With a name that implies their structures will stand the test of time, Aztec Renovations & Refit is bringing one-stop service to the Canadian contracting market.
Founded in 2009 by Doug Dumelie and Patrick Ballard, Aztec Renovations & Refit (Aztec) is anything but typical. Having started in the midst of a global recession, one would be fairly safe in assuming the partners had a hard time getting the company off of the ground, but that isn’t the case.
“I think because we were building through the downturn we had a bigger impact than if we were established and then the market dropped out,” Dumelie said. “I think we'd have a bigger challenge adjusting to that as opposed to building a business in the middle of the [recession].”
Aztec could be seen as the culmination of the partners’ years of general contracting experience. Starting off as a renovation maintenance-centered company run out of Dumelie’s garage with six employees, Aztec has blossomed into a full-service remediation and renovation company with 75 full-time staffers and three distinct departments: Interior Commercial Renovations, Hazardous Material Removal and Custom Millworks which also includes Furniture Collections.
With their HAZMAT department, Aztec professionals are able to handle asbestos abatement, mold remediation and other sorts of hazardous waste containment. While not all of their clients need the services offered by the HAZMAT department, keeping HAZMAT and Renovation under one roof has given Aztec a strong competitive edge.
“A lot of the existing clients we were working with ran into hazardous materials before we could do the renovations, so instead of creating two companies, we kept it under one umbrella,” Dumelie said. “It's our way of servicing the clients. Instead of hiring two contractors, they're able to hire one and avoid getting any extra markups from other contractors.”
He added, “One of our key advantages is that we do all these things in-house. That just translates into savings for the client, which they tend to appreciate.”
Aztec, which just opened its second office in Edmonton, has gained a substantial reputation for their attentive safety that doesn’t sacrifice quality. The company’s commitment to safety is very distinguished, they are members with the Calgary Construction Association, hold COR, Contractor Check, and COMPLYWORKS certifications and have an impressive Employer Premium Rating from the Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta for their safety record.
Even more integral to the company’s success thus far are the solid relationships Aztec’ Managers have built and maintained with clients.
“We relied on the relationships that we had prior to opening up Aztec and worked from there,” Raz Mandru, business development manager said. “We also weren't afraid to knock on doors and go after new clients with unique scopes, and we took it one project at a time. Whenever we were awarded a contract, we ensured to complete the project to meet or exceed the client’s expectations in order to build our company name and reputation. Once that initial foundation was built Networking became easy.”
Dumelie said he believes the importance they placed on relationship building was arguably the most essential quality, having secured them the financial support of the Alberta Treasury Branch when most lenders would have been hesitant to back a start-up.
While still a young company, Aztec has wasted no time building a name for itself. Expanding quickly, the founders and the family of employees that make up the foundation of the business need only continue delivering safe, quality services with a lasting impression and the sky is the limit.