SOURCE: Maisonette International Enterprises Ltd.

March 20, 2007 15:01 ET

Maple Seal Homes Ltd. Featured In The Globe and Mail For Its Progress In France

VANCOUVER, BC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 20, 2007 -- Maple Seal Homes Ltd. "MSH" the wholly owned Canadian subsidiary of Maisonette International Enterprises Ltd. "the Company" (PINKSHEETS: MAEN) is pleased to announce that it has been featured in the Business Section of the Globe and Mail Newspaper of Canada in relation to its work in penetrating the French housing market.

Mr. Alain Ghiai, reporting from Switzerland added: "I am very honored to have received an interview from the esteemed Globe and Mail ( ) correspondent Susan Sachs from Paris France. This came as a nice surprise as we are now becoming the leading Canadian timber prefabricated home company pushing for the export of panelized Canadian homes in France and the rest of Europe. I would like to thank Susan for her superbly written article and thank the Globe and Mail editorial team and all who have contributed to this article. It is also very refreshing to see that companies such as ours from British Columbia are being recognized in their efforts to export lumber materials and in the same process, help the Canadian economy as a whole. "

The article in question is reproduced below and a link can be created by going to the website of the Globe and Mail Newspaper: and typing "Maple Seal Homes" or "Prefabricated Homes" in the search bar.


Wood prefabs homes in France? Mais oui, Canadian hopes SUSAN SACHS Special to The Globe and Mail

GUÉRANDE -- New houses circle the massive stone walls of this medieval city, can be followed down to the edge of windswept salt marshes and crowd the nearby Atlantic beachfront's grand hotels.

They are boxy, cookie-cutter houses, displaying a monotonous palate of off-white and grey. Here in Brittany, as in many parts of France where it's more profitable to sell fields than farm them, the once bucolic landscape is filling up with suburban-style developments of look-alike concrete homes.

In this monopoly of concrete, where some people might see an unshakeable national preference, a Canadian sees an opportunity.

Why not, asks Alain Ghiai of Victoria, sell prefab Canadian houses to the French? Mr. Ghiai, the chairman of Maple Seal Homes Ltd., wants to ship wood-panelled homes across the ocean. He already has a few orders, he says, and expects to load containers and dispatch a few ready-to-assemble houses to French builders this summer.

The hard part was not selling his customers on the idea of importing a house from thousands of kilometres away in British Columbia. The hard part was convincing them that wood could replace concrete.

"For the French to go out of their norm, it takes a while," Mr. Ghiai says. "A few years ago nobody was thinking wood. They thought that a wood home blows away in the wind, like they see on television in Florida."

Mr. Ghiai, whose mother lives in Paris, believes attitudes are changing through a happy convergence of economics, ecological concerns and consumer frustration.

His prefabs, usually built with SPF lumber (spruce, pine, fir) at a factory on Vancouver Island, may be more expensive for French home buyers, but he says maintenance is cheaper because they use less energy than concrete structures to stay warm and dry.

They also meet France's new standards for high-quality environmentally sound buildings, Mr. Ghiai says. They can be assembled quickly on a prepoured foundation -- an average of two weeks for a standard 1,500-square-foot panelled home, rather than up to a year for a standard concrete single-family home.

"Right now the biggest challenge has been to comply with French regulations," Mr. Ghiai says. "The wood has to be treated a certain way. There are so many rules. There are 150 pages of regulations just on windows."

But he is not easily deterred. He says he understands the French resistance to many things foreign and will work through a French company to market his wood house kits.

"I know the French mentality really well," he says. "They will know they're buying a Canadian product, which is a sign of quality. But they'll be dealing with a French person in France."

Nor is he worried about breaking the powerful habit of concrete, even though France is the world's second-biggest producer of the material.

"The government is imposing environmental rules on builders," he says. "They will have to go more with wood. They won't be able to build as before."

Like the builders of the ubiquitous concrete homes sprouting across the French countryside, Mr. Ghiai will offer home designs from a catalogue, with the potential to customize the look of the prefabs.

Unfortunately, he says, the French builders interested in his houses have so far favoured designs that "duplicate the cookie- cutter concrete homes, but with wood."

The prospect of something different intrigues some who don't like the uniformity of the new housing developments invading the rustic charm of the countryside. But they also have their doubts about imported homes.

Hervé Farge, a retired architect who lives just outside Guérande in an old stone farmhouse, says he can picture a Canadian house on Brittany's stormy Atlantic coast. "The weather, I think, is rather similar," he says.

But what about such a presence among the Mediterranean-style villas of the Côté d'Azur or the rolling hills of Burgundy -- two hot spots for housing starts last year ?

"My son had an internship in Canada a few years ago and he said it was very cold there," Mr. Farge says. "So I'm not sure whether Canadian houses, houses in a box, are appropriate for provincial France. Somehow, it seems odd."

About Maisonette International Enterprises Ltd.

Maisonette International Enterprises Ltd. is a publicly held holding company incorporated in Nevada, USA. Its primary asset is a 100% wholly owned Canadian company called Maple Seal Homes Ltd. ( with its primary activity being the sale and distribution of panelized prefabricated housing and building materials for the general public and professionals.

Safe Harbor statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Except for historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors affecting the Company's operations, markets, products and prices and other factors discussed in the Company's various filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. There may be other factors not mentioned above that may cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking information.

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