you must make are so many in number. It is really starting with a blank sheet and seeing how you make out some six months later. The quality of your decisions will determine how much you like your dream home when you finally move in.
   My decision process started with deciding I wanted to live in a house.   As I said, I've lived in a condo for many years.  There is something nice about condo living.  It is easy.  No work like cutting the grass, shoveling snow etc. etc.  It is also a very private lifestyle.  When you walk in your unit and close the door you are in your own world.  In my case I'm on the 14th floor with a great view, especially at night with all the lights of Thunder Bay.  I compare it to living in a luxury hotel room.  You also talk to your neighbours in the hallways and elevators, so it is a social thing as well.  On the hand you arent as close to nature.  In my case I love to golf and do winter sports and the thought of living on a golf course seemed good.  My first decision - lets try a house.  Second how about in the country on a golf course.  The new Whitewater Golf Course, where I play, seemed ideal.  The setting in this course is spectacular, especially on a beautiful evening.  The 4 kilometer road in off Hwy 130 makes you feel like you are in another world.  You see tall birch trees, a country setting that somehow gives you a relaxed feeling.  I liked it and it made my decision to buy a lot here easier.  So developer Silvio DiGregorio suggested a lot and the process begun.  This was in July of last year, but it wasnt until early spring that we started working on a home plan.
   My first step was to buy a couple of plan books and see what they looked like.  I also drove around some new sub divisions and saw some Thunder Bay plans that were constructed.  The number of choices are endless and it took a while, but I settled on a plan I liked.  It was one floor, something important to me - no stairs.  The King Georges Park subdivision had a regulation of the home being at least 1600 square feet in size on certain lots and 2300 on others.  1600 was big enough for me.  I showed my plan to Silvio and we started the process.  It was unusual to work directly with Silvio, owner along with his brother Bruno, of the whole development as well as driving force behind many other ventures with some 200 employees.  If you know Silvio you know he keeps a hectic pace of long days that begin at sunrise.  It was fun to get his input and after several sessions between us and his plan guy we had the perfect layout.  "You know you'll get a fantastic plan if I work on it.'  laughed Silvio and I think we did. 
    A crucial next step would be getting the layout priced.  We knew the
price of the lot.  My goal was to have a turnkey home, complete with all interior work done, the driveway paved and yard fully landscaped.  I knew Silvio would be a good man to have on paving!  This is when John Simperel of Bruno's got involved.  He is in charge of building between 20 to 25 homes per year on the many Brunos subdivisions and knows the business like the back of his hand.  As you can just imagine the construction cost came in more than I expected.  In Thunder Bay it can cost a bit to build a home but you are getting exactly what you want.
After a few change sessions we got to some agreement on price and then promptly changed lot locations.  I wanted to be more adjacent to Whitewater and certain lots lend themselves more to this than others.  Silvio and his team want a distance from each home and the course.  This is the way golf course home development is going.  So after moving to a new lot, deciding on the placement of the home on this 70 feet by 250 site we were ready to begin.  The first step will be the pouring of the basement.
The first step will be the pouring of the basement.  We'll begin here next month.  Let me know your comments at tbaytel%23net|nspinc

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