8 Quintessentials of Building in Southern Georgian Bay


A homebuilder offers his insights on a modern home on the mountain.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Ski Season 2019 issue of  OUR HOMES Southern Georgian Bay, p.52. Find local businesses in our Southern Georgian Bay directory.
The owners of this modern new home knew that they were building it arguably at the epicentre of winter’s microclimate in Southern Georgian Bay. But its location was just one of the reasons that builder Jason McLean of McLean Contracting was excited to work on this project with the homeowners. Jason and his team completed the home last year, and the seasoned builder of 14 years says it represents eight quintessentials of custom homes in the area.
1. LOCATION: While this particular home has an escarpment location, there is no shortage of lakes, rivers, valleys, mountains, ravines, rock outcroppings, rolling hills, farms, bush lots or even endearing towns in the region to create a home upon, says Jason. 
2. VIEW: “The view from the great room is incredible,” says Jason. “From one side you look out at the bay and the other over Beaver Valley. This area is so rich with interesting geography that it’s important to spend that bit of extra time in planning a home to make sure you’re appreciating what nature has to offer.” 
3. DESIGN TEAM: Collaborating with and leaning on creative designers can bring the vision for a home to fruition. The owners of this home brought their drawings Barill Engineering Ltd. to actualize. In the interior spaces, the owners worked with Jennifer McCulloch Design to bring the home’s contemporary look together.
4. TRADESPEOPLE: “I’ve had some of the same trades working with me for years, and their work speaks for itself,” says Jason. “The quality they are able to produce is outstanding.”
5. OPTIONS: Getting to know a client’s approach and style is key to gathering the options that will be meaningful to them. “When I’m scoping out a project for a client, of course, cost per square foot guides us, but within that there are so many decisions to consider,” says Jason. 
6. CODE: “All my builds exceed the current building code,” says Jason. His homes go above code for many reasons, including wanting to ensure his clients are able to take advantage of the latest technologies and techniques that might not yet be reflected in the code. 
7. PLANNING: Timing is a big portion of Jason’s responsibilities at McLean Contracting. Queuing up supplies to arrive when workers are ready to use them is an art. Planning is a skill Jason honed from many years of owning Georgian Bay Sprinklers and servicing its base of 2,000-plus seasonal clients. 
8. HOME AUTOMATION: Integrating technology into a home’s design has become a pursuit of Jason’s. “There are so many new ways to use technology to enhance your home,” he says, from solar systems and backup generators to automated window coverings and wireless sound systems. The owners of this home can connect with their security system and adjust the heating and lights when they’re on their way up for a ski weekend.