The Construction Source


All the best, The Editorial Team We will keep adding business units that enhance our offering and separate us from our competition. “ ” Editor From The Dear Reader, Welcome to the latest issue of Construction Source Canada, the magazine that highlights the best in building and building products across the country. In this edition, we’ve cast our gaze all across the country, and we’ve looked at some of the builders and architects that are leading the way in their respective provinces and regions. On our cover, for instance, is Park View Homes, based in the Ottawa Capital Region. For more than 20 years, they remained family-owned and operated and true to their founding mission – which is to provide customers with high quality homes in good communities that are affordable, liveable, and built to last. At the 2022 CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence, they recently won the category for ‘Best Detached Production Home 2,101 to 2,400 square feet.’ We spoke to architectural designer Logan Davidson about that home, about Park View’s recent awards success in general, and about everything that sets their company apart. Meanwhile, this edition also features a look at Degagne Carpentry in Corbeil, Ontario. They are another longstanding and family-owned company, established all the way back in 1988 and on their second generation of ownership. We caught up with Justin Jeanneault, Chief Operations Officer, and talked about that history, about the other companies under the Degagne banner, and about their mission to promote the Nipissing District – “perhaps Ontarios’ best kept cottage country secret,” according to Justin. We also tell the story of Appenzell Construction – they are based in Revelstone, BC, and they do both custom homes for clients as well as low-rise multi-residential projects for developers. We spoke with Cameron Lackey, Principal, and he explained what sets his company apart from both perspectives. To read those stories – and more like them, about other industry leaders from across the country – just keep flipping the pages.



THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA With over 90,000 senior executive readers, The Construction Source is proud to offer an attractive platform to share you message with the people that matter most - your customers. Whether your objective is to promote a new condo development, attract financial investment in your upcoming projects, or to build brand recognition, we stand ready to help! To find out more about having your company or latest project feature in The Construction Source, please contact our Group Publisher. Jermaine Poulsen e: The Costruction Source Canada 2201 - 250 Yonge St Toronto, Ontario M5B 2L7 E: Group Publisher Jermaine Poulsen General Manager Alexandra Box Operations Manager Michael Hinden Joshua Stewart-Boyd Head of Editorial Content Paul Harrison Tamara Breen Production Manager Vicki Lee Editor Zach Janes Graphic Design Pranim Thapa

OCTOBER 2022 PARK VIEW HOMES Levelling up DEGAGNE CARPENTRY The Degagne difference APPENZELL CONSTRUCTION Honesty meets quality FOREVER HOMES Homes for forever LAING Reliable quality KANVA Telling a story PINPOINT CONSTRUCTION Raising the standard ASCENT DRYWALL AND COATINGS Predictable and trustworthy MODUS GROUP OF COMPANIES Building better for a better world SOLVEST Nortern solar solutions MILLENNIAL DEVELOPMENTS A modern approach to development INDUSTRY INNOVATIONS INCINERATING TOILETS IN THIS ISSUE NOVEMBER 2022 DEGAGNE CARPENTRY KANVA



THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA Water connection not required Requires little space No odour Easy installation No frost protection needed Secure for children ash to be emptied No waste handling, only and more Bunkies, For Home, Cottages, Shops, 3 - 4 visits per hour High capacity Propane&Electric models ABOUT CINDERELLA ECO GROUP Cinderella Eco Group is a family-owned company located in the north-western coastal community of Midsund in Romsdal, with deep roots in the beautiful Norwegian fjord-landscape. We have more than 20 years’ experience with the Cinderella Incineration Toilet, a water-free, ecological solution for the management of toilet waste. Cinderella, the natural first choice for those who place high demands on quality and functionality. HIGHLIGHTS OF INCINERATION TOILETS:



Levelling up Park View Homes has been building homes in the Ottawa Capital Region for more than 20 years. Throughout their history, they have remained familyowned and operated, and they have always stayed true to their founding mission – which is to provide customers with high quality homes that are liveable affordable, and built to last, located within communities that people can feel proud to call home. Their success at living up to that mission is evidenced by the company’s longevity, as well as their track record of industry awards.

Most recently, at the 2022 CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence, Park View Homes won the category for ‘Best Detached Production Home 2,101 to 2,400 square feet.’ That award-winning project – one of several recent award-winners in Park View’s portfolio – was a model called ‘Modern Country,’ built in North Gower. “Winning that award was a huge boost,” says Logan Davidson, Architectural Designer. “Everyone was excited. It really brought the team together. And it was great for marketing.” Park View Homes has been around since 2001, but only started submitting for awards in the past couple of years which was inspired and driven by Logan. The effort has paid off – since 2019, they have been a finalist every year at the GOHBA awards, and won first place at the national level this year. “The first time we applied we won,” Logan says. “Honestly, the effect that it’s had on the company I could never have imagined. I’m shocked. Not only has it given their team a boost, Logan explains, but once they started marketing the award-winning model, they almost immediately received multiple buyers. “Once people knew we were selling it somewhere it was crazy to see the amount of interest,” he says. “That was a model we had actually never built before. We had built it only once as a model home. Now we have people lined up wanting to build this house.” “It’s definitely not all me,” he says. “Don’t get me wrong, I did the initial design and the drawings, but I have to give NOVEMBER 2022


