Spring 2010 Newsletter
A Perfect Solution

As is often the case our clients loved their property and their neighbourhood. However their kitchen was tired. This family who loved to entertain, came to Pioneer Craftsmen for help.


Project Manager, Paul Meier had assisted with their ensuite bath renovation three years prior and was thrilled to have the opportunity to help again. Working closely with the client, he developed concepts, some within the existing space and some incorporating an addition.


A final design was agreed to, incorporating the client’s creative design ideas for the island and cabinet detailing. Paul guided them through the daunting task of selecting finishes and details until they were totally satisfied and ready to proceed to the next stage – construction.




Guild Quality specializes in independent customer surveys. They’ll be sending out unbiased surveys to some Pioneer Craftsmen clients, by e-mail, telephone or regular mail. The surveys are short and take no more than 3 – 4 minutes to complete. If you do not receive a Guild Quality Survey upon completion of your project, you will receive one of our in-house Report Cards. We thank all of you who have completed one of these, for taking the time to do so. Your feed back is extremely valuable as we strive to create an exceptional experience for all of our clients.


Jen's Den: Let There Be Light

Light. We all crave it – as much as we want fantastic natural light in every room, the reality is most of us can’t have it. So, how do we optimize our lighting needs?


Lighting is thought of in three categories:
General – the light necessary to get from A to B without tripping
Task – the light you need to improve visibility in a workspace
Ambient – the softer light that invites you to stay awhile or that spills over from another room or a window.


FAQ on the HST and your Renovation

There’s been a great deal of discussion around the Harmonized Sales Tax. Since the initial HST announcement, the Ontario and Waterloo Region Home Builders Associations have been meeting with MP’s and MPP’s. Jamie Adam, our President has also attended many of these meetings. Despite their great efforts, it appears the HST will be coming into effect on July 1, 2010 without any changes for the Renovation Industry. However there’s still a few more months and we will continue to lobby on behalf of our clients.


Below are answers to some FAQ’S based on the information available to us as of mid March.


How much more will my renovation cost after the introduction of the HST?
It’s anticipated there will be an average of 4% - 5% increase overall.



Almond Nougat



1 cup blanched hazelnuts
2 x 4 1/2 oz packages blanched whole almonds
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
2 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup butter, softened



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


2. Add hazelnuts and whole almonds to cookie sheet. Toast until golden, about 10 minutes.


3. Add sugar, corn syrup, honey, salt and water in a heavy bottomed saucepot (3 quart). Over medium heat, stir mixture until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking, without stirring until syrup reaches the hard ball stage, reading 252 degrees F. on a candy thermometer.


4. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form.


5. While mixer is on, in a thin steady stream, pour ¼ cup of hot syrup over egg whites, beating at high speed until mixture is stiff enough to hold its shape, about 5 minutes.


6. Continue to cook the remaining syrup to brittle threads, reading 315 to 318 degrees F. on a candy thermometer.


7. While mixer is on, in a thin steady stream, pour remaining hot syrup over egg whites, beating at high speed until mixture is stiff enough to hold its shape. Add vanilla extract, almond extract and butter, beating again for about 5 minutes. Stir in toasted nuts and ground almonds with a wooden spoon. Transfer mixture to a buttered 11 x 7 x 1 ¼-inch pan.


8. Smooth the mixture evenly with a spatula. If it is a particularly humid day, refrigerate until firm.


9. Loosen edges of candy with a knife. Invert nougat on cutting board. Cut into pieces. Store in airtight container.

From the Corner Office

Congratulations are in order for many of you! Pioneer Craftsmen has once again been recognized as a finalist in the Renovation category at the Canadian Home Builders Association annual SAM Awards. Yes – that’s right across this great country of ours. A big thank you to our team of designers, project managers, carpenters and trades for putting together another-stunning project. And of course thank you to our clients for allowing us to enter your projects!


As I mentioned in our Fall newsletter, my wife and I were in the midst of our own Family Room Renovation and were entering the dreaded “drywall stage”. I am pleased to say we are still happily married and have already experienced many wonderful family times in our new room. Living first hand through a renovation and being on the “other side” of the hammer, was a good learning experience for me, and one that will help make all our future projects even more successful.


On that note, in line with our continuing education program, Paul Meier and myself will be in Atlanta in May to critique and learn from an incredibly successful company specializing in “Green Renovations”. We’ll be returning with some innovative ways to work together to improve the quality of our environment while ensuring you, our clients, continue to receive great value for your investment.


I am excited about the upcoming year! Our team is committed to offering you a professional, enjoyable renovation experience and complete satisfaction.


Have a fun and safe summer!

Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC)

The HRTC has ended and many of you will be seeing the benefit with this current tax filing. Please let us know if you have any questions on claiming your credit, we are happy to help.

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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