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VIEWPOINTS

Ten Members of the Residential Construction Industry Share their Insights and Opinions

by Judy Penz Sheluk

Code changes, social media, the underground economy, land shortages and development charges, the continuing impact of “renovation television” . . . These are just a few of the challenges and changes facing

Renovation Professionals: Changing the Stereotype

Canada’s residential construction industry. Ten industry members from across the country shared their insights and opinions with Home

BUILDER. Here’s what they had to say:

The Power of Networking & Mentorship

were both motivated and the relationship was great. I learned many skills and gained a lot of knowledge but one thing stands out the most: understanding the

Nicholas Hill, President Ritchie Contracting & Design Ltd., Penticton, B.C.

Stefanie Coleman-Dias, Owner Coleman-Dias3 Construction Inc., St. Thomas, Ont.

importance of a client’s goodwill. Having a custom

One Monday morning I responded to a knock at

home built is one of the biggest lifetime investments

my door, to find two men in dirty jackets holding coffee

someone will make, and it comes with a lot of emotional

cups, saying they had arrived to “do some drywalling.”

attachment. Having a positive experience throughout

I remember immediately feeling uncomfortable. Their

the process is of utmost importance—and if our clients

scruffy appearances, and a lack of company branding

enjoy the process then we get to enjoy our job too!

on their clothing and vehicle, made me wonder if they

We focus on building a strong relationship with our

were legitimate. It also made me question how our own

Working in the custom home building industry

clients that centres around trust. Our value set of hon-

over the last six years has been an amazing journey

esty, accountability, quality and transparency are the

Ten years ago I took a leap of faith by changing

for me. I got a break when I was 28 years old from an

key factors that shape our decisions and actions, and

careers and opening a renovation business with my hus-

experienced builder who offered me the opportunity to

that results in lasting relationships with our clients. The

band. I have learned a lot and the more I learn, the more

take over his contracting business through what I call

net effect is that we continue to have a high percentage

respect I have for how complex the industry is and the

a mentorship-based buyout. Six years later, we have

of high quality clients contacting us to build for them.

skills that are required—from creative problem solving

company portrays its professionalism.

grown to 10 employees, building four to six custom

I believe it would have taken me at least 20 years

to people and communication skills, to math and under-

homes per year. I am lucky because I get up every day

to get where I am now if wasn’t for the power of net-

standing all the connections in today’s building science.

excited to go to work.

working and mentorship. The accumulative wealth of

We also face an environment where cash operators

I met Ted at our local, CHBA South Okanagan,

information within our industry and association is stag-

thrive in the underground economy, making it essential

where I was able to develop a relationship through the

gering. A great value in our association is it being a

for us to help homeowners to quickly be able to pick out

various dinner meetings. I was ambitious with the entre-

catalyst for connecting people. I see a great opportunity

the legitimate companies. Differentiating ourselves by

preneurial itch and he saw an exit strategy. Ted and I

for people entering the residential housing industry and

professionalism is the key to being recognized.

were successful in transferring his 20 years of residen-

those leaving to build relationships and transfer that

How do we elevate our professionalism and set our-

tial building knowledge in four years. I worked for him

wealth of knowledge so that we can continually better

selves apart in order to demand a fair price for the spe-

for two years and then he worked for me for two. We

our industry.

cialized skills we offer?

20 Home BUILDER November/December 2014

D

Profile for Work4 Projects Ltd.

Nov/Dec 2014 | Home Builder Magazine Canada  

November/December 2014 | Viewpoints / Technology & Trends A selection of the latest opinions and advice to our readers—direct from top build...

Nov/Dec 2014 | Home Builder Magazine Canada  

November/December 2014 | Viewpoints / Technology & Trends A selection of the latest opinions and advice to our readers—direct from top build...

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