major props to our interior design team. They took that house to another level. It looked good, but when they were finished with it, it looked even better.” The home also performs really well from an energy efficiency perspective. Logan believes that the judges then – and the buyers now – responded to that fact as well. “It was a huge team effort. The design, the flow, the materials, the colours, the lot size, the location, the quality – all combined it captured people’s attention.” “People are virtually lined up at the door waiting for this house,” Logan reiterates. “In one of our subdivisions, at least eight people want this house. That’s great, but it actually creates a little bit of an issue, because we don’t want to put the same house five lots in a row. We want to manage the streetscape, but at the same time we don’t want to turn people away from a house that is their dream home.” “That’s what we’re dealing with right now,” he says. “It’s almost like we’re selling too many. It’s a good problem to have. NOVEMBER 2022

Attracting attention Park View Homes was founded by Andrew Cinnamon, who first started a plumbing and heating business back in 1990. In 2001, Andrew branched out and formed Park View Homes as a sister company to that original business. Park View started out buildingabout fivehomesayear, but the company grew quickly off the back of their quality and their customer satisfaction. These days, the company builds close to 100 homes per year, mostly in communities surrounding the nation’s capital, including Smiths Falls, Merrickville, Russell, Carleton Place, Beckwith, Osgoode, Winchester, among others. Within these communities, Park View Homes builds townhomes and detached single-family homes. Their single-family homes are “semi-custom,” Logan describes, with clients typically selecting from a range of models that have been designed and engineered for THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

each community. According to Logan, within their semi-custom niche, Park View Homes is set apart by several key factors. Near the top of their list is the fact that they are a family-run business that is heavily invested in the communities in which they build. “We’re not a large corporation that’s building a thousand homes per year,” he says. “We’re a family-run business. We take a family-run business approach.” What that means, Logan elaborates, is that they give their customers their “full attention.” They focus on the details and don’t just push customers through a typical ‘production line’ experience. Another differentiating factor is the locations in which the company builds. Park View generally avoids the city and focuses on the surrounding areas and quaint villages so they can provide their customers with ample country lots in smaller communities, while still offering modern amenities such as high-speed internet. Over the past couple of years, that offering has been especially appealing, as the pandemic has pushed people away from offices and more towards working at home. Park View’s product is well suited for that purpose. Then there’s the quality of the company’s work, which is evidenced by the industry awards they have won. That quality is also on the rise – according to Logan, raising their standards has been a big point of emphasis for Park View Homes in recent years. NOVEMBER 2022

For example, the company is now building their homes more efficiently than ever. As of January this year they have started building ENERGY STAR certified homes in two of their communities. These are homes that feature higher insulation levels, high-efficient heating and cooling systems, additional air-sealing, high-performing windows door and skylights, and other energy efficient products and appliances. The benefits of those homes include more comfortable indoor living, energy savings, and increased resale value. “We’re building these homes so well that they’re almost net-zero ready,” Logan says. “ENERGY STAR and net-zero ready homes are really starting to grab people’s attention. Around the country people are starting to recognize those symbols and what they mean. Now that we’re starting to build those homes, we’re attracting more attention.” “We’re instilling confidence in our clients that we’re taking the time to build their house properly,” he says. “We’re looking into all the details and we’re ensuring that what we’re building is a healthy home, it’s an efficient home, and it’s a home the customer is going to be happy with for many years. That makes us happy too – because we knowwe’re building a product that’s not only built to code, but well above what the code requires.” The company’s rising quality is only possible, Logan adds, because they have a trusted team of subcontractors and suppliers who are on the same page. One such partner is Aleika Stairs and Rails – they are a locallyTHE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

based company that designs and constructs custom stairs, railings, and walk-in showers from only the highest quality materials. Their experience and product expertise is unrivalled in the Ottawa Capital Region. Another example is Glenn Murphy Contracting – a small, Ottawa-area construction company that specializes in custom exterior finishings such as siding, soffit, fascia, eavestrough, roofing, and other various services. They have been working in Ottawa and surrounding areas for more than 10 years, and they similarly use only the best quality materials. That local experience and commitment to quality is a commonality in Park View’s partners. Logan says that Park View has worked hard to build strong relationships with companies like those. One of the keys to building those relationships, he believes, is being respectful and collaborative. As a designer, he has an interesting perspective on the tradesman-designer relationship and how to make it work as well as possible: “There’s sometimes a beef between trades and designers where trades aren’t happy with designers because they don’t think they understand what they go through, and vice versa,” he explains. “I try to eliminate that as much as I can. I’ve been a tradesperson; I’ve worked on sites, so I know it’s hard. Some days it’s superhot, some days it’s super-cold, some days you’re working in tight spaces. As designers, we have to respect that. We have to respect that the team is out there really grinding to make sure that the product is delivered as per the plans.” NOVEMBER 2022

