Modern Home Builder - Winter 2018 - 92
a leader in its industry, but also share best practices. "We're constantly refining our processes so that we can communicate more
clearly," Ratcliffe says. "We want to continually find new and innovative ways to reduce stress for our clients. We also leverage each
other's networks to provide clients with better pricing through
She adds that although Alair Homes' design and construction
team is local, the company offers clients a national reach and network. "Our entire software is cloud-based, so our clients have access 24/7 all year round," Ratcliffe says. "They can see their budget, schedule, and photos taken on the site all in one location in
Alair Homes prides itself on prioritizing transparency and communication through its Client Control™ process.Whether a client
is building or renovating a home, Alair Homes aims to ensure the
project is not only cost-effective but also as unstressful as possible.
"Renovations are ranked as one of the most stressful things you
can do, but it doesn't have to be," Ratcliffe explains. "The stress
typically associated with renovating comes from variables in cost
and schedule. What if those variables were removed? We've done
just that. We take the time to work with our clients so that we can
fine-tune the scope of work and then provide them with a hard
quote instead of just an estimate."
By taking the guesswork - and surprise costs - out of the equation, its cloud-based software enables Alair Homes' clients to view
important information about their projects. This includes budget
and payment spreadsheets, subcontractor bids, and the materials
selection process and timeline data.
"They have full control and access to their project at all times,"
Ratcliffe says. "It gives them piece of mind and still allows for flexibility in the building process. By educating our clients and creating
transparency for them, we work in tandem with them to build
The process ultimately alleviates stress for not only the client
but Alair Homes as well. "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail," Ratcliffe notes. "By taking the time to develop a plan every variable is
replaced with real information. It creates a less stressful project
and ensures a memorable experience for everyone.
"This ultimately makes us want to grow the business because
it's more enjoyable and scalable," she continues. "That's the biggest
difference Alair Homes has brought to the table for us."
Alair Homes' latest project is a unique one because it is Ratcliffe's
personal family home, which was redesigned to make for a more
livable space, and serve as a showcase to potential clients of what
can be done with renovations.
Located in Toronto, the renovation project included remodeling
the main floor. The company started construction in late June and
www.mhb-magazine.com Winter 2018
Alair Homes' Project Denmark was redesigned to make for a more livable space, and
serve as a showcase to potential clients of what can be done with renovations.
completed the project in late September. According to Ratcliffe,
the home hadn't been updated since it was built in 1959. Its renovation included a new kitchen, dining room and living room. To
achieve the goals of the project, Alair Homes also had to restructure part of the back of the house.
"For instance, the kitchen initially had an eight-foot-tall ceiling,
outdated cabinetry and white tiles," Ratcliffe notes. "Although it
was 270 square feet, it felt closed in. Plus, it had limited lighting
with two windows and a wooden door."
The celling has now been lofted to feature ceilings as high as 18
feet in some areas. "It gives it a much grander and brighter feel,"
Ratcliffe says. "We also incorporated four skylights."
The kitchen was re-designed for two people to work in, to make
entertaining easier. Alair Homes added an island and incorporated a four-foot-long sink that takes up its full width. "Whoever's
cooking can access the sink from one side, and if another person is
prepping or tidying they can access it from the other side without
being in each other's space," Ratcliffe notes.
The dining room, which is immediately to the east of the kitchen, also had two windows and a wooden door to the rear. To create more space, Alair Homes removed the wall separating the two
rooms as well as the four feet of wall between the two sets of
doors, and incorporated an accordion-style glass wall at the back
of the house.
"The back of the house was a mish-mash of windows, doors, and
drywall," Ratcliffe says. "Now we have a twenty-two-foot open-