Fall 2011 Newsletter
Feature Renovation: Inspired Accessible Living

The Challenge:


When a motor cross accident landed this father, husband, homeowner in a wheelchair, renovations were a necessity if they were to remain in their home with their young family. The dream was to create space that didn’t look like it was designed to be accessible, with ample room to manoeuvre the wheelchair and function with ease in an open concept kitchen and living space.


The original kitchen was central to the space, but divided by the Dining Room and Hallway preventing light transfer and traffic flow. The existing patio door had a raised threshold creating a bumpy exit, and its position in the dinette was awkward due to furniture requirements.




Learning Creates Change


There are numerous seminars, conferences and learning opportunities available to us all. For Pioneer Craftsmen we have two in particular this Fall that we are looking forward to.


The Waterloo Region Home Builders Association will be offering their 2nd Annual Home Renovation Seminar. Open to the public, this seminar will discuss why and how to choose a reputable Renovator and will offer a series of “Renovation Stories”, a presentation of real life renovations – what went well and why and what to watch out for.


Event Details:
October 29, 2011 1:00 – 4:00 at Waterloo Region Record Building, Market Square, King Street, E, Kitchener


Paul Meier heads to a Renovation related conference in Atlanta where he will learn and share with some of the best renovators across Canada and USA.


Jen’s Den – September 2011

Our homes are far from “boxes” to us, but we all get trapped in the proverbial box after living there awhile. Ever notice how your storage room keeps getting stuff put there “just for now” and you walk past it for months without noticing how bad it really is. Then one day it hits us and we dive in purging, organizing and building shelves (anyone sensing the recent conquest of MY storage room here?!).


Renovating is often a result of the same phenomenon. One day it hits you that nothing is functioning for your lifestyle, or the colours are stale, or the décor dated, and you just have to do something about it. But what?



The past summer Pioneer Craftsmen participants crossed the finish line of the Grand River Amazing Race sweaty and exhausted. The race was part of the family fun weekend organized by the Woolwich Kin Club. Based on the popular television show, the Grand River Amazing Race included teams of two or three who set out from West Montrose down the Grand River and surrounding area where teams would work through different challenges along the route.


“Pardon the pun but it was amazing,” joked organizer Bill McBay. “The weather was great and we had most people we have ever seen come out and partake in the weekend events including the race, movies and the carnival.” Funds raised during the pledge drive for the race and the family fun weekend came to more than $42, 000, with proceeds going to the Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region. Pioneer Craftsmen was proud to be part of its success!


This November, Jamie Adam and his wife Betsy will be joining other members of the Ontario Home Builders Association on a Humanitarian Build in the Dominican Republic where they will build homes that are clean, dry and raised up high enough from the flooding, improving the health and wellbeing of 6 families. The families include a Street Cleaner, his wife and 6 children, A Grandma, her three Grandsons and 4 orphans, a construction worker and 7 other family members living in a tiny, run down shack. It is an exciting opportunity and we’ll be sure to tell you about it in our Spring Newsletter.


Quinoa is a favorite with a few of us in the office with certain fool sensitivities. Here’s a great recipe compliments of Presidents Choice. The sophisticated flavours in this quick and colourful salad are sure to impress. Very high in fibre and packed with protein, this makes a delicious side or a substantial meal on its own.



1 pkg (225 g) PC Organics Quinoa
½ cup (125 mL) PC Edamame
1 cup (250 mL) dried cranberries
Half small red onion, diced
½ cup (125 mL) diced sweet red pepper
3 tbsp (45 mL) white wine vinegar
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
½ tsp (2 mL) Salt



1. In small saucepan, bring 2 cups (500 mL) water to a boil. Stir in quinoa. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain.

2. Add frozen edamame to 1 cup (250 mL) of boiling water; lower heat and let simmer 3 to 4 minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold water; drain.

3. In large bowl, stir together quinoa, edamame, cranberries, red onion and red pepper. In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, mustard and salt; pour over quinoa and toss to coat.

Makes 4 servings

From the Corner Office

“Something happens when you stop looking at the world in terms of numbers, circumstances, or nameless faces. Once you know more about them, you realize that there is a face behind the number; there is a story behind the circumstance.“ says Christal Earle, Co-Founder of a not-for-profit organization that exists to empower us to live with purpose. I fortunately am surrounded by staff, family and friends who are passionate about living with purpose and we try hard to run our business the same way. Inside you can read about the projects and their stories that we are excited to participate in.


At Pioneer Craftsmen we are also passionate about Continuing Education and lobbying for our industry and home owners. Continuing Education is crucial if we are to continue offering our clients the best return on their investment. Find out more inside about the Home Renovation seminar available to you and events Pioneer Craftsmen will be attending.My term as President of the WRHBA is well under way. Recently I was part of a team that met with the National and Provincial candidates in the past and current elections to express our concerns with the goal of keeping homes and home renovations affordable to all within our Region. As a leader in the industry we continue to work hard with Passion and Purpose.


Thank you to all for your trust in us and your kind referrals. I wish you a Fall and Winter season filled with passion for what you believe in!



Derek has worked in renovations for over 6 years and is a graduate of the George Brown College Building Renovations and Restoration program and has a Certificate of Apprenticeship in Carpentry.



Mike is a graduate of the Conestoga College Renovation Technician program and is anxiously awaiting entrance into the Apprenticeship program. It is great to have them both on board!




Thought for the Day


If you think you are too small to make a difference, try going to bed with a mosquito.

Waterloo Region Home Builders' Association Renomark, Renovators Mark of Excellence Greater Kitchener - Waterloo Chamber of Commerce Better Business Bureau - Kitchener National Kitchen & Bath Association Centre For Family Business - Waterloo Region As a quality-focused contractor, Pioneer Craftsmen Ltd relies on GuildQuality's customer satisfaction surveying to help them deliver an exceptional customer experience.

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