“If you want to provide a really good quality product, you have to make sure that everybody is on the same page,” he adds. “That’s our aim and that can mean going above and beyond sometimes. That includes sometimes going on site to build mock-ups with the trade or the site supervisor. That’s something we’ve started doing this year, and we’ve found it to be really beneficial.” “To assume that someone is going to read your drawings and interpret them 100 % correctly every time, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment,” he adds. “It’s not going to happen. It doesn’t matter how good a draftsperson you are or how many three-dimensional details you provide. Nothing compares to getting out there with the trade and standing there with them. That really gives you a good connection and it can actually alleviate a lot of issues down the line.” THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

Hitting their stride Over the years, Park View Homes has grown almost exponentially, from doing five homes a year to now doing almost 100. Even throughout COVID, their growth has been steady. Moving forward, their goal is not necessarily to get any bigger, but instead to get better. “I think we’re where we want to be,” Logan says. “We’ve hit our stride. We’re in a good spot. We’ve got our numbers, now we want to make our product even better. We want to really look at the details. We want to get down to the nitty gritty of where we can improve.” “We want to make sure each house is built with the same care every single time,” he adds. “We want to be consistent. We want our clients to know we’re consistent. That’s a big thing for us.” Park View also wants to continue increasing their energy efficiency. They have had success building to ENERGY STAR standards this year, and their next goal is to build homes NOVEMBER 2022


that are net-zero ready. “We want to get really good at ENERGY STAR before we start moving to net-zero, but it’s definitely on our radar,” Logan says. “Based on some of the energy testing we’re done, we’re almost there. We’re on the cusp of hitting net-zero ready. We’re on the right track. The results are coming and they’re coming very fast. We’re moving a lot quicker than I thought we’d be able to move. I think that just goes to show the calibre of the team we have here.” Lastly, looking forward, the company also hopes to continue adding to their list of industry accolades. They currently have a custom home up for a GOHBA award, for example, and they submitted that same home to this year’s national awards as well. That will be their second submission ever. Their first submission was a winner, and now they are hoping to go two-for-two. NOVEMBER 2022

THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA For more on Park View Homes, their communities, their home models, and everything that sets them apart – and to get in touch with their team today – visit

The Degagne difference

Degagne Carpentry is a family owned-and-operated construction company based out of Corbeil, Ontario, specializing in custom home building, home renovations and community development. The company was established in 1988 by founder Marcel Degagne, and is now co-owned by his son Daniel Degagne. Throughout their history, they have been designing, renovating, and customizing homes and additions, while also building and maintaining a reputation for both quality construction and creative design.

“We are a dedicated team of professionals with a passion for building quality customhomes,” says Justin Jeanneault, Chief Operations Officer. “We’re in the home building business, but really we are in the relationship building business. When clients choose Degagne Carpentry to build their dream home, they are entrusting us with something very special and we take that very seriously.” “Bringing that dream to life requires a team,” he adds, “and I have to say, we have assembled a team that is absolutely mind blowing – from our framers to the 25-year project management veterans, all our fellow tradesmen and tradeswomen, and everyone in between, they all continue to impress. Our team truly put their heart and soul into every single one of our projects, and I’m not just saying that – my hat goes off to every single one of them, because this company reflects all of us and I’m very proud of what we’re able to accomplish as a team.” Degagne Carpentry’s in-house teams consist of framing crews, exterior finishing crews, project managers, sales and marketing teams, tech support and operations departments, admin staff, accounting staff, and HR support staff. Degagne Carpentry is also one several companies under the Degagne group of companies. Their sister companies include: • Profound Electric, which provides residential and commercial electrical; • DLBuildingGroup, aButler™ builder which specializes in commercial contracting; • Degagne Aggregates, an aggregates company with their own aggregate pits, trucking and machinery; NOVEMBER 2022


