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Celebrating Women in Construction on Construction Day: The Home Improvement Group

Celebrating Women in Construction on Construction Day
Celebrating Women in Construction on Construction Day

The National Construction Day (November 30th) aims to celebrate the dedicated, hard-working people instrumental in building and connecting our communities through infrastructure. Typically seen as a male-dominated industry, this Construction Day, we wanted to shine the spotlight on a woman who is breaking these barriers and carving her own path in the construction industry. We spoke to Christine Delongte, owner of The Home Improvement Group, about her business, the services and the challenges of being a woman in this industry. 

The Home Improvement Group is a comprehensive renovation company serving clients in Toronto and across the GTA. Be it as small as a single bathroom, or as large as the entire main floor of your home, they help you plan and execute complete renovation projects to suit your needs, meet your desires and exceed your expectations. Read below to learn more about their business and how Christine is leading by example when it comes to breaking barriers in the industry. 

Tell us about the beginning – how did The Home Improvement Group start?

This company was built on the foundation of doing everything right, in an industry that has little to no focus on customer service. To me, exceptional customer service means relating to people, hearing what they have to say, treating them like family, having open conversations, working collaboratively and never quitting until I’ve gone above and beyond.

Open and honest communication is our hallmark. We never leave you in the dark or let a detail go undiscussed. From the moment we connect at the start of your project, to the moment we leave your home and close the door behind us, we are communicating with you openly, honestly and collaboratively.

Renovations call for a high level of organization and strategic scheduling. At The Home Improvement Group, we have an entire department dedicated to creating and managing project schedules behind the scenes. This ensures that the day the plumber is supposed to show up, he does. And the day the countertops are supposed to be installed in your brand-new kitchen, they are.

The Home Improvement Group is with you every step of the way. We design, plan, tear down and build up. When demolition begins, we remove the old and neatly take everything away. Building new includes all tasks from framing, drywalling and painting, to electrical, plumbing and HVAC, to cabinetry, countertops, floors and closet organizers.

Employees and contractors are covered under WSIB, and all our work is fully insured. You can enjoy peace of mind knowing that no matter what happens on the job, there is the right coverage in place.

Each day brings new experiences and challenges, none of which I shy away from. I consider it my top priority to see your vision the way you do and then provide you with expert design recommendations and advice that helps us all create the kind of solution that makes you smile ear to ear.”

-Christine Delongte

Tell us about your services and the sister companies

The Home Improvement Group is your “One Stop Shop” for all your renovation needs, no matter the size.  We offer daily services for painting and handyman work as well as full home or office renovations. We specialize in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, condo renovations, flooring, painting, HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, you name it, we do it.

Perfect Handyman specializes in smaller jobs that most companies shy away from, such as drywall work, installing doors, hardware, regrouting, installing shelves, trim, doors and minor repairs – the ‘Honey, To-Do List’. Our handyman services are provided by our professional, efficient and skilled handyman. In short, our handymen are capable of handling all types of odd jobs that you would not want to do yourself.

Affinity Renovations specializes in condo renovations. Our team works professionally, both inside your unit and throughout your building. We understand the need to schedule elevators at appropriate times and lay coverings to protect different spaces, such as elevator walls, your unit’s front door and anything else that needs to be preserved. With the right areas protected as we work, we ensure no damage is done.

-Christine Delongte

For the homeowner, how does THIG make their experience stand apart from the competitors?

Our customer experiences are unique as we offer a very “hands-on” approach to every aspect of the project.  Starting with our call center, they assist customers by asking questions about the project they want done and work to schedule a one-on-one appointment with one of our renovation advisors at their convenience. Next, our renovation adviser attends the customer’s home to gain insight into the scope of the project and the customer’s current floor plan, style etc. which gives a better understanding of the overall look they want to achieve.  Within 3 days of the visit the customer is provided with a quote for the work and our office follows up with them to ensure all their questions and concerns are answered.  Once they approve the quote we reach out for signature and payment processing followed by our scheduler Shawna reaching out to determine a project start date. Our office, as well as renovation advisers, keep open communication during each project which shows clients they are valued and not just “another project”. We never walk away from our customers.  We take pride in every job and its completion to our customer’s satisfaction.

-Christine Delongte

As a woman-led company in construction, what were some of the challenges faced by you and how did you overcome those?

Find something you love to do and make it a job.

My name is Christine Delongte Owner and Founder of The Home Improvement Group. In a predominantly male industry, I’m a vibrant female spirit who is clearing her own path, challenging the status quo and daring to do things differently.  Passionate and professional, I wake up genuinely excited to go to work, liaising between clients on the front end and my valued workers behind the scenes. There’s nothing I love more than helping people build happy homes where they can create memories to last a lifetime.

Some challenges I have had to overcome being a woman in a man’s industry are discrimination, lack of other women in the industry and building trust with vendors, trades, and contractors in a predominantly male-led industry.  When I meet with customers and trades, I encounter surprise reactions as they expect I would be male.  Many ask questions regarding being female in the industry and I am very open with my experiences which are positive for the most part.

-Christine Delongte

How has HomeStars helped you in this journey?

Homestars has tremendously helped me grow my business and showcase all aspects of the work we do.  We have 3 profiles with Home Stars and we work closely with our Account Manager and have monthly calls to analyze our leads.  Our Account Manager schedules regular calls to go over our leads and what can be done to grow our business and increase our leads.  They have offered promotions and added marketing at a discount to generate more leads to our site.  Our HomeStars’ account manager is very proactive in helping us in any way they can.

-Christine Delongte

As a woman in this industry, what’s your advice for any woman out there who wants to break into the industry?

I have learned to be assertive, not afraid to speak up and make a voice ahead. I educated myself and been onsite for many renovations, to understand the process from start to finish, I got my hands dirty.  I am not afraid to ask questions, challenge the process and be a team player.  I have learned to stay focused, have thick skin and lead by example. My top priorities and lessons would be:

Cultivate confidence

Stay Positive

Care about being respected not liked

Learn how to handle conflict

Take a leadership role

Support other women

-Christine Delongte

Source of the post : HomeStars Blog

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