This Spotlight is a bit different as it’s a mix of a business and family/resident spotlight. It features Straight Grain Construction and the Stratton Family.
How long have you lived in GR? What brought you here?
We moved to Gold River in 2005. Since we were first married we had wanted to move up here. We love the small town atmosphere (down Island was getting too big), and the access and freedom to drive anywhere.
Tell us a bit about Straight Grain Construction.
Straight Grain Construction was Incorporated in 2000. We began as a cabinetry and woodworking shop. Have a look at our website at some of the kitchens and special finishing and woodworking we have done.
We are able and have completed such a range of projects since we started working in Gold River it is hard to name them all. We range from smaller jobs to major renovations such as gutting a kitchen or bathroom, and seeing to all aspects from framing, electrical, plumbing, cabinetry and finishing. Such is the case of our own newly built home and the row houses we built from the ground up. Smaller jobs such as new window and door install, HWT repair, drywall, trim install, etc., happen on a regular basis. Outside work consists of siding, fences, decks, roofing, retaining walls and the list goes on!
Reg just recently built all the cabinetry for our new house. We now have a woodworking shop available for specialty woodworking! Please come to our Open House Friday May 23rd 3-6pm and Saturday May 24th 1-3pm.
How many employees do you have?
We are a crew of four minimum but we hire as needed.
Left to right. Josh – General Labour/framing, Alex – General Labour/finishing work, Kathy, Dylan – General Labour, Kat, Ron – General Labour/soffit, Marianne, Peter – General Labour, Gail, Rick – Black Bear Drywall, William – General Labour/clean up, Rachel – Office/project management/clean up, Cassie, Bridgite & Rick Messer – Gold River Building Supplies, Reg – Owner/Estimator/Contractor
We are thankful to have such a knowledgeable and reliable crew to work with!
General Labour is a bit of a lame term for all of the different work we do. Here is a list: window and door install, decks, trim work, framing, form work, cement work, drywall, kitchen & bathroom renovations, siding, additions, roofing, fencing, garden sheds, soffit and more. We also have in town and out of town sub-trades that do work for us such as; flooring, plumbing, excavation, electrical, engineering, cement finishing, gutters, insulation and cabinetry.
Is there a favourite project that you’ve done over the years?
One of my favourite projects was the foundation repair on Maquinna just because of the impressive house lift. It was an intense project and turned out perfect. You can’t ask for anything more! We also installed the sheet metal roof for this home as well. To date it was the highest cribbing stack that Pridy Bros House Moving has done!
Please tell us a bit about your family. (Both two and four legged)
We have three kids – William, Ruth & Olivia.
William: Age 16, smart kid, very good at math and science, likes to take old motors apart and then get them running again. He just bought his first car and spends most of his time under the hood. Also likes to mountain bike.
Ruth: Age 13, soccer player, very hard worker, makes 50% of the meals for our house, organized, very outgoing, large personality.
Olivia: Age 11, loves arts and crafts, like to hang out with friends. She is very bendy when attending my kids yoga class. May seem shy but she is really just very observant.
Jewel – A bearded dragon, our only pet.
Reg: He has climbed most of the peaks you can see from Gold River and throughout the Park. He spent a lot of his free time as a teen doing 7-10 day mountaineering trips in Strathcona Park. He was also involved with Search and Rescue in Sooke and Victoria. He received the Governor General Medal Of Bravery for rescuing his own Dad from Mt. Arrowsmith after a fall in 1993 (he was 15 years old at the time). Reg is a real redneck or “Regneck” as a friend of ours named his truck! He loves the lifestyle here and all the places to take his truck. He is always coming home with a “new road” to take us up. He has been working in the field of construction since he was 13, and has a vast range of knowledge in this field. His knowledge is a perfect fit for the variety of construction work we are asked to do in Gold River.
Rachel: I started to really “manage” the business when we were asked to rebuild the row houses on Maquinna Crescent that burned down in 2010.
The project was too large for just Reg to manage. I have always done the bookkeeping and the material ordering, but there is only so much you can do while three little kids run around your home office! Now that the kids are older I am able to manage the business and we are able to have more jobs on the go.
In our new house I have a studio above the garage. I have classes in Kids Yoga (Monday 4:30-5:15), Power Yoga (Monday 6:45-7:45) Mobility Yoga (Tuesday 10:30-11:45 & Thursday 6:00-7:15). I am planning to add a teen yoga and a beginner yoga next month! I also have a Kids Art class running as art is my passion! We are exploring art in all its forms and techniques. More exploring than producing art – I want the kids to see that the joy of art is that it can be anything!
When you and Reg aren’t busy working, what do you like to do for fun?
We go out in the hills! That is the main reason we moved here. The big truck takes us all over, finding new lakes and high roads. We go caving, hiking, 4x4ing and usually have a campfire – these are family days and sometimes include out of town guests who are always amazed at the beauty of our area.
What do you wish Gold River had that is doesn’t? Is there anything missing for you?
I wish that there were a few more jobs to attract families to this wonderful place. I think there are so many families such as ours that love the setting and the small community, but are worried they cannot make a living here. It is a fantastic place to raise a family and worth any compromises!
Thank you Rachel for taking the time out of your busy schedule to be a Business/Resident Spotlight!
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