Renova builds its future on its DNA from renovations, new luxury homes
Company wins BILD Calgary Region Award for Multi-Family Builder of the Year, small volume.
Reviews and recommendations are unbiased and products are independently selected. Postmedia may earn an affiliate commission from purchases made through links on this page.
There are so many awards that require regular dusting in Justin Mauro’s southeast Calgary office that one might wonder how he has time for his actual job.
Each of the many awards that are proudly on display are family treasures. Many are Sales and Marketing (SAM) Awards, the precursor to the Building Industry and Land Development (BILD) Calgary Region awards that mark the outstanding work of builders, renovators, suppliers and partners in the residential construction industry.
Some were awarded to Mauro’s cousin’s company, Albi Renova, which he purchased in 2018. Some were presented to Albi Homes, an upscale home building company that his parents, Tom and Debra Mauro, sold to Brookfield Residential in 2015.
Four of the most recent trophies on display were earned by his company, Renova Homes and Renovations, and were accepted by Mauro and his team at the 2021 BILD Calgary Region Awards on April 30. Renova won Best Town Home/Villa $380,000 and over, Best Kitchen Reno $100,000 and over and Best Exterior Reno/Outdoor Living Space.
Renova also won a Grand Award for 2021 Multi-Family Builder of the Year, small volume. No mean feat for the 41-year-old Mauro, who learned the construction and renovation business through osmosis.
“It’s kind of been bred into me. But you know, when I looked at other industries when I was younger, they didn’t interest me all that much,” he says.
Renova’s roots are in renovations, but since purchasing Albi Renova, Mauro has branched out into new construction. There are many new home builders who do single and multi-family product — Truman, Jayman Built and Homes by Avi to name a few — but with renovations in the mix, Renova had material for BILD submissions in three categories.
“That adaptation comes with a pretty unique skill set. We have two teams here — one that focuses on single-family and low density multi-family and one that focuses on renovation. It requires different expertise because renovations are different that erecting a house from scratch,” he says.
It was a boutique townhouse project in Sunnyside that earned Renova two nominations, a subsequent BILD Award and the Grand Award.
Casa Bianca Units A and C were two floor plans in a four-unit corner development that were finalists in Best Townhome Style categories. The project featured insulated concrete form construction that guaranteed each unit would be soundproof — as much like single-family homes as possible, Mauro says.
“Each had individual mechanical systems and garages. They had really nice, very contemporary finishes and open spaces. We pushed the style envelope, and they were very well received,” he says, noting that the homes sold in the $600,000s to mid-$700,000s range.
Renova has larger multi-family projects slated in 2022 for the Riversong area of Cochrane. One is an attached bungalow villa community, and the other is a townhome development.
The company is currently building single-family product in the town’s Precedence neighbourhood. Mauro entered a show home in the 2021 awards but got no love this year.
“Our homes only fall within a few categories, but that’s OK. We have some good products to show, so hopefully we get some single family nominations next year,” he says.
Renova’s renovation awards were for a kitchen makeover in Arbour Lake and an outdoor renovation and living space in Wildwood. The latter involved adding a front porch with a steel shed roof, brick columns and built-in heaters for the owners who wanted to socialize at the front of the home rather than in the back. Mauro has noticed increased demand for outdoor spaces and recently completed a job in Watermark where his team incorporated a swim spa into a covered deck.
While Calgary’s real estate scene has been robust in 2022, it’s very competitive with new companies joining the fray every day. More “small guys” come to the market when it’s hot, while the big players tend to take over in tougher markets, Mauro says. Renova, and its family legacy, is here to stay.
“Over the next 20 years, I think if you’re not a versatile builder with a couple of different product streams and some diversification, it’s going to be hard to be successful long term,” he says. “I don’t have the desire to be a massive, massive company. I’d rather be really good at what we do and be a little smaller and a little more cohesive. I think it’s more fun for me. We’ve been around for 30 years, and we’re going to be around for another 30.”