Prac­tice per­fect makes

Builder’s cus­tom home is a mas­ter­piece

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Todd Lewys

HEN it comes to build­ing homes, Greg Tohms is a per­fec­tion­ist; he wants ev­ery home be per­fect for each client — lit­er­ally.

Imag­ine the at­ten­tion to de­tail that went into his dream home. Tohms, the owner of Mor­ri­son Homes, built his abode in 2007. Lo­cated on a one-acre lot and set back 75 me­tres from Roblin Boule­vard, the in­tent was to call 8538 Roblin “home” for many years to come.

That is, un­til a pris­tine 1.5-acre lot nearby be­came avail­able. With that lot due to be oc­cu­pied by a 2,500-square-foot bun­ga­low in the not too dis­tant fu­ture, Tohms put his 2,875-sq.-ft., two-storey home — once a Mor­ri­son Homes show home — up for sale.

“You know, we weren’t plan­ning on mov­ing, but we just couldn’t pass up that gor­geous lot,” he says. “This home was built for us to stay here a long time, so who­ever buys it will ben­e­fit from that.”

The home has been out­fit­ted with all the lit­tle ex­tras — the minute, yet sig­nif­i­cant de­sign de­tails that cus­tom builders plug into their de­signs to make them spe­cial.

He says he de­signed the home to be as ef­fi­cient as pos­si­ble, with fea­tures such as an R50-in­su­lated at­tic, R24 ex­te­rior wall in­su­la­tion, Spi­der in­su­la­tion sys­tem (the home was the first in Canada to use it), silent floor sys­tem with three-quar­ter inch sub­floor and tri­pane, low-E ar­gon PVC win­dows (win­dows in the great room fea­ture so­lar shield to re­duce in­te­rior fad­ing).

From an er­gonomic and aes­thetic stand­point the home is filled with de­tails that make the home a prac­ti­cal but plea­sur­able.

“We’ve al­ways been in two-storey homes, so I wanted to de­sign a two­s­torey home that was very func­tional,” he says. “My first thought was that we needed to take ad­van­tage of the back lot with all the ma­ture trees, so I went with a lit­eral wall of glass. There are ba­si­cally 18 feet of solid glass in the great room, so there’s all kinds of nat­u­ral light — and a great view.”

Sev­eral other fea­tures stand out in the great room area: a 48-inch cul­tured stone sur­round and slate wood-burn­ing fire­place with built-in maple en­ter­tain­ment cen­tre; an is­land kitchen with beige/black flecked gran­ite coun­ter­tops, break­fast bar, walk-in pantry and strik­ing two-tone maple cab­i­netry. There’s even a corner eat­ing area with built-in benches by the door that leads to a spa-

Wcious back­yard deck .

“I wanted to do some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent here, so we in­stalled raised panel maple cab­i­nets with a light mocha-glazed fin­ish,” Tohms ex­plains. “The trim on the cab­i­nets is a medium-stained maple. We mixed and matched colours to cre­ate some­thing new that would stay in style for a long time. With the is­land, we added one foot to the depth (nor­mal is two feet) to cre­ate a big­ger work sur­face for pre­par­ing meals.”

A host of other sub­tle de­tails adds style and char­ac­ter to the kitchen: raised pan­els on the is­land, pil­lars defin­ing the dish­washer — and rich, tex­tured oak floor­ing that runs through most of the main level. There’s also a main-floor mud­room with porce­lain tile floor, builtin shoe rack, bench and sep­a­rate laun­dry room.

Tohms is par­tic­u­larly proud of his floor­ing choice, which is equal parts style and prac­ti­cal­ity.

“It’s a hand-scraped, dis­tressed prod­uct that per­forms bet­ter than reg­u­lar hard­woods. It re­sists shrink­age and ex­pan­sion bet­ter. I de­signed this house to be lived in, not looked at.”

The up­per level is also packed with sub­tle de­tails that cre­ate a liv­able and vis­ually pleas­ing home: an an­gled stair­well with a com­bi­na­tion of wood and wrought iron spin­dles; Decor light switches with screw­less plates; all kinds of win­dows for an abun­dance of nat­u­ral light; and a sep­a­rate bed­room wing for chil­dren.

“We cre­ated an arch­way to make a sep­a­rate space for the two bed­rooms and a four-piece bath,” he says. “Kids need their own space and pri­vacy, so it’s worked very well.”

It’s then on to a lav­ish mas­ter suite that comes with an­other wall of win­dows (for an el­e­vated view of the park-like back­yard), an or­nate elec­tric fire­place/ TV com­bi­na­tion, ex­pan­sive en­suite with mas­sive jet­ted tub, open ce­ramic tile shower, heated ce­ramic tile floor and walk-in closet (five me­tres by 2.5 me­tres) with built-in shelves and draw­ers.

Last but not least is lower level with 1,200 sq. ft. of liv­able space that in­cludes a me­dia area (with gas fire­place), games area, fourth bed­room, three-piece bath and tons of stor­age.

“This home is the full pack­age, ev­ery­thing is com­pleted to per­fec­tion. It’s hard to find a home of this cal­i­bre in such a great set­ting,” Liz Cale of Pow­ell Prop­erty Group says. “It’s a won­der­ful home in ev­ery sense.”

3.5 $7,375.35 (gross 2009) $947,000

Liz Cale, Pow­ell Prop­erty Group @ 479-9480

Man­aged-con­struc­tion builder Greg Thoms, be­low, had planned to live in the 2,875 sq.ft. home for a long time. And then an­other op­por­tu­nity arose down the street.



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