By Anita Murray: He did it again! Topping off a 25th anniversary year in which respected renovator Steve Barkhouse and his team at Amsted Design-Build were named both the local and provincial renovator of the year in 2015, the company has managed the difficult feat of repeating as Ontario’s best.
At the annual Awards of Distinction gala put on by the Ontario Home Builders’ Association Tuesday night in Collingwood, Ont., Amsted was once again recognized as the Ontario Renovator of the Year, along with winning a second award for a kitchen and basement renovation.
“Amsted has established itself as one of the most recognized custom residential specialists in Ottawa,” the association noted in a news release.
Barkhouse was elated when reached Wednesday morning. “We got two awards; I was absolutely shocked. It was crazy exciting.”
Amsted beat out Ottawa’s OakWood Renovation Experts and Eurodale Developments of Toronto to take the renovator award in the fledgling category. In the three years the award has been given, an Ottawa company has won every time (the first year it was won by OakWood).
Amsted is also once again a finalist for the local renovator of the year award, which will be given out by the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association on Oct. 22.
Other local companies on the winners’ podium Tuesday were Design First Interiors, which won two awards – for the elegant renovations of a bathroom and a kitchen – and RND Construction, which won the production home category of two-storey, 2,501 square feet and over, for its Orchard model at Riverpark Green. Both companies have won before at the OHBA awards.
“It was really a great surprise, but lots of fun,” said Design First founder Friedemann Weinhardt. An awards program veteran, Weinhardt was making a return after a health scare led to open-heart surgery earlier this year.
“I feel like I’m back in a groove again,” he said. “You really do question whether or not you want to go back into it the way that you were … but there’s not much I’d rather be doing.”
Both his winning projects are also entered in next month’s GOHBA awards.
RND president Roy Nandram was also delighted with his win.
“The Orchard is special because of the contemporary design and the finishes,” he said. “It’s not a custom home; it’s not a tract production home. We kind of take production and we find inexpensive solutions to make it look like a custom home … Also the space design is amazing.”
RND teamed up with architect Chris Simmonds on the four-unit project in Riverside Park South. And like the other winners, the model is entered in local awards.
The OHBA is the voice of the building and renovation industry in Ontario. This is the 25th anniversary for the awards, which are judged by a panel of industry professionals from across the country and presented annually to builders and renovators throughout the province for excellence in design and sales and marketing. For a full list of the winners, visit ohbaaod.ca.
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