TQ Construction enters the second generation of family ownership and shows the value of the fixed-priced method.
TQ CONSTRUCTION WAS LAUNCHED IN 1985 by Ralph and Helene Belisle as a service-oriented company based in Burnaby, British Columbia. The Belisle family has worked hard to make the TQ Construction brand synonymous with quality home construction. Today, the company provides design/build services, rejuvenating hundreds of homes in the greater Vancouver area through custom renovation and, more recently, applying the principles of its success to the new home construction market. As family ownership transitions from Ralph Belisle to his son, Henri, the dedication to unmatched service remains intact as a new generation introduces a more client-collaborative way to deliver top-notch construction.
“Our physical product is always just right because we don’t tolerate anything less than what the client asks for in quality or service,” Ralph says. “We overcame any problems of delivering quality decades ago to rise above our competition. We’ve been doing that for a while now, too.”
TQ Construction has developed streamlined, well-organized systems for cost-plus and fixed-price methods of construction budgeting; allowing clients different model options for their specific needs. The company has received industry recognition on multiple occasions for design and construction excellence on local, provincial and national levels from the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA) and CHBA of British Columbia (CHBA-BC), including multiple Renovator of the Year honors.
Ralph has contributed extensively to the evolution of the residential construction industry, not only through the lifespan of his own business, but during his terms as president of the CHBA-BC and the GVHBA.
Fixed-Price vs. Cost-Plus
For years, TQ Construction delivered projects strictly through the traditional cost-plus method, driven by the industry norm where home owners wanted a say in as many details as possible.
As Henri has asserted more of his influence over operations, the addition of the fixed-price method has been added to TQ’s capabilities.
This allows clients to rely on the expertise of experienced contractors to handle a project from first concept to final completion.
TQ Construction continues to offer both delivery models to clients, and the company determines how it will proceed on any given project based on the client. Henri says the fixed-price model is typically suited for someone focused more on the bottom line and has respect for the contractor as an expert.
“The ideal fixed-price client isn’t interested in finding out how much it costs for a box of nails or a linear foot of wall,” Henri says. “These clients are focused on a positive overall experience and are pretty clear on their expectations.”
Cost-plus clients, however, expect to be involved in every detail of their project, from start to finish. Service is of utmost importance for this method because clients expect a level of trust to be upheld, and a commitment to show any price change is absolutely required.
“On the service side, those wanting to be involved in the details tend to need more attention than those who take the hands off approach,” Ralph says. “When selecting clients, sometimes you have to exclude people, regardless of cost-plus or fixed-price preference, as the first step is trust, regardless of budget model. The point is, we all need to work with people we trust.”
No matter the delivery method, Henri says TQ Construction’s detailed internal systems and processes add value for its clients. Gathering all possible information about the project and keeping the client informed of the impact of the various decisions being made are pertinent to successful delivery.
“All our processes and structure are made to give clients information as soon as possible to avoid any changes throughout the project,” Henri says.“We can’t always see into the clients’ walls or predict every hitch, but we’re well within reason of all the potential problems to make sure they’re aware and fully informed.”
A Graceful Renovation
What originally began as a job to add a splash of color and renewed shapes and finishes to a dated home, turned into the complete rebuild of 1 ½ stories of a historical home in the Vancouver neighborhood of Shaughnessy.
For the renovation of “Graceful on Granville,” TQ Construction earned a Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SRED) grant from the Canadian government for innovation in construction using technologies of other fields in order to preserve the treasured heritage home.
SRED is an incentive program that rewards companies of any size for conducting research and development activities in Canada – in essence, a reward for development of innovation that can be passed along to others to further industry capabilities.
In the case of this extensive home renovation, the process involved development methodology to improve the structural integrity of the Georgian-style building without affecting the existing structure.
The attic was altered to make the space livable and bring the home up to current building code standards. The new roof support device had to be designed to be capable of holding typical roof load weight without using vertical beams. The renovation and preservation of the home would not have been possible without these steps.
“The house would not have been able to be rebuilt with its original size and shape retained, which is part of the reason it received the renovation it did,” Henri says. “We wanted to preserve the history of the home and character of the neighborhood while delivering the style of the home for the needs of the client.”
Heritage of Success
The heritage styling includes traditional curved ceiling corners and high-relief crown mouldings, restored throughout the main floor. TQ also added a sophisticated master suite, luxurious dressing room with space for an adjacent office, and a proper staircase to the attic.
The attic of Graceful on Granville was repurposed into a tranquil meditation/music room.