The People’s Builder
For more than 30 years, Greg Brown Construction has been serving Haliburton County and its surrounding regions as a full service builder capable of tackling nearly every project the trade has to offer. Whether it’s building multimillion dollar luxury homes or installing geothermal and septic systems, Greg Brown Construction is the go-to construction company for clients in eastern Ontario.
Greg Brown founded the company in 1982. Over the years, he and his team have accumulated numerous certifications and professional standards in order to provide their clients with “virtually all aspects of the building trade, from clearing the lot to handing over the keys and everything in between.” Save for electrical work − which they subcontract to reputable, local professionals − Greg Brown Construction is now able to offer that full suite of services.
“We try to be a one-stop-shop, and I like to qualify that by saying that we are extensively certified in most of the aspects of the building trade,” Greg says. “And when our primary clientele are from the GTA and southern Ontario, it’s very difficult to be handling several contractors at once. So if the ball stops here in every regard, it makes their life a great deal simpler as long as they get a good product and they can trust the contractor.”
Greg Brown Construction is also a family business. Roughly ten years ago, Greg’s eldest son, Andrew, joined on as a fulltime employee, followed by his younger sibling, Benton, nearly five years later. According to Benton, the pair both bring unique skill sets to the company as a result of their post-secondary studies.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find other people in the industry that have the educational background that Andrew and I have,” he says. “It’s kind of a rarity to find people who have gone into the university academic field to also be contractors in building, and that really comes into play, especially with the variety of work that we do.”
Benton sees the family company as “the people’s builder” in the sense that they are willing to take on nearly any project. For example, despite having several multimillion dollar homes in their portfolio, Greg Brown Construction recently completed a $20,000 cottage ‘bunkie’ in just a few weeks for clients who simply wanted to enjoy their property this summer. The Browns later received a “very pleasant note” from those clients expressing their gratitude for both the excellent service and quality product.
Master of all trades
Today, Greg Brown Construction employs approximately 15 fulltime staff members, including: seven licensed carpenters; a handful of assistant and apprentice carpenters; two seasonal university students; two licensed and certified geothermal experts; two licensed specialists in septic installation and design; and a mechanical technician who also does their heating and ductwork.
Greg himself is a licensed carpenter and geothermal installer, and boasts several other licenses and accreditations.
“Rather than being a jack of all trades and master of none, we try to be a master of all the trades that we undertake,” he says.
In addition to specializing in a wide range of services, the company also maintains an exceptional workplace atmosphere and employee culture. As a group of “clean-cut guys with a strong code of ethics,” the Browns often get feedback from their workforce that Greg Brown Construction is very much different from most other construction companies in the market.
“That’s part and parcel because we’re a family business,” says Andrew. “But even though there’s nobody cracking the whip, so to speak, there’s a quiet understanding that the name of the game is productivity and quality. And because our guys work hard and do a good job, there’s a lot of harmony on the jobsite. At the end of the day, we’re all a team trying to accomplish the same goal.”
Not only do Greg Brown Construction clients receive high quality workmanship from a trustworthy team of experts, but they’re also supporting Haliburton County’s local economy. This is a refreshing change from many other construction companies who actually subcontract the majority of their work to tradesmen located out of town.
“The truth is, those businesses and their subcontractors are mostly from the larger urban areas, so they are not actually employing local residents or supporting the local economy,” Andrew explains. “So we’re also a home-grown business that supports 15 employees and their families, while also adding to the Haliburton economy.”
Building to a higher level of quality
One of Greg Brown Construction’s greatest standout features is their geothermal expertise, which has been part of their repertoire for nearly ten years now. The company initially decided to pursue the service offering once they noticed how few specialists there were in the Haliburton County region, which also meant exorbitant prices for locals seeking those systems. They entered the market charging fairer prices for geothermal systems, making them much more accessible to those consumers.
“The end result is more people saving money and the carbon footprint of their home being cut in half,” says Andrew. “There are quite a few driving factors as to why you should get a geothermal system. First and foremost, it can reduce your heating bill by nearly two-thirds, so that’s a huge savings for both the environment and your wallet.”
Offering that service is just a by-product of the company’s dedication to “building to a higher level of quality” – a commitment which has helped to generate a great deal of local recognition. Last year, for example, the company completed a landscaping project for Colin and Justin from Cottage Life’s Colin and Justin’s Cabin Pressure.
“Those guys impressed us,” Greg says. “They were very helpful, friendly and supportive. They’re really giving our community a boost from a profile standpoint. They have more than returned any favours than we’ve done for them, so it has just been very positive working with that organization.”
In the coming years, Greg is eager to see his sons’ continued development within the company as the future leaders of Greg Brown Construction. In particular, he wants them to strike the balance between economic growth and creating a secure environment that supports each and every employee as well as their loved ones.
“Our families are very important to us, and we want to make sure that whatever forward movement we have can be achieved harmoniously within the family,” he expresses. “We want to project friendliness, professionalism, honesty and fair prices in our dealings with customers, and we’re trying to make their experience both positive and enjoyable. Those are the things that are important to us and we want to keep every one of those values moving forward.”