I was born in Grand Forks, B.C. We moved to a raw quarter section of land near Dawson Creek B.C. when I was two years old to homestead and live off the land as much as possible. Growing up on a working farm, raising our own animals, and growing our own food with my brother and parents gave me the work ethic and basic skills to accomplish many things.
During the final two years of high school I started my own business and began working as an interior/exterior commercial/residential painter. After ten years in business as 2-Stroke Painting and Contracting, I challenged and passed the inter-provincial, Red Seal Painter/Decorator exam. The new accreditation allowed my business to expand, I hired more employees and I spent more time working in buildings owned and occupied by government, education, and health. I then expanded into the renovation and construction business and a few years later built my first home on speculation to sell. I then had the first hand experience only obtained by taking a building from start to finish.
A few years later, as my brother Lukas Armstrong (now a partner at Cover Architecture here in Nelson) was completing his Masters of Architecture, he designed Skyholm for me. Lukas worked with me on Skyholm through that summer and I completed it over the next year and a half with the help of my 2-Stroke team, all the while maintaining a large client base in the painting/drywalling/construction industry. Though I had initially planned on selling Skyholm, I instead decided to live in it, experiencing the design fully and taking the project full circle. It was a grande experience and a beautiful home!
In 2012 I formed a business partnership with Patrick Ziemer, my then-manager of 2-Stroke and started an additional company, Local Design Build. About that same time 2-Stroke received a Super-Efficient New Construction (SENC) grant from FortisBC and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, as a result of Lukas compiling a 60 page report/application with Skyholm as the model. With the financial boost provided by the SENC grant, Lukas and I designed and built Bedford RoadHouse — a super-efficient, multi-family, multi-generational triplex — with the help of carpenter and good friend, Jonny Kurjata. Bedford RoadHouse contains three of only eight certified Passive Houses in Canada.
While living in Nelson and working on Bedford RoadHouse for 18 months, I fell in love with the mountains, rivers, lakes, food, and people of the Kootenays. I moved back to Dawson Creek once Bedford RoadHouse was completed in December 2013. My business partner Patrick and I came to a purchase agreement after he expressed interest in the full ownership of 2-Stroke. So after 20 years I handed him the reins, regretfully and excitedly sold Skyholm, and moved back to Nelson to live in Bedford RoadHouse with my mom, brother, and his family!
I now manage a branch of 2-Stroke here in Nelson, and run Local Design Build full time.