Ottawans rule as finalists for provincial 2019 Renovator of the Year

Maybe it’s something in our water, but all three finalists for the Ontario Home Builders’ Association’s prestigious renovator of the year prize are from Ottawa.

Lagois Design-Build-Renovate, OakWood,  and Amsted Design-Build are competing for the coveted award. Like almost all categories in the association’s Awards of Distinction, there are only three finalists.

When it comes to the Ottawa triple threat, “We just rock it out!” says Herb Lagois, president of Lagois Design-Build-Renovate. “It’s simply great that we’re recognized for what we do, our professionalism. Just to be a finalist — we’re talking Ontario, what an honour.”


Lagois won the local renovator of the year trophy along with another top renovation prize at the 2018 Housing Design Awards hosted by the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association.

OakWood took the provincial renovator of the year trophy in 2018. “Being the first ever OHBA renovator of the year (in 2014), OakWood has been honoured to be a finalist for renovator of the year every year,” says president John Liptak. “Our dedicated team appreciates the recognition from such a prestigious organization as the (OHBA). Thank you to all.”

Steve Barkhouse, president of Amsted, says, “I am excited, proud and humbled to have been a finalist or winner at OHBA for the past five consecutive years. And what a great statement on the professionalism of our industry in Ottawa.”


The renovator of the year category is one dominated by Ottawa companies, who have won every year except 2017. And the three finalists this year were the same finalists last year.

Trio expands its threat

All three renovator of the year competitors are also in the running for other renovation awards at the upcoming provincial gala, sometimes vying with each other.

Lagois is a finalist in the kitchen and bathroom categories. Amsted has been given the nod as a finalist for both a kitchen and a home reno project. And OakWood is competing in the bathroom and home reno categories.


All three have won various awards at the provincial and other levels in the past.

Even more Ottawa finalists

Ottawa has made a strong showing in several new homes categories as well.

Green builder and multi-award winner RND Construction is a finalist in three categories: custom homes up to 3,000 square feet; custom homes, 3,001-5,000 square feet; and production homes, two to three storeys over 2,501 square feet.


“I’m really excited,” says RND president Roy Nandram. “There were almost 600 submissions this year, so for anyone to make finalist is incredible. It means what you’re doing is really good and above standards.”

Mizrahi Developments’ 1451 Wellington, which has won awards at the national level for its website and other marketing excellence, is battling it out with two Toronto builders for the high-rise building prize.

Ottawa-based Minto Communities is in the running for builder of the year. The company, which has won numerous awards over the decades, is also a finalist for production and stacked townhome projects as well as in the design/decor centre category, all in the Greater Toronto Area.


In all, Ottawa has 14 finalists this year, down from last year’s 22. The awards program showcases excellence in building, design, professional renovation, and sales and marketing. Entries were judged by a panel of industry professionals from across Canada. Winners will be announced Sept. 24.

Ottawa finalists

Ontario Renovator of the Year
Amsted Design-Build
Lagois Design-Build-Renovate

Production Built Home, 2-3 storeys, 2,501 square feet and over
RND Construction for The Meadow, with Christopher Simmonds Architect


Custom Home, up to 3,000 square feet
RND Construction for The Galleria, with Ha2 Architectural Design

Custom Home, 3,001-5,000 square feet
RND Construction for The Alta Vista, with Christopher Simmonds Architect

High-Rise Building, 11+ storeys
Mizrahi Developments for 1451 Wellington


Home Renovation, value up to $250,000
Amsted Design-Build for Full Service
OakWood for Rich Textures

Kitchen Renovation
Lagois Design Build Renovate for RMDH, with Deslaurier Custom Cabinets
OakWood for Piece of Art

Bathroom Renovation
Amsted Design-Build for Ensuite Extra, with Irpinia Kitchens Ottawa, Stylehaus Interiors
Lagois Design-Build-Renovate for Roosevelt


Builder of the Year
Minto Communities


Last year’s OHBA award winners

Full list of 2019 finalists


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About the Author

Patrick Langston

Patrick Langston is the co-founder of All Things Home Inc. and a veteran journalist. He has written widely about the Ottawa housing industry since 2008.



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