The secret is in the quality


By Francie Healy

There’s a quotation that Roy Nandram especially likes. It’s attributed to, or about, William A. Foster, a young WWII hero. While its origin is unclear, the words are important:

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution.”

This is Roy Nandram’s philosophy. He found the quotation years ago. He placed it on the bulletin board behind his desk, always within view. It’s what he tells his staff and his trades people. It’s what he expects. He tells them: “Every part of this quote is what I’m doing or you’re doing, because as a whole we’re always trying to provide the highest quality of work.”

It’s probably one of the factors that earned him the current title of Renovator of the Year from the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association (GOHBA).

Roy’s company, RND Construction, is not new to awards. It just chalked up seven major awards last fall from GOHBA, including Renovator of the Year: for Custom Urban Infill; Green Custom Home of the Year; Green Renovation of the Year; Most Outstanding Renovation over $500,000; Ottawa Citizen’s People’s Choice Award; and Renovations and Additions between $60,000 and $99,999. There have been other impressive awards in other years.

But Renovator of the Year is particularly special because it speaks to the man as well as to his company.

“It tells me we’re doing something right,” he says simply.

It’s a testament to his 23 years of commitment.

“You need to be around for awhile to understand what it means to be a good renovator,” he says.

RND Construction also builds new custom homes. One of the most recent is an embassy building.

He was one of three contenders for the award, along with other top Ottawa renovators Steve Barkhouse of Amsted Construction and John Liptak/Patricia Liptak-Satov of OakWood.

Roy has been in business for 23 years, and he says it’s his long years of experience that probably also helped win the Renovator of the Year award.

He had to submit a binder showing four high-profile projects he had undertaken in the past year, complete with before-and-after photos, drawings and descriptions of the projects and a one-page description of his company.        Once he made the shortlist, he had to be interviewed by five judges and a panel of perhaps 15 others.

He says the award doesn’t make an immediate difference from a business point of view, although the phone does seem to ring more often. He explains it’s not a short-term impact; it’s more long-term.

“I live on a short street with 13 houses,” Roy says. “Of those, I have built three, renovated four and built a dentist’s office for one of the neighbours somewhere else. I’m still good friends with all of them.”

It’s probably the best proof that “quality, high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution” are long-lasting and important.

Roy’s Renovator of the Year award just puts the stamp on it.