From Humble Beginnings…
An Introduction to Classic Renovations
Many of you may know Classic Home Improvements as renovation experts on Vancouver Island, but do you know the people behind the story? 2020 was a challenging year across the globe but was also a time of opportunity for many. What this year gave us was time to realize who we are as a company and how we can help local home owners. As a result, the Nanaimo based team who was once partnered with Victoria, is now making a name for themselves.
The story begins much farther back than we originally remembered. Darren and Andrew have known each other since 2003 when both worked for United Furniture Warehouse (UFW). Andrew managed the Port Alberni store and Darren was transferred from Prince George into the Nanaimo store as the new District Supervisor for Vancouver Island. In 2005 Darren and his wife Dallas opened a retail store in Port Alberni selling Paint, Flooring and Blinds – Dallas having worked in the industry in Prince George, Nanaimo and Parksville for the previous 5 years. Darren left UFW in 2006 with the business in Port Alberni booming. At that time Darren and Dallas decided to venture into the installation side of the business and hired a few sub contracted installers. Andrew, who had some experience doing minor renovations and installs, decided to take on some small sub contracted work with Darren and learn the industry.
The Only Constant in Life is Change
In early 2008; Darren and Dallas had an offer to sell the thriving business in Port Alberni and they decided to take it, they sold their home in Port Alberni and decided to return to their hometown of Vernon, BC. At the same time as the business was in the process of being sold, Darren was head-hunted for a large industrial construction company and was offered a Project Coordinator position. And just like that plans changed! He went on to spend about two and half years with the company working on construction of mining processing facilities in the Northwest Territories and Princeton BC. His primary job was managing Sub Contractors, Schedules and Project Cost Control.
Meanwhile, Andrew and his family were also met with life changing opportunities as they moved to Calgary for better paying work. Andrew got a job with a large residential construction company cribbing houses (installing concrete foundations). He then moved onto interior finishing work. Being the hard worker that he is, Andrew quickly worked his way up in the Company to being the owner’s right hand man. Due to a serious heart condition, Andrew and had to leave the construction industry. He and his family returned to the Island settling in Ladysmith. With concerns about his heart condition, Andrew retrained and entered the health care industry as a care aid. He also set his mind to becoming healthy again.
After having his first child, Darren decided that the rigorous work schedule in the industrial construction industry was not what he wanted. Darren and his family decided to move back to the Island and settled in Nanaimo in November of 2010. Darren’s skills were quickly put to good use as he started with Classic Home Improvements in February 2011. He was hired to run the Nanaimo Office of the Company, which had its headquarters in Victoria
So We Meet Again
It seemed that fate would bring Darren and Andrew together again as the two reconnected in mid-2011. Having gotten his heart condition under control, Andrew had expressed a desire to return to the construction industry. By early 2012, Andrew joined Classic Home Improvements on a full time basis. Just under two years later, Darren and Andrew had grown the Nanaimo operation of the company over 400% from where it was when they started. Along with the growth of the business came the good fortune of becoming shareholder and Vice President, overseeing operations in both Nanaimo and Victoria.
By 2018, Darren owned about a third of the shares of Classic Home Improvements Ltd. and Andrew had also bought in as a minor shareholder. In late 2019, Darren and Andrew together came to an agreement with the other shareholders to purchase the Nanaimo portion of Classic Home Improvements. In January 2020, Nanaimo Classic Home Improvements Ltd was born with Darren as 65% shareholder and Andrew holding the other 35% of the Company. The other partners still operate in Victoria as Classic Home Improvements.
After operating for nearly a year under the name of Nanaimo Classic Home Improvements Ltd., Darren and Andrew decided a new name was needed for their venture. Not wanting to give up the entirety of the name they had worked so hard to build in Nanaimo, they decided on a different name. Here is your official introduction to Classic Renovations. The change was bittersweet, but better reflects the services they now offer.
For those of you who have been our loyal clients – we thank you! For those of you who are just discovering us, our mission is to provide high quality renovations that the average person can afford. We really do care about bringing integrity and enjoyment to your project. Shoot us a message to talk about your home renovation ideas. Your initial consultation is always free of charge.