By Alison King

Amsted Design-Build is no stranger to the winner’s circle. The Stittsville company has been honoured with the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association Housing Design Award for Renovator of the Year six times, including back-to-back wins in 2014 and 2015.

At the Ontario Home Builders’ Association Awards of Distinction held in September, the company reached another milestone, taking home its first provincial Renovator of the Year title. Amsted also accepted the provincial award for Most Outstanding Home Renovation with a retail value between $250,001–$500,000 for a whole-home transformation on Island Park Drive, one of the oldest and most beautiful streets in Ottawa.

Renovator of the Year is a relatively new category for the provincial industry awards. It recognizes innovation and excellence in residential construction across Ontario, as well as outstanding professionalism and integrity within a company’s business, industry and community at large.

With 25 years of experience and a reputation for personalized service, Amsted more than meets the award criteria. At the heart of the company’s success lie its core values: integrity, excellence and teamwork, notes Amsted founder Steve Barkhouse.

“We are proud to have been recognized several times at the local level, but this win takes us one step further,” says Barkhouse. “Our company is fuelled by a belief in our core values, one of which encourages us to strive for advancement toward a higher stage. It’s great to see that realized in such a concrete way.”

“The Association introduced the Renovator of the Year category in 2014 and it’s been a wonderful addition to our annual Awards of Distinction,” said Ontario Home Builders’ Association President John Meinen. “It allows us to recognize the creativity, innovation and high quality work being done by Ontario renovators and to honour exceptional businesses like Amsted Design-Build, which exemplifies the high standards of professionalism and customer service that all our members strive to achieve.”

Barkhouse founded Amsted Design-Build in 1989 as a one-man operation. Since then the company has grown to a 60-person team representing a combined total of more than 450 years’ experience in the construction industry. Barkhouse leads by example with his people-pleasing nature, ensuring a people-first corporate culture that encompasses clients, employees and partners.

It’s one of the reasons several staff boast more than 15 years of experience with Amsted. This loyalty and long-term stability allows the company to invest in regular ongoing training, and helps ensure that all team members are on the cutting edge of building practices and techniques, including LEED-certified design, heritage preservation and green building.

Recognizing that the home renovation experience can be a daunting, even intimidating experience for many customers, Amsted prides itself on making the process as easy as possible. Apart from conducting seminars in the community on renovation planning, appearing on CTV News in Ottawa to discuss reno trends, and providing extensive information, images and testimonials on its website, the company has learned through experience how to gently guide clients through the entire process.

“When you choose Amsted, you can be confident that we understand what’s important to our clients, from expert design and beautiful, high-quality workmanship to respecting the need to keep their home as clean and organized as possible while we complete our work,” Barkhouse observes. “A process developed through client feedback guarantees we will finish on time and on budget, while our personalized service ensures their space is beautifully transformed into a home that is uniquely theirs. It’s so important to us that they will enjoy their home for years to come that we stand behind our work with our industry-leading five-year warranty, providing peace of mind to our clients.”