• Gus North Bay, which provides emergency response restoration and renovations; and, finally, • Degagne Developments, a property and sub-division development company. Between all the Degagne brands, Justin says the mission statement is the same – “To provide quality products and services.” “Our CEOs are forward thinking visionaries and don’t hesitate to fold in new trades, skillsets, divisions and technology, which help our team push the envelope of what’s possible.” Within the carpentry division alone, a lot is possible, as the company’s capabilities are vast and ever expanding. “If you can dream it, we can build it,” Justin explains. “From the very beginning, we work hand in hand with experienced designers that bring our clients home visions to life. Our sales team simultaneously generates cost breakdowns on the designs which ensures our clients stay on budget.” Once the plans are finalized and the contract signed, the client will have a dedicated project manager who will expertly coordinate all aspects of the home’s construction. “Our project managers have made their way up the ranks of the company, many of them starting as framers many years ago. They are well versed in all aspects of construction and work hand in hand with our NOVEMBER 2022

clients and sub-trades ensuring a beautiful, finished product delivered on time and on budget.” Then there’s the company’s foray into leveraging new technology. In recent years, the company has made an “aggressive pivot” into paperless technology and cloud-based project management tools, further increasing their accuracy and efficiency. “The cloud allows our members to have near instant access to any piece of data, such as architectural sets, permits, inspection reports, quotes, et cetera,” Justin explains. “It helps streamline inter-section coordination, saving us a lot of time and energy which helps make us a more efficient company.” Another example of Degagne’s embrace of technology is their drone support, which they provide in-house. They leverage those capabilities not only for marketing photos and videos, but also for property THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

NOVEMBER 2022 development, client services, 3D map generation, and more. The 3D map generation is particularly fun for clients, Justin says. It allows Degagne to generate an accurate 2D/3D topographical map of any property. They then share the maps with subtrades, project managers or clients. From the comfort of their own homes, clients can walk their available lots virtually. Recently, Degagne has also combined their drone mapping capabilities with QR Codes. They place these QR codes on property signage, allowing clients instant access to any and all relevant information about the lot, including a 2D digital map of the lot which they can see directly on their phone. Justin describes this as “very handy, precise and powerful tool” for walking many of the company’s heavily forested 2.5-plus acre country lots, allowing clients to see their position on the property relative to the lot lines.

A secret revealed Degagne Carpentry has proudly served clients across the Nipissing District – which is approximately three hours north of Toronto, and three hours west of Ottawa. This year, within that region, they are on track to build over 20 unique custom design homes. They are also on track to finish their 22-lot ‘Oakridge Estates’ development – a community surrounded by 130 acres of condo-owned green space. “It’s like a subdivision with its own private green belt owned by the residence of the development,” Justin describes. A little earlier this year, Degagne was excited to announce that they had opened phase 1 of their latest development, called ‘Mystery Estates.’ Phase 1 has 12 lots sized between two-anda-half and nine acres. Phase 2 will have 13 lots between twoand-a-half and seven acres; all nestled in a beautiful aspen forest of East Ferris township, just a stone’s throw away from North Bay. THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

NOVEMBER 2022 “We also have a wide array of build-to-suit lots of various shapes and sizes sprinkled throughout the Nippissing district,” Justin says. “If our clients don’t already own property, we can connect them with a lot and custom home they will love.” Moving forward, Degagne Carpentry’s goal is to continue connecting clients with homes in their family friendly communities. They also want to continue retaining their employees, as their team is integral to that goal. “A collaborative work culture is extremely important to me,” Justin says. “Having a happy team not only makes us more productive, but it also helps us move our product. We are in a relatively small community where our current, past and future clients rub shoulders with many of our team members regularly. A good reputation and happy employees is perhaps one of the keys to our success.” Degagne Carpentry also wants to keep giving back to their local community and to the environment. To that end, they are proud supporters of Tree Canada, a national non-profit organization dedicated to planting and nurturing trees in rural and urban environments in every province across the country. On the topicof theenvironment, Degagne Carpentry further demonstrated their commitment to sustainability when they recently completed their first net zero ready home. They are now proud to say they are the first certified net zero builder in their district. This gives their clients even more tools and options for their


NOVEMBER 2022 custom-built homes, and their hope is to build more to that standard moving forward. “Building quality homes is critical but if we can build them sustainably while minimizing future environmental impacts – that puts the cherry on top. I want to give our clients options, and provide them with a product that’s expertly built, functional, sustainable and environmentally responsible,” Justin says. The last few years have been the company’s busiest ever, and they want to keep riding that wave. “With COVID, there seemed to be an exodus from the bigger cities,” Justin explains. “With the pivot to work from home, it appears as though people realised they perhaps no longer want to be living in an 800 sq foot condo in the middle of downtown Toronto. I think given the choice, many are eager to trade their condos in the congested cities for a gorgeous custom built home on two-and-a-half acre-plus property in a family friendly community. It’s very appealing to a lot of people, and many of my recent clients have made that transition, and love it.” “We’re in the perfect area for residential expansion and I anticipate we’re going to continue to see a lot of growth in our district.” On that note, lastly, Justin says that they want to continue promoting the Nipissing District, and do their part to help the region grow and prosper responsibly. “Nipissing, and specifically the East Ferris municipality, is perhaps Ontario’s best kept cottage country secret,” Justin concludes. “We’re surrounded by pristine lakes and rivers and hectares of untouched forests. But it won’t stay a secret for long, as we’re already seeing record development growth in our area. Many of our recent clients have been from the larger cities, families and retirees looking to trade in the hustle and bustle of city life for a few acres of serenity.”


