‘Top quality team’ wins again

By Francie Healy

Timing can sometimes be sweet, and last fall it was sweetest of all for Amsted Design Build. The company received, for the fifth time, the Greater Ottawa Home Builder Award for Renovator of the Year – coinciding with its 25th anniversary.

Owner Steve Barkhouse says it is a triumph for the entire Amsted team.

“When we were notified, we were together as a team,” he says. “We made the submission as a team, and we celebrated as a team.”

In fact, teamwork was one of the factors that helped the company win the award. The judges praised Amsted for its “top quality team” as well as “successful and lasting client relationships” and “life-changing renovations”.

Sweet, too, is the fact that this particular award is not for one project but for a whole body of work. It covers two years of work in both design and construction. It looks at testimonials from clients, the company’s business philosophy, its core values, its proven successes, community involvement, and innovation.

Although Amsted is an old hand at winning Renovator of the Year awards, this time it was a bit more challenging (and satisfying) because the judging was different.

Rather than an assessment by local Ottawa judges, the process expanded to judges, industry professionals themselves, all across Ontario – people who were most likely unfamiliar with Amsted or its past awards. The judges, in different locations rather than in one room together, received submission packages, made their deliberations and returned their opinions.

Steve says the Amsted team is so good because its personnel are the industry’s cream of the crop.

“I found the first talented few,” he says. “Then they helped me find a few more. And now, because of our reputation and the things we do to make Amsted a great place to work, people come to us. When there’s an opening, we get to choose the best.”

He adds: “We’ve really built a great team. We’re all following the same direction.”

After that big win, the team celebrated. The next day, they had a meeting,

Were they tempted to rest on their laurels?

“Not at all,” laughs Steve. “Everyone immediately wanted to know how we could get even better for next year.”