Houses of Almonte

Houses of Almonte

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“We wanted a good view of the pond and we didn’t want a room that would collect sun and heat at the times of day we’re most likely to use it in the evenings and on weekends. Besides, the evening sun lights up the far shore of the pond and it’s a spectacular view.” Working from architectural drawings, Parent built a scale model of his new home out of cardboard.

The heating system is forced air electric with a heat pump that Parent estimates saves one-third on the annual fuel bill. The monthly hydro bill for the 3,000 square foot home is $100. Parent decided on 400 amp service and there’s room to add more, he says. The couple also installed a central vacuum system in the laundry room.

At the southeastern end of the ground floor, Parent placed  a large airy kitchen and a dining room with sliding glass doors that lead out to a stone patio, and a family room overlooking the lake. The kitchen, like the foyer and ground floor hall, is covered in red clay tiles. It also stainless steel cupboards.

A sunken living room and entrance foyer occupy the next level. The 27 foot by 16 foot living room has corner windows overlooking the lake of a yet to be installed fireplace. Three bedrooms, sauna and bathroom occupy the third floor. The ensuite master bedroom has a large bath and a separate dressing area with oodles of storage for suitcases and clothing. A small angular window gives the room plenty of natural light.

The fourth level is Parent’s hideaway a two-tiered studio with plenty of room for drafting tables and book cases as well as a photography darkroom. Off the studio is the home’s only sun deck. “We didn’t want decks to obstruct the views of the-pond,” says Renee Parent. “We preferred to walk out of doors into a completely natural setting.”

It took the couple three years and $100,000 (including the cost of the land) to build the house. “We didn’t go to a contractor because of the complexity of the design,” says Parent. “We had a builder put in the foundation and the skeleton frame then we took over.”

The couple spent one winter living in the lowest level while they tackled the insulation and drywall. A drywaller contractor was hired to do all the joints, a task Parent felt unequal to attempt. Though they haven’t kept a complete accounting of their expenditures, the Parents say the custom built  windows cost $6,000 and the heating system was another $4,000 to $5,000. They figure it will cost an additional $10,000 to completely finish their home. “Materials have skyrocketed in the last two years. The replacement value of this place is about $185,000 and we just couldn’t afford to build it now,” says Parent.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 Oct 1980, Sat  •  Page 63




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What Almonte Would Like to See in 1892

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About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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