Build It By Design
BUILD IT By Design is a full service general contracting company that can manage your construction project from start to finish, design to delivery. Originally founded in 1993 as a millwork shop, BUILD IT By Design later branched into construction work in 2008. Initially, Chief Executive Officer Simon Shahin and Vice President Alburt Lefebvre did all of the physical work: framing, drywall, painting and installing tiles. Now, the Mississauga-based company employs approximately 55 people. The vast majority of their projects have been in the food service industry.
BUILD IT By Design is internally structured in a unique way that yields a competitive advantage. They have vertically integrated trades into a holistic business. The design team, construction team and engineering team work together with the client to ensure all of the client’s needs are met. By employing their own labour force, BUILD IT By Design operates as a full-service contractor that can ensure complete control of the process from the bottom up—from consulting and estimation to construction, design and signage—all while remaining on schedule and on budget.
“We can handle everything for our clients, from A to Z. We’re a one-stop shop for building restaurants,” says Shahin.
A business on the rise
BUILD IT By Design is the fastest-growing general contractor in Canada.
When they initially entered the food service industry, some of their first clients included Coffee Culture and Mucho Burrito. More recently, the company has finished a Bareburger joint in downtown Toronto. This is the American chain’s first location in Canada.
“It was a fun project because they wanted all the materials to be reclaimed materials. So there was a lot of sourcing and looking for materials that we share locally in Canada and changing the finishes that they would typically use in the U.S. to something that we could find here locally because that’s what their brand is all about,” says Shahin.
“Another cool project we’re doing is the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. We’re in charge of designing and building the food court. We’re building the seating area. We’re putting in a Tim Horton’s, a Pizza Pizza and a bar and eatery as well,” adds Lefebvre.
Within the last five years, BUILD IT By Design has expanded their Toronto-area facility up to 25,000 square feet. Company growth has lately been catching fire, with further expansion plans into the western Canada in the near future, due to the many franchises that are based there.
“Built right on time”
BUILD IT By Design takes pride in providing the best value in the industry and living up to their efficiency-based slogan. They look for innovative ways to reduce build times and costs for their clients while maintaining the quality of their work. They are a modern company that utilizes the latest technology, for instance through making use of project management software and cloud-based software. Through their combined educational background in business and extensive years of experience within the construction industry, Lefebvre and Shahin know what it takes to keep a business thriving, and understand the importance of keeping up-to-date in a competitive market.
“We completely understand restaurants inside and out. It’s not the same as building anything else. Restaurants are a little bit different to build when it comes to the building code, finishes, and especially the timing,” says Shahin. “We pride ourselves in being able to get complex projects turned over in a timely manner because we understand the complexities of a restaurant. At the same time, we make sure that it’s a high-quality finished project.”
BUILD IT By Design can usually finish a project in six to eight weeks.
The best talent in the industry
BUILD IT By Design has a corporate culture based on learning and growing in a collaborative team environment. Employees work together towards a common goal: to see the company flourish with satisfied customers.
“Our team has helped us to get where we are,” says Shahin.
This is because Shahin and Lefebvre make it a priority to hire only the best and most dedicated talent in the industry to work with the company, from on-site labour to management. BUILD IT By Design values and appreciates their employees immensely, and this positive team environment is part of what has helped their business to succeed.
BUILD IT By Design’s employees have a strong work ethic in addition to ample talent. The company operates under the principle of honesty. This entails working hard, listening to their clients’ needs, standing by their work and addressing mistakes when they arise.
The company that cares
The importance that BUILD IT By Design places on their workers permeates the way that they treat their clients as well.
“We don’t have that vendor-client or employer-employee relationship. We believe that it’s a collaborative team effort all the time. It’s one giant team between the clients, the employees—everyone. We are one unified team. If the client has a problem, we have a problem. That’s how we look at it,” says Lefebvre.
BUILD IT By Design looks out for their clients’ best interests. Due to their intricate understanding of the restaurant business, they are able to advise clients not only about the aesthetic aspects of design, but also about the practicality of certain layouts. For instance, an inefficient kitchen layout may require six staff rather than four. If a restaurant has only budgeted for four workers in the kitchen, the more spacious kitchen could be a source of issue for the business in the long run. On the other hand, if a business requires six kitchen workers, the smaller design will be inadequate for the restaurant.
With a strong work ethic, a client-oriented attitude and continuous effort to learn and improve, Shahin and Lefebvre have built a successful, growing business.