Honesty meets quality

Photo: Laura Szanto Photography

Appenzell Construction is a Revelstoke-based commercial and residential builder with many years’ experience in luxury home building and renovations. Since forming a little over six years ago, the company has built and maintained a reputation for deliveringopencommunication, skilled craftsmanship, and efficient construction. They strongly believe that openness in communication between owners, designers and trades makes any project run more smoothly, and for over 15 years they have effectively demonstrated that belief to their local community. “We offer a high level of integrity and transparency and pride ourselves on superior quality throughout the building process,” says Cameron Lackey, Principal. Cameron started his career in carpentry at 17 years old. After spending about six years earning experience with a couple different companies in Toronto, he moved to Whistler and started working with another company on high-end luxury homes – “really highend,” he stresses, “at one point I was working on a $50 million home.” In 2016, Cameron decided to take the plunge and strike out on his own. He started by doing decks and other smaller jobs for some contacts in property management. A structural engineer friend eventually trusted him with a $600,000 renovation, and that trust paid off. Armed with that successful project inhis portfolio, Cameron moved to Revelstoke, where the company has grown quickly on the back of their quality and customer service. NOVEMBER 2022 Photo: Laura Szanto Photography


Today, most of Appenzell’s projects are customhomes with values exceeding $1 million. They also build the occasional multi-residential project for developers – something they want to do more of moving forward. Currently, for example, they are building five custom homes and one duplex for a developer. Next year, they will be doing 12 townhomes for another developer, and they have another six custom homes lined up. According to Cameron, both kinds of clients – developers and home owners – choose Appenzell for similar reasons. One of those reasons is their ability to achieve the most env i ronmen t a l l y - e f f i c i en t outcome as possible within their client’s budget. “Growing up, my family was very environmentally conscious,” Cameron explains. “That’s always been a big focus of mine. I build as efficiently as the client can afford. The first house I did we hit Step 4 on the BC Step Code. Every house we’ve done since – except for one, where we came in late in the process – has been Step 4 or Step 5.” “I have the belief that you can build a Step 4 or Step 5 house for the same cost as a minimum code house,” he adds. “We’ve proven that over the years.” Appenzell Construction has also proven the value of getting involved in the design process early, as is their preference. They like to work in collaboration with the architect or designer from the beginning so they can provide their input through the design and preconstruction phases. That way, they can ballpark what things are going to cost as they’re being discussed, and NOVEMBER 2022 Photo: Laura Szanto Photography

they can actively advocate for more-efficient solutions that work for the client’s budget. One thing the company has proven is that they can be trusted. In just a few years in Revelstoke, Cameron believes he’s formed a reputation in the city for being reliable and honest. “Brutal honesty,” he says, “that’s how I’ve built my reputation. I think people know that I’m not full of it. I hear some nightmare stories about other builders, and I never want to hear those stories about me. I want to do things differently.” As an example, Cameron says he hears a lot about builders “going crazy over budget.” He believes it’s the responsibility of both the architect and the builder not to let that happen. “You have to be up front with people from the get-go. You have to be brutally honest, like I said – even though some people might not like that. I think I’ve lost quite a few jobs because of it, but I can live with that. I prefer to work with people who want to have all their cards on the table all the time. That way we can always make the best move when the time comes.” THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA Photo: Laura Szanto Photography

NOVEMBER 2022 Photo: Laura Szanto Photography Making a difference In addition to being honest and reliable, Appenzell Construction also takes pride in delivering quality – that’s the third pillar they have built their reputation on. Cameron says they are able to achieve that quality because of the high calibre of their team. “We have five supervisors-slashlead-carpenters, and they are all on it,” he says. “They know what they’re doing. They know what quality looks like, they know how to deliver it, and that’s what they do.” Appenzell has also fostered relationships with subcontractors and suppliers with similar values. Camerson says that they keep those partners accountable when it comes to pricing, but when they find partners who fit their values and can meet their quality, they tend to hold on to them. “What we look for is ‘no bullshit,’” he says, “We like to work with people who do what they say, and who can deliver for us. And when a problem does come up, how do they react? We also

THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA Photo: MADStudio Co look at that. When there’s an issue, are they just throwing everybody else under the bus? Or do they step up and take responsibility?” An example of a supplier who fits Appenzell’s criteria is Home Hardware in Revelstoke. They are independently-owned, genuinely Canadian company that has the backing of a national corporation, but that still offers small town service to local builders like Appenzell. Appenzell has been working with them closely for over five years. Moving forward, Appenzell’s goal is to continue to strengthen their relationshipswithpartners like that. As they grow, they also hope to find partners who fit that bill – and they do want to grow, Cameron says, they just mean to do it “methodically.” “I’ve watched a lot of builders go from 0 to 100 and lose control,” he says. “I don’t want to lose control. I don’t want to risk compromising my quality. I want to grow one step at a time.” Astheygrow,onethingCameron hopes to do is build more of his own homes on spec. That way, he can build as sustainably and environmentally-efficiently as he wants to. He would love to do a fully passive home, for example, and he hasn’t yet been able to do that for a client. Lastly, as previously mentioned, Appenzell is also interested in doing more multi-family work for developers. Cameron believes that’s where he can make the most difference from an environmental perspective – simply because they are building multiple homes at once, instead of just one, and the more efficient homes they can build, the better. “There are other builders out there building passive houses,

and that’s great,” Cameron concludes. “That’s amazing, even. I love passive houses building. But they are only doing one house at a time and maybe they’re doing four houses a year – and they’re really expensive houses, because it’s all high-end building materials. I think the future needs more, and they need them at a lower cost. I want to be able to do that. I want to be able to make energy-efficiency more accessible. I think when others see us doing that – and they see that it’s affordable – then they will start adopting these principles for themselves.” NOVEMBER 2022 Photo: MADStudio Co Photo: Laura Szanto Photography

THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA Photo: MADStudio Co For more on Appenzell Construction, their services, their projects, and to hear from their past customers – and to get in touch with Cameron and his team today – visit Photo: MADStudio Co

Homes for forever Forever Homes is a London, Ontario new home builder that has been constructing not just houses, but homes and communities, since 1993. Over their almost-30-year history, they have remained family-ownedand-operated, and they have delivered over 750 new homes in over 20 neighborhoods. Today, they are well known regionally for their wealth of experience, expertise, creativity and professionalism – which are qualities they bring to every new home and community and they take on.

“Our business has been around for a long time and we’ve built a very good reputation,” says Phil Gonzalez, Vice President of Construction. “That reputation is very important to us, and it’s very important to everyone on our team. Everyone here knows that they have to bring their best to every project. They have to be honest, they have to work hard, and they have to deliver really good quality – because that’s what Forever Homes is known for.” “Forever Homes is a longstandingreputablebuilder,” adds Jeff Fung, Vice President of Operations. “People know what to expect from us. They know what our value proposition is and they know what we bring to the table. They know we’re willing to go the extra mile for customers. We’ve proven that. It’s our job to make sure we maintain that reputation.” Forever Homes was founded by Richard Fung and Betty Tam, who arrived in Canada from Hong Kong in 1990. They came to the country seeking the ‘Canadian Dream,’ and on their journey they quickly realized the significant of purchasing a new home. They started Forever Homes with the vision of helping others on their journeys. They understood how stressful buying a new home could be, and they committed themselves to providing clients with a level of service that would make them comfortable and confident in their decision. Jeff is the son of Richard and Betty, and represents the second generation of Forever Homes. His first experience with the company was working on-site over summer breaks while at school. Phil, meanwhile, joined Forever Homes in 2003 as a co-op student. Over the years, both of them have NOVEMBER 2022


steadily risen through the company ranks as the company has grown. And the company has definitely grown. Phil recalls nine years ago, when they were primarily a single-family home builder, employing about seven people, and building between 30 and 40 homes per year. These days, they employ about 30 people, they produce a lot more units, and while they still do the occasional single family home, the vast majority of their work is comprised of townhomes and low-rise multi-family developments. In addition to new homes, Forever Homes also develops communities. Past examples include Creekview – a community located in the north of London, in one of the city’s newest up-and-coming neighborhoods – Kilworth Heights – located in London’s west side, near both the 401 and 402 – and Wickerson Hills – located in west London, in the historic Byron neighborhood. All three of those communities are now sold out. Forever Homes’ latest community is ‘Townhomes of Unity Square’ – which comprises 69 townhomes in Komoka, Ontario. Jeff describes Unity Square as a “people-centred community surrounded by nature,” where residents “can enjoy a rural lifestyle with easy access to all the big city amenities.” He says residents will have ample opportunity to enjoy large parks and greenspaces, while at the same time having easy and quick access to the 401 and being close to city amenities in London. He also says residents will enjoy the “modern, European feel” of the townhomes, which were NOVEMBER 2022

Visit our NEW Showroom 3593 White Oak Rd, London WWW.GRANDRIVERSTONE.COM BR I CK | S TONE | B LOCK WWW.BRAMPTONBRICK.COM Shop where the professionals shop! all designed for “comfort, aesthetics, and security.” Townhomes of Unity Square is the first phase of the Unity Square community – and so far, that community has been very well received by local stakeholders. According to Jeff, feedback from the township has been very positive, as has feedback from the business community. “The township is very excited, and the broader business community is excited as well, as it will bring a lot of people to Komoka,” Jeff says. “It’s a growing community and a development like this will help with that growth. That’s something that excites us as well.” THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

