Many families dream of owning a cottage, a place where peaceful and joyful moments can be shared. But for one couple, the thought of battling weekend traffic was turning that dream into a nightmare.
So Kumar and Kelly Patel decided to craft their own peaceful oasis, a place where they could live year-round and have plenty of room to entertain friends and family. They purchased a large property, planned the features they wanted – including a swimmable pond – and enlisted Royal Homes to build a custom home.
“We were living in a cookie cutter, subdivision-style home at the time, and we wanted some land,” says Kumar. “We used to rent cottages, but thought that if we could buy a large piece of land and build our own getaway, we could have a home and a cottage in one.”
Three years later, they know they made the right decision. Their eight-bedroom, 6,000-square foot home features a modern-rustic blend that exudes a warm, cottage feel. The tones are subtle and natural with greys, blacks and dark browns flowing seamlessly throughout.
The home is designed to put them, their family, and guests in a relaxed state without the stress of commuting. It has all the features they wanted – including a large open-concept kitchen and big laundry room.
“Royal Homes really listened to everything that we wanted from the beginning to the end,” says Kumar. “They worked with us every step of the way and made it a very smooth process.”
The right choice
There were a number of factors that led them to choose Royal Homes to be their custom builder, but it all started when the Patels stopped at the Gravenhurst showroom after dropping off their son at summer camp.
“The first person I started talking to was Selena, a designer, and she was amazing,” recalls Kumar. “She really listened to what I was saying and knew what I was looking for.”
They were quite impressed with the straightforward pricing estimate that Royal Homes was able to provide – and stick to. Kumar says there weren’t any surprises or hidden costs. “As a buyer, I just wanted to know what the total price would be and they were upfront about that,” he says.
Initially Kumar was concerned that the showhomes only went up to around 3,000 square feet. He wanted to build something double that size.
“Then we went to visit an actual home built by Royal Homes. That was great, because it’s important to see the quality of the build, even if it’s not the exact size or style you want.”
One thing that really impressed the couple was the way they got to be part of the process every step of the way. It’s a Royal Homes standard that their clients can visit the factory where their prefab modules are being built and watch as their home or cottage comes together.
The work is done by skilled craftsmen – from carpenters to plumbers, electricians to drywallers and painters – but using some ingenious machinery and methods.
Walls are built on a table so that they’re perfectly flat and level; under-the-floor mechanical systems are installed while the floor is suspended six feet above the shop floor, allowing tradespeople to walk beneath it; in-wall electrical systems are installed from outside so that the home’s air barrier isn’t compromised.
Best of all, materials are always dry and protected from the elements.
This process allowed Royal Homes to build the Patels’ property in the winter. Other than the front foyer, which need to be done on site, they prefabricated the rest of the building at the factory.
“It was amazing. These modules came on the truck, and they put it together,” says Kumar. “If it was a traditional construction build, it would not have been able to be done in the winter.”
Before that even took place, the Patels had many meetings with the designer. Once the design was completely planned, the designer then did a warm handoff to the person in charge of the build itself.
“They even prepared everything for the permit, and were there every step of the way, happy to handle any issues if they came up,” says Kumar. “They were there to answer questions with inspectors.”
Lastly, they were introduced to a service person, someone whose job it is to handle any issues or questions the family has. Even after three years, if the family notices something like a door handle coming loose, Royal Homes is still there to help.
“Their main goal was to make sure we were happy.”
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN