Builder Profile: Blythwood Homes
Quality without compromise
Some 30 years ago, Robert Mills founded Blythwood Homes. From day one, he set out to become Niagara region’s best builder. As a result of hard work and a dedication to his craft, becoming one of the most respected in southern Ontario was a natural progression.
The philosophy behind Blythwood Homes is simple – if it isn’t remarkable, it’s not worth building. This school of thought has left Mills in good standing, and the homes and communities that he’s built over the years speak for themselves. From a stately home in Niagara-on-the-Lake’s John Street, or an exquisite bungalow townhome at Tanbark Trail in St. Davids, to the elegant intimacy of Ridgeway by the Lake, the common thread in each community is that uncompromising standards are the norm. “I’ve always been more of a quality than quantity person,” says Mills. “I couldn’t get excited about building cookie-cutter houses. To me, it’s all about the quality.”
Blythwood Homes uses only the finest materials, inside and out. It’s difficult to tell if a Blythwood-built home was recently finished, or if it’s over twenty years old. This has to do with the fact that quality products, like stone, stucco and Hardie™ Board stand the test of time.
Interior finishing details are exquisite on each, and every, home. Kitchens and bathrooms showcase furniture-quality cabinetry, and rounded wall corners, as well as extra-wide baseboards and door trim are used throughout.
Extended ceiling heights grace all principal rooms, and range from nine to 12 feet high, depending upon the interior floorplan. Coffered ceilings add a touch of elegance, as do clerestory windows and skylights.
Windows receive special attention from Blythwood Homes. Larger windows with low-E glass are filled with argon gas to ensure year-round comfort. In addition, when a new home purchaser requests south- or west-facing views, the windows receive extra treatment to help keep harmful UV rays from fading furniture and drapes.
All homes built by Blythwood include furnaces with a 97 per cent efficiency rate, in addition to energy recovery ventilators and modulating thermostats – all of which provide the ultimate in comfort and in savings. “We’ve enjoyed great success over the years because people recognize good quality, as well as the value it adds to any home,” says Mills. “The Ontario Building Code is the bare minimum that is required to build a home. We believe in going beyond the building code, and providing our purchasers with more than just a house.”
The team at Blythwood Homes is a family affair. Both Mills’s wife and daughter are involved in the day-today operations. “My daughter, Alexa, joined the business five years ago and is learning every aspect of what we do,” says Mills. “She’s a keen learner and a stickler for detail.”
Choosing locations in which to build is at the core of each community. “We look for parcels that abut green spaces, and in areas where home values are likely to increase.”
Ridgeway by the Lake is a perfect example. This upscale, adult lifestyle community was recently completed and includes close to 300 homes. Since the opening of the project, housing values have virtually doubled. “People who purchased early at Ridgeway did very well in terms of how much their homes appreciated,” says Mills.
Adult lifestyle communities are becoming very popular. Blythwood Homes is in the midst of launching another community in Ridgeway, called The Oaks, and a second one in St David’s, called Vintages at Four-Mile Creek. “We are happy to provide quality housing to active adults,” adds Alexa Mills. “And we are looking to expand our repertoire with mid-rise, luxury condominiums.”
As with all their homes, whether it’s a detached design or a bungalow townhome, quality is the key to Blythwood Homes’ success.