A vision for growth Forever Homes has been around for a long time. Both Jeff and Phil credit that longevity to the company’s team – which includes not just their in-house employees, but also their roster of subcontractors and trades. When it comes to the latter group, Jeff says a lot of those relationships go back 10 years, some go back 15 years, and a few go back even longer. “We have a good reputation within the construction community,” Jeff says. “Our trades know what to expect when they’re working with us, and we know what to expect from them.” All that said, Forever Homes is a company that is growing quickly, and that growth has necessitated bringing on some newer trades as well. “As we scale up, we always look within our team first, and we offer our trades a chance to NOVEMBER 2022

grow with us,” Phil says, “but understandably, not all of them can expand, and not all of them want to expand. We’ve had to bring some new people on board. Fortunately, we’ve had some success at finding people who fit our culture and share our vision.” Jeff and Phil also credit Forever Homes’ success – in particular, their recent success – to the company’s systems and processes. Since the pandemic, especially, they have invested a lot of time and energy into refining those systems and processes and into making sure they were operating as efficiently as possible. “During COVID, there was a big shift internally,” Phil recalls. “We had a chance to look in the mirror and figure out our processes. What was previously pen and paper, we’ve turned digital. We’ve quickened our response times. We’ve standardized our quality control. We’ve embraced new technology.” That effort has paid off, according to Phil – he says that customers have “seen and felt” the improvement. “Everything we’ve done is with our customer experience in mind. Our goal has been to make that experience as simple and seamless as possible. We want them to be able to buy from us with confidence. That was Richard and Betty’s vision when they started the company, and that’s still our vision now.” Moving forward, Forever Homes’ goal is to continue honouring that founding vision, even as the company grows – THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

and again, growth is definitely on the horizon. This year they expect to deliver around 120 units, and they have about 700 more units in their pipeline that they plan to deliver over the next five years. “We want to keep developing,” Phil says. “We feel like we’ve opened some eyes with our last few projects. We’ve attracted the attention of some investors. We want to keep going down that path. We want to keep bringing new communities to the market.” “We’re all about providing value,” Jeff concludes. “That’s always been an important part of our business – we want to offer value to all of our stakeholders. Whether they are a trade, a customer, a vender, a supplier, or anyone we work with, we want to make sure they are getting good value for their dollar or for their effort. Right now, we think attacking that multi-family space is where we can provide the best value to the market.” NOVEMBER 2022

THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA For more on Forever Homes – including more on their homes, their past and current communities, and the their latest news – visit

Reliable quality

LAING is a longstanding and industry-leading walls and roofing company that has been serving the Okanagan and beyond for more than 35 years. In that time, they have completed over 4,000 projects spanning four provinces and territories, and they have built a reputation for both safety and quality. Their clients have included some of the largest contractors in the country, and their work has included some of the most vital infrastructure projects in Western Canada. According to Darran Light, President, those high-profile clients trust LAING with those important projects due to their track record. He says they have built some loyal and longstanding relationships with contractors, and the foundation of that loyalty is their “past successful projects.”



“Clients know they can rely on us,” he says. “They know that when they are ready for the walls to go on, that we’re not going to let them down. We’re going to be there. We’re going to keep to their schedule. We’re going to live up to their quality expectations. We’re going to have open communication. That’s what makes our relationships successful.” LAING was founded by Ross Laing in 1987. Darran, a journeyman roofer, joined the company not long after, in the spring of 1988. In the early years, the company worked out of “a little shop downtown,” mainly doing flat roofing and a little bit of cladding. In the early-2000s, Darran was brought into the office, where Ross taught him how the business operated. Darran then bought into the company, and in the two decades since, he’s helped grow the company exponentially – both in terms of both size and service offering. “Here we are in 2022 with somewhere around the neighborhood of 100plus employees, with a full office staff, with a full metal department, and with two branches covering the whole Okanagan,” he says. “It’s been a real journey.” Today, LAING provides clients with a host of full building envelope services, including roofing, sheet metal, waterproofing, and wall system installations of commercial, industrial and large scale projects. In addition to major projects, the company also does maintenance and repairs. Their service team “can help with everything from shingles to light membrane solutions – and everything in between,” Darran says. NOVEMBER 2022


