A Nanaimo company’s approach to custom home building has paid off with growth and awards.
Alair Homes was founded in 2006 by Blair McDaniel.
In 2012, Stu Hopewell, now Alair Homes regional partner for Vancouver Island and Washington State, who was employed in the construction supply industry decided he wanted to run his own business and approached McDaniel about a partnership and they struck a deal.
Hopewell took over Alair’s construction operations on the Island, leaving McDaniel to concentrate on expanding the company.
Alair Homes – which maintains its head office operations in Nanaimo – in just four years has grown to 77 locations across Canada and the U.S.
“We just had our annual general meeting in Arizona and looking around the room at 200 and some people from 77 locations and three or four years ago there was four of us. It’s kinda neat,” Hopewell said.
Alair focuses on clients looking to renovate existing homes or want build new custom homes. Alair has builders who operate as franchisees and perform the construction, while Alair takes care of supply, billing and other bookkeeping. The client makes all design choices – Alair does not build “package” homes – and Alair handles everything else on their behalf.
“It allows all of our offices to just focus on client satisfaction and quality control on-site because we all know that these guys that are building beautiful homes, typically aren’t great at bookkeeping,” Hopewell said. “So if we take care of all that, they focus on what they’re good at. We take that away from them and it’s been successful and that’s why our growth is what it’s been.”
Alair’s construction management network has completed more than 1,800 premier custom home and renovation contractor projects and is earning recognition for the quality of its work.
The company was recently presented with the Custom Home valued under $750,000 Georgie Award from the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of B.C. for a home completed at Nanaimo’s Chateau Wolff Estate winery.
“A great deal of the accreditation need’s to go to the project manager, Dan Benoit … but when we’re sitting in Vancouver at the Georgie Awards and I’m looking around at the old school builders from Vancouver who have been doing it for years and living in multi-million dollar houses and driving fancy cars, it’s nice to see a small company from Nanaimo winning some awards.”