Starting a successful family business is one of the most difficult things a person can do. And keeping that business successful over the generations is even more challenging. A successful business must develop their capabilities in communication, business finance and planning, as well as leadership development and training.
We recently had the distinct pleasure to sit down with Paul and Margaret Janssen, owners of JDC Custom Homes and Janssen Design, to talk to them about what makes their family owned business, so successful, and so respected within the community.
Paul Janssen shares; “I studied architecture at Ryerson University for 4 years, received my Bachelor of Technology degree, and then attended Lawrence Technological University in Michigan, to obtain my Bachelor of Architecture degree.”
Beyond just his comprehensive education, on the job experience and credentials, Paul always knew as a young man that he loved construction and the architectural design. “I was simply intrigued by the details of construction and began design work while I was in high school for local contractors. Function and flow, combined with the creative side of construction and building, is what I loved to do.”
And he has certainly done just that, during the summers while working for different trades, garnering even more experience along his journey.
Paul’s first role out of university was as the site supervisor during the construction of the Dufferin County Museum. “While it was a great experience, it was more of an office role, and I knew that the better fit for me was to be actually ‘doing’ vs. ‘supervising.’”
Now enter in the various roles within the construction profession that Paul experienced, along with the full support of his wife Margaret. “I grew up in the construction industry. My father, was a mason” explains Margaret, “and I have a brother, uncles and cousins who are in the industry, I even slugged some bricks, blocks and mortar myself during some high school summers. I enjoy the business just as much as Paul does. His experience in the different jobs in construction has greatly benefited our company.”
It’s their wealth of formal education, along with experience and natural talent that brought the Janssen family full-circle, starting up their own business for residential construction services, as well as custom home building and design. While JDC has garnered an amazing reputation for their custom-built homes, they combine this with a highly skilled team that can offer several services when it comes to residential construction.
DESIGN: “Paul first started designing residential projects in 1985. Most clients are prepared with pictures and layouts of homes from the internet and know what they want in the design of a house that is perfect for their family’s needs. By using computer-aided drafting, the design process is perfected through a series of meetings with our clients. All of their homes are custom designed for each client, making the best use of interior space, and creating natural curb appeal to satisfy our client’s needs, and dreams.”
Paul and Margaret’s daughter Natasha, a graduate of Sheridan’s Architectural Program, designs each client project utilizing 3D technology that provides real-life depth and dimension to the design process, bringing the client’s vision to life.
BUILD: “It’s our job to educate our client to ensure their home is built to the best standards for the region it’s built in. With over 25 years of construction experience, JDC has gained the knowledge required to be able to build with confidence. Our crews and trades are some of the best in the region. Client satisfaction is top priority, with a focus on quality of construction and attention to detail.”
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: “Our client’s needs are considered throughout the process, from the original design and budgeting stage, and on through to site planning, construction preparation and the actual execution of the construction stage, as well as factoring in the maintenance of the completed project over the future.”
This hands-on approach from the team at JDC is an important value of the company. “We treat each and every client, and every project, as if it were our own. We want the client to be happy from beginning to finish, and for a long time afterwards. The relationships we build, and communication we have with our clients is essential to the entire process, and we take it very seriously.”
Foundation Coatings: “At JDC Custom Homes we understand that basements can be cold, damp, and musty. Our Foundation Coatings division works with our trusted partners to ensure that you’ll always have a warm and dry basement.”
“Tremco Barrier Solutions” is the innovative coatings technology that JDC have partnered with; utilizing the best that technology and innovation has to offer. “JDC are members of several construction and building associations throughout North America” explains Paul. “We ensure that we’re always ‘leading edge’ when it comes to the way we design and build, and this applies to the products we use as well.”
RENOVATIONS: “The team at JDC Custom Homes are experts at managing your renovation from start to finish. Leave the stress and details to us. We’ll walk you through the process to ensure that your project turns out even better than you imagined. As the project progresses, we’ll explain different options to consider regarding the way the project is going to look, while keeping the original design and budget in mind. We’ll deal with all the surprises often hidden behind walls affected by years of decay, water damage, structural deficiencies, and whatever else may come up.”
MAINTENANCE: “At JDC, we know that you’ve spent your hard-earned money on your new home, renovation, or addition. In Ontario, the natural elements can be hard on your home. Over the years, caulking wears out or dries up, flashing may get blown off or moved by snow or ice, and even the trees around your home can affect the performance of the roof and walls. In short, there are many factors that affect your home, and when problems are obvious on the inside (water stains, mold, or rot) often this means a lot of damage has already occurred behind or under the surface. Because of all this, JDC offers a service of regular check-ups and maintenance for your investment.”
The smart thing about the business model at JDC is that they are able to offer their clients a full-service construction and design team. They have the experts to address all of the needs for your project, no matter how large or how small that project might be.
While their resume is impressive, and their finished products are absolute proof of just how skilled and successful the team at JDC are, the really special element of this family business is their dedication to quality, and a commitment to excellence that goes way beyond client expectations. “We treat each project, and client, like they’re family. We realize how important their projects are to them, which makes the team strive to not only deliver 100% on their expectations, but to surprise them by going even a little bit more” says Paul. Their impressive list of satisfied clients is proof of their success.
Paul and Margaret are very involved in not only the construction community through various associations, but also in local community initiatives. Organizations like the Greater Dufferin Home Builders Association, Habitat for Humanity and the Dufferin Board of Trade, just to name a few. “Commitment to community is important to us as a business and as a family” explains Margaret. “Helping drive community success is just as important as our own.”
It was clear for me to witness all of the skill, knowledge, and experience that JDC brings to the table, after having seen many of the projects they’ve completed, and hearing glowing customer testimonials. However, the asset that sets this business apart is very much about the owners themselves. They’re truly down-to-earth, hard-working professionals, who very much appreciate the clients they have, as well as their community, and family. It’s for these very important reasons that when you sit down with the team, you’ll immediately feel comfort and trust, and secure in the knowledge that these people will deliver only the best for you and your family now, and for years to come.
Written by: Kelli Maddocks | Resources:Janssen Design / JDC Custom Homes Inc