These days, LAING also does a majority of their work in-house, with their own machines in their own yard. They have their own 18x8 high-speed CNC router table, for example, and they fabricate their own ACM panels. They also have two CNC brakes, so they fabricate their own flashings. When it comes to steel, Darran says they can “make anything custom inhouse – if you can think it up, we can build it.” With their substantial capacity, LAING can take on a wide variety of projects, including some major ones. A recent example is the $45-million expansion of the Penticton General Hospital, where LAING did all the wall panel systems. Darran describes that project as “challenging, for sure.” “We were timeline-challenged as well as accessibilitychallenged,” he says. “It was an existing structure, and there was only so much access. It was an 11-storey building and most of the panels were put on through a swing stage. Just manipulating the swing stage to where we had to get to was really difficult at times.” Another recent example of a major project would be the recently-completed Phantom Creek Estates Winery in Oliver. There, LAING worked in conjunction with Keith Panel Systems (KPS), who offer a product called Ombrae™ – which is a panel that uses computer digital processing and state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques to create three-dimensional pixels in the panel surface, with each pixel reflecting a varying tone of light, and ultimately generating imagery on the panel surface. At Phantom Creek Estates, “the whole bottom of the building NOVEMBER 2022

was these panels,” Darran says. “That was the first time we experienced that product, and it turned out very well,” he adds. “The result was stunning.” Currently, LAING is working on a similarly adventurous project, which is the KF Aerospace Centre of Excellence inKelowna. That building a non-profit exhibition and conferences centre designed to celebrate the Okanagan’s 50-year history of aviation while delivering a memorable and immersive experience. “That’s a huge building,” Darran says. “We’re doing all the roofing, all the wall systems. And it’s challenging, because when you look at that building from the front, it looks like a giant airplane. So we had to figure out how to curve our ACM panels. When it’s done, it’s going to be a major showcase of what we can do and what we’re capable of. When people see the end result, I think they’re going to be blown away.” As previously mentioned, Darran believes that clients come to LAING with those complex projects due to their history and reputation. In particular, he believes it’s their reputation for being open and honest and communicative that clients respond to. “Some contractors are standoffish, they don’t want to deal with people,” he says. “That’s not us. We like to build personal relationships and have open lines of communication. If there ever is a problem, we want to be able to sit down and talk about it right away, and we want to talk about it openly and honestly. Maybe something wasn’t allotted for. Maybe the design has changed. No matter what theproblemis, thesolution THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

starts with a conversation. We want to have that conversation without everyone getting into a defensive mode.” Darran also believes that clients respond to LAING’s reliability. He says they have a reputation for always showing up on time and almost always completing projects on schedule. He credits that capability to their manpower, and to their ability to attract and retain talented employees. “Building an employee base is key. If you can’t keep good employees, then you can’t have sustainability. If you want to have successful project after successful project, year in and year out, then you need a base of employees that have been with you through thick and thin.” “I think that’s where we’re different than some other companies,” he explains. “We really focusonmakingourselves the best possibly company to work for. We value our people above everything else. They’re everything to us. I don’t think all companies feel that way. I think in some places, an employee is just a number. That’s not the case here. Nobody here is just a number to us.” LAING is committed to their employees, to their safety, and to their wellbeing, Darran says – and that commitment is reflected in their retention. “We have a lot of long-term employees. I have an employee here that started out with us at 18 years old as a labourer. Now he’s 32 and he’s our sheetmetal superintendent. He’s grown with the company. He’s gotten married. He’s had kids. He’s bought a house. He was a high-school graduate when he came to us. That’s a pretty common story here.” LAING has worked hard to NOVEMBER 2022


maintain an environment where that kind of growth is possible, Darran adds. They’ve also worked hard to foster a culture where everyone feels respected, and “everyone is happy to come to work in the morning.” “We want to have a successful environment for everyone. We want people to come to work happy and go home happy. We believe that’s when they are at their best.” LAING doesn’t just look for that culture fit in their employees, however. They also strive to work with likeminded subcontractors, suppliers, and vendors. An example of such a partner is Engineered Architecturals – they are company that supplies and provides technical support for specialty exterior architectural products. Their support ranges from technical detailing and specification to budgeting and supply. They are successful due to their strong relationships with both customers and manufacturers. According to their founder and owner, Nathan Morlock, their mission is “to help customers to do their best work, maintain profitability, and build beautifully.” According to Darran, meanwhile, that kind of passion and commitment is what LAING looks for in all their partners. NOVEMBER 2022


Continued growth Moving forward, LAING’s goal is to continue taking on projects of all types. They enjoy the highprofile and challenging jobs, and they hope clients continue to come to them first with those kinds of projects, but they also want to do smaller projects and take on service contracts with their service division. Darran believes that diversity is the path to continued growth. “I think if you’re not growing then you’re shrinking, to be honest,” he says. “I’ve never taken the attitude of ‘We’re big enough, we don’t need to be any bigger.’ At the same time, I’m not sitting here saying ‘I want to employ 200 people next year.’ If that happens, if the economy allows it, then that’s what we’ll do – but we’re not going to get bigger just for the sake of hitting a number. If we’re going to get bigger, it’s going to be to better service our clients.” “So we’re going to keep our eyes open,” he concludes. “If there’s an opportunity, we’ll jump on it. That’s how we’ve grown so far. That’s worked out well for us.” NOVEMBER 2022