Double H ConstruCtion ltD Double H ConstruCtion ltD

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Double H ConstruCtion ltD Double H ConstruCtion ltD
FORUM
A Trade and Lifestyles Publication
Double H Construction Ltd
Twice the Talent, Twice the Satisfaction
Double H Construction Ltd.
Twice the Talent, Twice the Satisfaction
by John Reynolds
In every custom home or renovation
project Harry deHaan tackles, his insistence on uncompromisingly high standards is driven by a job assignment he
took several years prior to launching his
firm Double H Construction Ltd.
problems,” Harry says in his relaxed,
affable delivery. “I along with an assistant, spent four months correcting and
repairing problems that should have
been done correctly when the homes
were built.”
quality and value, and often are. “I decided that when I launched my own
building company,” he says, “everything
would be done according to my standards and my customers’ expectations.
There would be just no other way.”
“I was hired by a large tract-housing
builder to go through their big development, house by house, and correct
The experience alerted him to the fact
that minimum building code requirements can be met without regard for
Harry and his wife Heather, who handles bookkeeping and general accounting, manages to achieve this thanks to
the unique blend of abilities that Harry
brings to each project.
First is Harry’s extensive experience.
Entering construction during and then
directly after high school, he began literally at the bottom of the business by
building concrete foundations. From
there he moved to framing, began a
carpentry apprenticeship through Mo
hawk College, and was than hired on
with a custom home builder installing
trim, drywalling and other functions.
He still can complete almost virtually
every stage of the construction process. As a result, Double H works with
small crews on a limited number of
projects each year, and the crews frequently include Harry himself. Double
H clearly isn’t interested in becoming
the biggest custom homebuilder in
the business. Just one of the best.
Harry also provides design and drawing services for each custom homebuilding and renovation project, delivering a valuable benefit to Double H
customers. Even dedicated architects
and contractors may lock horns over
interpreting design and construction
details, a situation that can lead to finger-pointing, delays, and unnecessary
expense for the customer. Not with
Double H. Harry designs and draws
what he knows he can build precisely
as he envisions it and as the customer
expects it.
“We take a practical approach to the
design aspect,” he explains. “When
customers come to us we discuss their
needs, then ask them to bring pictures
from magazines or photographs of the
style of house they want.” Once the
general style and size are established,
Harry goes to work incorporating the
design into a floor plan to match the
customer’s needs.
“My own preference is toward Victorian-era designs,” he says, “the ones dating back when homes were the centre
of family life. Our homes are as modern as we can make them, but the design reflects the family-centred idea in
ways that customers appreciate.”
Like porches, for example. In Victorian
times, the porch – or veranda, as it was
likely called a hundred years ago – was
a practical extension of the living area.
In a Double H home it still is. Harry deHaan designs porches at least 8 to 10
feet (2.4 to 3 metres) deep, providing
lots of weather-sheltered room for rockers, settees, or playing games on a rainy
summer’s day.
A custom-built home should be complete from the day the new owners take
possession, Harry contends, and he insists on wrapping up details that may
surprise customers. Consider his approach to garages, which he insist must
always be dry-walled and finished, ready
for homeowners to store tools and implements in an organized neat fashion
as soon as they move in.
Is this overkill? Harry disagrees. “Ga-
rages are an extension of the house,”
he points out, “and the kind of vehicles
that our customers put in them represent a large investment. So why not treat
the garage with the same respect as the
rest of the house?”
It makes sense. An unfinished garage,
with exposed framing and wiring, is at
odds with the design and construction
effort invested in the rest of the home.
The pride in owning a new custom
home displaying the owner’s taste and
the builder’s expertise can be quickly
diluted with one glance inside a cluttered, uncompleted garage.
Many quality aspects in a Double H
home are not nearly as visible as a finished garage, but become significant
after years of comfort and trouble-free
living for the occupants. They include
Harry’s insistence on poured concrete
foundations over less sturdy cinderblock construction, and trim materials carefully selected according to the
room design and proportions.
Saving a few dollars by choosing less expensive materials rated “good enough”
is not part of Harry’s philosophy. He
insists on using half-inch spruce plywood for roofs and three-quarter inch
spruce plywood for floors, noting that
the extra cost pays for itself by maintaining their integrity and appearance
far longer than cheaper materials.
But even top quality materials cannot
ensure the uncompromising level of
quality that Harry demands. He also
insists on enlisting the finest tradespeople available, preferring teams who
have proven their abilities and reliability on past projects. They are aware of
Harry’s insistence on both a professional attitude and appearance on
the job site, which includes following
a minimum dress code. “The people I
choose share my idea of what a quality home should be,” Harry says. “How
it should be built, what it should look
like, and how it should stand up over
the years. They take the same amount
of pride in their work as I do, and without pride in your work it will never be
as good as you can make it.”
The most recent source of pride for
Harry and Double H is being registered
with NRCAN and the awarding of EnerGuide certification for new homes to
the company. “Our policy of exceeding
minimum code requirements to deliver
the most energy-efficient homes to our
customers made this possible,” Harry
says. “The certification process commits
and confirms that our new homes will
meet and exceed the new efficiency rating of 80 percent energy efficiency as
per “EnerGuides” Energy Star rating system. In addition to cutting heating and
cooling costs, and ensuring long-term
reliability for Double H customers, the
EnerGuide certification cuts the time
needed to obtain various permits in the
planning and construction process. It’s a
win-win for both us and the customer.”
Beyond the practical aspects of delivering quality materials and workmanship
in every project, Harry and Heather
enjoy working closely with customers to
ensure that every objective is met within
time and budget constraints.
“When discussing projects at the early
stage,” Harry says, “I explain the concept
of three critical values, and how you can
really choose just two out of the three.”
With a pencil and a sheet of paper,
Harry draws a simple triangle. He
writes Cost on one point of the triangle,
Schedule on another point, and Quality on the third. The customer, Harry
explains, can choose to emphasize two
of the three points. If the emphasis is
to be on quality and cost control, sacrifice must be made to the scheduling.
Should scheduling be the critical factor,
with an early target date, either control
over cost or the level of quality will require reassessment. The formula is not
intended to constrain client expectations, but to deal with realistic goals and
avoid promises that can’t be kept.
Harry and Heather deHaan of Double H Construction
“The last thing we and our customers
want to sacrifice is quality,” Harry says.
“So we consider the other alternatives,
and choose the most practical when
planning the work schedule.”
Customers of Double H Homes appreciate this kind of directness. Most also
understand the benefits of dealing with
a firm that provides the design concepts
and working drawings as well as the construction expertise, backed by a small
core of outstanding tradesmen, to make
their dream a reality.
And they are generally surprised and
pleased to learn that often the last man
off the job site each evening is the same
person inspecting and cleaning it up,
often with a broom and shovel: Harry
deHaan.
“It’s my way of making sure things are
done correctly,” Harry shrugs. “It’s the
only way I know how to work.”
And also the best way.
Double H Construction Ltd.
991 Powerline Rd. West,
Ancaster, ON L0R 1T0
Tel 905.648.4600
Fax 905.648.4688
www.doublehconstruction.ca