Thursday, November 7, 2013

Endorsed by Mike Holmes

Any person who speaks honestly, openly, and candidly without blushing is alright by me. When it comes down to possessing those characteristics, I have a new hero and his name is John Liptak, the CEO of OakWood Renovation Experts in Ottawa, which is the first renovation company it its area to partner with Mike Holmes as a Holmes Referred Contractor. When asked why many renovators don't like Mike Holmes, Liptak made the bold statement “They’re jealous. He’s probably irritated a lot of people.” Truer words were never spoken! If there's one thing other contractors have learned from someone like Mike is that it takes a lot of courage to stand up against the juggernaut that is the renovation industry and not expect a lot of blow back. When it comes to upholding and living by only the most stringent of standards that comes with carrying Mike's endorsement, companies like OakWood Renovation Experts don't run, and they don't make excuses. Instead, they innovate and create better and faster ways to make it right for the homeowner, as this article from the Ottawa Citizen underscores. I think if more renovators were willing to speak up and stand up like John Liptak did, consumers would be better protected against the "underground guys" who don't know enough or care enough to do the job right.
From the Ottawa Citizen:

Endorsed by Mike Holmes

 By Patrick Langston, Ottawa Citizen November 7, 2013
 A year after partnering with Randall’s to open Renovation Design Centres at the four Randall’s locations in Ottawa, OakWood president and CEO John Liptak and COO Patricia Liptak-Satov are now teaming up with celebrity contractor Mike Holmes.

Photograph by: Bruno Schlumberger, Ottawa Citizen

OakWood Renovation Experts has been named as the first Ottawa-area operation to join Holmes Referred Contractors. Launched by HGTV celebrity contractor Mike Holmes, the program helps homeowners find businesses that have been acknowledged by the Holmes organization as providing quality service.
OTTAWA — OakWood Renovation Experts, a fourth-generation family business, has been named as the first Ottawa-area operation to join Holmes Referred Contractors.
Launched by Mike Holmes, the brawny contractor behind popular television series such as Holmes on Homes and Holmes Makes It Right, the Referred Contractors program helps homeowners find businesses that have been acknowledged by the Holmes organization as providing quality service.
Holmes is signing up new members across the country and announcements of more Ottawa-area contractors can be expected in the future.
“We’re really pleased,” says OakWood president John Liptak. “Mike Holmes has incredible brand recognition. We haven’t met one client yet who doesn’t speak highly of him.”
Holmes is the scourge of sloppy and dishonest construction practices, and renovators don’t always speak well of him, adds Liptak. “They’re jealous. He’s probably irritated a lot of people.”
Before being added to the referred contractor list, businesses undergo an extensive vetting, including reference checks and job site inspections by the Holmes team.
In an email about OakWood, Holmes says the company has developed “one of the most sophisticated systems for managing a renovation that I’ve ever seen. It gives contractors a clear idea of what their client wants and homeowners the freedom and power to get what they want, which cuts the time to make it right.”
Homeowners can access the free Referred Contractors service at Within 72 hours of completing an online form describing the project, a homeowner receives contact information for up to three qualified contractors and decides which to choose. The contractors receive the homeowner’s contact information for followup. To help in making a final contractor selection, the homeowner receives a trade-specific checklist from the Holmes organization.
Partnering with Holmes, which OakWood announced on its website in October, is already paying off, according to Liptak. “There are leads coming in specifically because of the partnership.”
Liptak says the contractor program and Holmes’ high profile should also help combat the flourishing underground economy in renovations by making homeowners more aware of the importance of having work done by qualified companies.
A 2010 survey found 56 per cent of Ontario homeowners had paid cash for a home repair or renovation job. Those cash payments cost the provincial government an estimated $2.6 billion annually in lost HST, income taxes and other revenue.
As well, there’s little chance of recouping money paid to a cash-only contractor who does a poor or even dangerous job.
“I don’t mind competing with other legitimate builders, but not with the underground guys,” says Liptak.
Membership in the contractors program comes at a busy time for OakWood. Liptak says the company will likely exceed 400 projects and $22 million in revenue this year. “It started slow but it started skyrocketing in March and April,” he says.
That skyrocketing will likely continue as the OakWood-Holmes partnership, for which OakWood pays no money, expands.
Along with being a referred contractor, OakWood is now a member of the Holmes Approved Homes program. That means the company, which has managed homebuilding projects for many years, will now design and build green, custom homes that are inspected by the Holmes team several times during construction. OakWood will roll this operation out in full force in 2014.
The company is also preparing to launch a green infill housing operation with the Holmes Group this coming spring. It will focus on areas such as Westboro, the Glebe and New Edinburgh.
As well, the two organizations are sharing ideas on homebuilding technology, including software.
Finally, OakWood plans to partner in the next year or so with Holmes Communities to build ultra-green, sustainable communities in Ottawa. Holmes Communities, the real estate development division of The Holmes Group, builds houses that have low environmental impact during construction and use geothermal, solar and other alternative power sources.
Says Liptak, “We very excited to be doing all this.”

No comments:

Post a Comment