Quality Engineered Homes
Quality Engineered Homes (QEH) has been in business for 27 years. Established in 1987, the growing homebuilder began as a small modular homebuilding business, though it has since grown into a diverse residential and commercial contracting firm based in Kenilworth, Ontario. Stanley Newman, president and CEO of QEH, originally purchased the business in 1999. Now, along with partner Cecil Brauer, Newman manages a team of approximately 120 people between the modular plant and the field.
A majority of the company’s work is custom homebuilding, although the QEH team has taken on more commercial work in recent years. As the energy and mining industries grow, QEH has also been involved in creating accommodations for miners in the regional industry. The team’s core target market is in Southwest Ontario, although the business has created modular buildings for clients as far away as Germany, Japan and Bosnia.
QEH is structured for efficiency and value. Newman and his team operate three locations throughout Southwest Ontario. The headquarters in Kenilworth has offices, a modular factory and models for marketing. The business also has two more locations in Cookstown and Grimsby, Ontario, with model homes and a strong sales staff. These high-traffic locations along major thoroughfares offer the company visibility for marketing, as well as ease of transportation for completed components.
The team works closely with clients to build unique homes, offices and multifamily housing that suits end user needs while remaining time- and cost-efficient. QEH is the only company Newman knows of to offer the distinct Homebuyer’s Ultimate Guarantee program, also known as HUG.
“HUG guarantees the price, quality and timing of our buildings,” Newman explains. “Every day a project is late, we pay a financial penalty. This provides accountability to our clients and keeps us on track. The guarantee also gives us an advantage because customers know they can count on us to plan our production accordingly and deliver projects on-time and to the determined specifications.”
The company builds as many as 300 homes every year for a broad market. Recent work includes residential buildings ranging from $180,000 to $2 million, which includes both single-family homes and multifamily buildings, as well as senior housing facilities. QEH has been working on a variety of mid-rise office buildings, as high as four stories, as well as increasingly well-appointed accommodations for mining employees in the province’s growing energy sector.
QEH is presently working on a mid-rise retirement complex in Ontario. The modular building will be the first of its kind in the region. The crew also has an upcoming project near the U.S. Border, building a large, low-income residential building. The community would be an enormous project for the business, involving the construction of 250 to 300 units. If the contract comes through, it could significantly shape the future of QEH.
Newman also says there are significant opportunities within the oil and mining industries. As the markets grow, especially with Ontario’s Ring of Fire region, energy companies will need housing for incoming workers. These growing communities may present even more opportunities through formation of businesses to serve workers. The remote settings of oil projects make modular construction an efficient alternative to traditional building methods.
QEH produces modular homes, offices and other facilities completely in-house. “A modular building when it leaves our factory is around 80 to 85 percent complete,” Newman notes. “We subcontract certain components of the homes to skilled sub-trades. These partners build the foundation, perform the crane work and exterior brick as well as hooking up infrastructure such as heating, plumbing and power. Our partners ensure the success of our business so we maintain very good relationships with them.”
Strong relationships with these strategic partners, as well as suppliers and clients have helped keep QEH growing even throughout a tough few years for the construction industry. “We faced the same challenges as other companies,” Newman says. “We have been fortunate to have more successful years than not. Our business is dependent on the market, which has started to even out a bit.”
Newman and his team are looking forward to continued growth in the coming years. The company sets a goal of 15 to 20 percent expansion each year, a figure QEH is on track for in 2014. QEH’s success throughout Ontario continues to translate to new markets as the business leaps into the Ring of Fire and ramps up relationships with clients overseas.
As with any business, the numbers are important. Newman enforces a simple philosophy to measure success outside the box: “We do what we say and we build fabulous homes.” Backed by a strong network of suppliers, subcontractors and happy customers, Quality Engineered Homes will continue to provide high-quality modular buildings for the Ontario market and beyond.