Toronto-based Eringate Homes has been garnering a strong reputation across the GTA and surrounding regions in its pursuit of excellence across the custom home and multi-family markets. The company draws on decades worth of experience and is built on a foundation of high-quality construction while offering excellent value and creating a superior standard for clients and investors alike.  Build Canada Magazine got the opportunity to speak with Project Manager Jack Lewis about the company’s innovative solutions, detailed building process, and their capacity to identify properties and locations that are prime for development.

Client committed –  At the core of Eringate Homes continued success is the company’s deep commitment to listening to and incorporating even the simplest of needs of their clients. The longevity and sustainability of their company is a true testament to the commitment of many people, and their collective effort to continue to anticipate, meet, and exceed the expectations of their clients.

What kind of housing is Eringate Homes focused on building?

JL:  We are quite a diverse builder, and we specialize in everything from custom homes, townhomes, to mid-rise communities and low-rise subdivisions.  Our years of experience allows us to not only be flexible and meet the demands of the market, but it allows us to meet each client’s specific needs.  We have certainly elevated our capability, and our ability to take on larger projects.  We’re currently in the process now of expanding our product offering into the high-rise market and we have a few projects in the works.

Do you feel that having that flexibility allows you to step ahead of the competition?

JL:  Absolutely.  Our developments provide a lot of flexibility for different segments of the market, from families starting out, to empty nesters that are downsizing.  We pride ourselves on the core value of quality, so it all starts and stops with the quality we put into our projects.  We are very meticulous about the details, not only with the craftsmanship throughout the build, but the ability to follow those tight schedules accordingly and deliver the home or project on time. 

What is your project delivery approach, and how do you work together to ensure a positive and seamless experience in creating a quality development? 

JL:  Our projects typically go through 2 phases of the construction management process: the preliminary phase and the construction phases, and both are equally important in the overall scope of the project.  It is during the preliminary phase where plans and schematics are finalized, construction materials are selected, and the proper permits are filed with the city.  We have a team of professionals that include an in-house design team, architects, and engineers that iron out any details or need to make any adjustments before any build moves to the construction phase of the project.  The construction team then takes over. This team consists of project managers, coordinators, site staff, and a senior project manager that oversees operations on the ground.  We are always in constant communication with one another, all working together to attain the end goal. – a superior final product that is perfect for each client.

And this collaboration must also extend to your key partners and various trades and subcontractors, how important are those partnerships?

JL:  We have a detailed vetting process with our subcontractors, so we are always working with professional, well-managed companies in all our projects.  To continue to drive our success, we develop long-lasting relationships with our trade partners, vendors, and subcontractors.  Through their expertise, we receive the highest-quality information about new products and developments in the industry, so we value the relationships we have built with them and it leads to continued success.

All in the details – The value of a well-designed custom home can’t be overstated. Rather than settling for what a builder thought you might want or what the previous homeowners liked, when you choose to build a custom-designed home you get a unique creation that matches your lifestyle, functional requirements, and aesthetic preferences.

As a project manager, does Eringate’s project delivery model change when you are working on a 6,000 square foot home or a 6 storey, 150 unit mid-rise subdivision?

JL:  The delivery process is generally the same, however, larger scale subdivisions clearly have more moving parts.  More schedules and timelines to keep, bigger contracts, an increased amount of trades and subcontractors to hire, more spec selections and finishings to select from, and an entire sales team that markets the project.  That’s where managing schedules and timelines are important, it keeps everyone on the same page to deliver the final project on time.  Building homes in a subdivision is budget oriented, while a custom home is more client focused.

Can you tell us about your in-house design team and how they work with a new client?

JL:  Our in-house design team works closely with each client to provide as much information as possible so we can work through the initial concepts and develop a custom floor plan and feature sheet that meets their wants and needs.  We believe in having an open communication so the client can present any ideas, photos, or house plans that can give our design team a starting point.  It’s during these meetings that we establish what home style you are interested in, budget, what you like and don’t like, and learn about the client’s design styles.  In the design process, this step can take the longest, depending on the amount of revisions the clients wants to see.  Once again, it’s important to iron out as many details in the preliminary phase of the project.  Some clients may know exactly what they want, and only require a few days of revisions, and others may take months to refine what they would like.  After the design review, we will go over costs and finalize the construction budget.

