Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

Hero Builders contest winner

Canadian Contractor Financial Product Professional

Alex Covriga of A&R Renovations, Woodbridge, ON, won the award for his exceptionally professional renovation of semi-detached home for a couple with a new baby on the way

By Karen Hamilton

Last fall, launched Hero Builders, a readers’ choice, super-hero themed contest that asked homeowners and contractors to share their home renovation success stories. The goal was to find the every-day construction pro whose professionalism, skill and work ethic challenged negative stereotypes about the construction industry.

Stories poured in, and today we’re happy to announce homeowner Stephanie R. and contractor Alex Covriga of A&R Renovations of Woodbridge, Ontario are the winners for their entry, Creating a Home From a House for Our New Family.

With a new baby on the way, Stephanie and her husband Luke needed someone to renovate their semi-detached house, fast. “We had less than eight months to find a contractor, renovate our home and move back in before the baby arrived,” said Stephanie. The house was in really bad shape. “Everything needed fixing. There wasn’t one floorboard that didn’t squeak, there was barely any insulation, none of the walls were straight, the toilet never flushed properly and the bathtub’s overflow was the ceiling of our kitchen.”

Stephanie and Luke had heard horror stories of contractors running off with deposits and skyrocketing costs that drove homeowners into financial ruin and they were determined to be careful about who they chose. They read renovation advice blogs, collected references from friends and started to make calls. They almost went with a contractor who had been referred to them because they had heard, “referrals are golden”, but when he was repeatedly late for meetings and unclear on project scope and pricing, they got a bad feeling. Stephanie kept searching and eventually settled on Alex and A&R Renovations.

The demolition started like clock-work. Stephanie and Luke were amazed by the progress that was made each day and the polite and professional team of people who were on site. The biggest revelation though was how much Alex cared. “I began to realize that Alex actually cared. He cared about the end result, and he had our best interests in mind. Where another contractor would have let me spend wastefully on a bathtub, Alex said I was giving my money away for a product that was not superior, and the countertops… Because of Alex, we were able to have the luxury of granite countertops, a finish I never thought we would be in a position to own.”

Alex got Stephanie and Luke back into their house before their baby arrived and they were thrilled with the results. “Since we’ve been home, we are delighted with the results and I continue to have to remind myself that this is actually our house.”


We also want to congratulate the following runners-up:

Stacy M. and her father for Building His Daughter’s Home

Mark C. and Tony V. for First Floor Bathroom/Laundry

Karen M. and Design to Perfection Kitchen’s Inc. for A Dream Kitchen

Chris/Adrienne and Willowtree Construction for Dream Design Realized

To see more entries, please visit us at

Karen Hamilton is part of the team at Hammerati. Hammerati is a professional network exclusively for the construction industry.


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1 Comment » for Hero Builders contest winner
  1. Peter says:

    What a great idea. Positive news rarely make it to the top and the 5% bad cases dominate the media.
    Well done on all involved to turn this around.
    Most builders and renovators are good honest people, providing a valuable service.
    What Stephanie and Luke did is good advice to people considering to tackle such a big project. If the contractor is always late, does not look presentable etc., rather spend more time and find someone you feel comfortable with!
    Well done to the winners!

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