The following interviews illustrate how we at Harvest Homes are not just eco-friendly, but people-friendly too!
Interview with Hank Carr
We provided owner-assist services to Hank and Anita including design assistance, engineer-stamped plans and plastering.
About Ben Polley
“When it comes to building with straw bales, Ben is one of the most knowledgeable people around. He is courteous and always professional. He’s also a pragmatist. Lot’s of people say you can’t do this, can’t do that. In the construction business and eco-building business, you get the extremists, people who are very dogmatic about doing things their way. But Ben is very practical. He considers all possibilities and your needs. He comes up with the right solutions. His approach made us very comfortable. He was reassuring, calm.”
About the Harvest Home Crew
“We liked the crew very much. They’re professional, not stuffy. Our neighbour, who saw them working on our house everyday, said they were the first construction crew he had ever witnessed that didn’t curse or swear. He said they were singing all the time. Mind you, they’re not very good singers (laughs). But they obviously enjoy what they do and they get along. They treated us with respect.”
The Extra Mile
“Originally we only hired Ben as a consultant. We hadn’t hired his crew. At the end of the first year, however, we were behind schedule. We were unprepared for the coming fall and winter season. Ben and his crew were on a schedule with other projects. We asked them to help us out. They stepped in and gave us a hand. Ben, himself, did some stitching and stuffing. They helped us get it up on time.”
“We love the house.”
Interview with Dr. Pat De Young, Muskoka
Hiring Harvest Homes
I first came to Harvest Homes through their website and then by meeting Ben and Shawn at the Home Show featuring the “Home Alive” house. I really liked the feel of that model home. I also felt that Ben was someone I could trust, someone who shared my values, and someone who could listen and communicate well, too. I hired them to build my home that summer, a 2,000 square foot, one-and-a-half storey bungalow. Harvest Homes handled everything except the excavating, mechanical engineering, electrical and plumbing work, and finishing.
During the Construction
I was on the construction site most days during the course of the first two months, and then off and on for the next two months until most of their work was done. The crew camped at the site and I was often at a cottage some minutes away. I was the “general contractor,” but Ben was there to manage all the building details. I felt very comfortable being there and also leaving the site, knowing that things were going well. If there was something that I didn’t like (which was rare), Ben always addressed it immediately. He took my needs and feelings very seriously. That was so important.
I like the home a lot. I really love the look and the feel of things being hand made – like the trowel marks on the thick, rounded plaster walls. The house has a solid, quiet presence, with lots of space and natural light. It’s truly one of a kind.
The Best Part
The best part of working with Ben is his integrity. He will do his best possible job for you. He sticks to his word. He sticks to the budget. Integrity is something I value most of all.