After a client has finalized design plans, what is the next step?

JL:  We work closely with the clients to select their finishings and work with them on where they want to spend their money.  This is where our design team offers value engineering (VE) that provides a clear plan on where to maximizes the home’s function while minimizing cost.  We want to try to get everything that the client needs and wants into a simpler package.   It’s a balancing act of everything happening at once, so it’s important to get selections made early in the process to allow for any manufacturing time or supply delays.

Does pre-construction planning lead to post-construction success?

JL:  Yes. The pre-construction phase is an important step in any project. This involves several meetings with designers and clients, as well as a lot of back-and-forth communication.  This is where we obtain the necessary permits, finalize an interior finish schedule including all selections and finishes, and develop a detailed construction schedule for both our clients and for our team.

And when you break ground, what can the client expect during the construction process?

JL:  When all decisions are put into place the house starts to take shape as the foundation is installed and the frame erected.  Site inspections and quality control reviews are scheduled on a regular basis, and we keep the client up to date with the process with emails and phone calls from myself or our design team throughout the project to ensure all details are relayed and any issues are properly addressed.

As the build nears its end, how are you working with the client to prepare them for the post-construction phase?

JL:  We’ll arrange a visit with the client to do a thorough walk-through to inspect all the details together.  The Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) is an exciting stage for the client and allows a chance to comprehensive inspection of the home to identify any deficiencies that may require any correction.

What type of warranty does Eringate Homes offer?

JL:  All of our homes are protected through the Tarion New Home Warranty, to ensure all of our clients receive coverage they are entitled to under their warranty.  All new homes we build will include the PDI inspection, and an opportunity for the client to provide an inspection list at the 30 day mark after closing.  Under Tarion, our homes are warranted for a 1 year, 2 year and a 7 year for major structural defects.

Whether you’re looking for a home in a vibrant urban community setting that puts you right in the center of the action, or neighbourhoods that offer more recreational amenities among natural settings, there is no shortage of choice with Eringate Homes’ selection of communities.  With several communities in development, you’ll be sure to find a home that meets desired price points that cater to a variety of lifestyles.  

With many cities across Ontario showing significant population growth, how does building low-rise and mid-rise developments booster the intensification of urban areas?

JL:  Since finding prime land with a great location and general scale that works for a high-rise development has become more limited and developers have to become more creative with their site selection.  Low-rise and mid-rise homes provide a lot of flexibility for different segments of the market, from families starting out, to empty nesters that are downsizing.  Since they are built on smaller lots, they can be tucked into existing neighbourhoods and fit the scope of the area better.  They are built around transit lines and all while encouraging a walkable, transit-oriented lifestyle.

Tell us about some of your current and upcoming projects?

JL:  We have a lot of projects on-the-go across Ontario right now, with new phases coming soon released and site preparations being released.   We’re excited to delivery Parkville Greens, a new townhouse and single-family development on Bridge Street & Haig Road in Belleville.  Parkville will have 122 units ranging from 1460 to 2355 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 9 ft ceilings, and open concept living spaces.  They feature the latest and best finishes and include a wide range of colour palettes that address both contemporary and tradition styles. Travel is quite easy with access to Highway 401 and you will be close to the Bay of Quinte to enjoy the outdoors with several amenities nearby.

Georgian Bay Terrace is another great mid-rise 5-storey condo development currently in construction at Owen Street & Legion Road in Meaford.  It’s a very well-designed community close to cottage country and will offer 150 units, 1-2.5 bedrooms, ranging from 566 to 1262 square feet.  Owners can enjoy a host of amenities with the 8.5 acre Beautiful Joe Park across the street and is situated right on the banks of Big Head River.

We also have several custom home projects that are in various stages of development right now – some we’re ready to break ground on, and some that are waiting on permit approval.  We just completed a custom home in Etobicoke that measured in at about 4,000 square feet.  We worked closely with the client and delivered the home in 8 months, so it was schedule and budget tight, and we got it done.  We have a new custom home project in the early stages in Oakville right now. Permits were just approved and we look to get started in the next couple of months.