Alair Homes, Aurora-Newmarket, Ontario

March 4, 2024
Alair Homes, Aurora-Newmarket, Ontario

Alair Homes, Aurora-Newmarket

Internationally Respected with a Distinct Local Focus


A construction franchise model that is ‘building’ in the right direction

Developing a niche in a highly competitive business is never easy, but with the right tools, Alair Homes has constructed a leading, franchise-based construction brand that is giving the competition a run for its money.

Founded in 2007 by Blair McDaniel, a custom home builder serving a discerning client base, Alair Homes can trace its origins to British Columbia, Canada. McDaniel, faced with the formidable challenge of scaling his business, began to experiment with different approaches to find the best construction fit.

Eventually, he formed a unique partnership agreement. With values and goals aligned, and systems and processes refined, the teams merged. The outcome was the ground-breaking Client Control system, still the foundation of Alair’s projects today. This method allows an investor to build the least risky, most rewarding, and most valuable global building company without sacrificing autonomy or equity.

McDaniel realized the company had created a franchise. Recognizing the effectiveness of the model, in 2012, Alair Homes spread its wings, introducing the Alair legacy to the franchising world.

Thanks to this genius idea, and the fortitude to execute it, Alair Homes is the world’s largest custom home building and large-scale renovation/remodeling brand, with 100 franchises. In an industry notorious for its elusive work-life balance, the company distinguishes itself by empowering owners to enhance teams, deepen community relationships, and prioritize family.

Alair Cares- at the heart of the business

Alair Cares understands a dwelling is more than just its physical components. The program redefines the builder’s role, emphasizing broader community and lifestyle aspects. Established 15 years ago, it reflects a dedication to enriching individuals’ well-being and nurturing happier, healthier lives.

Alair Cares is not a corporate responsibility or a marketing gimmick, but a genuine undertaking, with 100 Partners and 600 team members involved in charities and events around the globe.

David Butler, Alair Homes Executive General Manager, secured his second consecutive win for “Community Impact” at the 2023 Alair Awards, recognizing outstanding efforts to combat homelessness. Butler spearheaded the Better Tent City initiative in Kitchener/Waterloo, helping 50 chronically homeless residents. An Alair spokesperson notes, “David inspires others to support communities and people in need of extra care.”

At last year’s December 15th Hockey Helps the Homeless event, AC players raised $270,000, including Aurora-Newmarket’s $14,000 contribution. The proceeds go to Blue Door Housing Charity and 360°kids, a youth homelessness organization. Partners have volunteered 120 hours and provided $19,000 in sponsorships.

Alair Homes’ Canadian teams started an impactful national charity partnership. Sixty franchises joined forces, pledging $100,000 over five years to the SickKids Foundation in Toronto, Ontario. Functioning under Alair Homes VS Missing Home, the company proudly serves as a SickKids Accelerator, tackling the challenges faced by patients.

In tandem, SickKids began production on a transformative new hospital. The build is a momentous undertaking and signifies more than physical change; it embodies a profound shift in medical care delivery. AH’s financial obligation is a broader pledge to cultivate hope and deliver encouragement to the families of ill children.

Technology integration is vital, with electronic records and modular rooms ensuring relevance for the next 70 years.

Seanna Millar, Senior Vice-President of Corporate and Community Partnerships at SickKids Foundation, praises the generous donor, “We are thrilled to partner with Alair to help us build a new home for SickKids, where the spaces in which our patients receive their care will match the quality of services the hospital provides.”

On September 28th, 2023, SickKids unveiled the modern 22-story Patient Support Centre (PSC). Shaped by a workforce of 300 tradespeople during peak construction, a safety-oriented environment led to an impressive track record of 980,000 hours worked with no lost time injury (LTI).

The next stage bridges an entire decade, with work occurring between 2025 and 2035, and will replace the Black and Hill Wings with the new Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower. This phase includes renovating and expanding the Burton Wing to house Outpatient Services in the upcoming Ambulatory Care Tower.

Sustainability and the High Cost of Inflation

Like SickKids, custom building is on the verge of a transformative chapter. Traditionally focused on structural safety, building codes are now evolving to integrate efficiency, a reduced carbon footprint, and innovative material use. According to Butler, “We need an extensive project where sustainability is important to all involved parties. The client must have that vision.”

The buyer plays a pivotal role in this inspired journey. Butler explains, “We have had clients where we recommend upgrading insulation because of the property’s location, but they do not see the value and prefer spending on visible features. But certain customers commit to minimizing their footprint and achieving net-zero energy efficiency.” This collaboration between the purchaser, architect, trade partners, and specialty engineers reflects a shared environmental pledge.

Alair Homes undertake five to seven builds annually, installing mid-grade to higher-end finishes. From infill homes on tight lots to sprawling 100-acre country plots, the properties range from 3,000 to 8,000 square feet. Given its location on the fringe of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the firm gravitates towards larger rural homes,

Despite COVID-19 taking a back seat, inflation and interest rates impact elite builds, with the trade experiencing a 5%-8% increase over three years. Butler reports a 20%-40% cost increase across the board. “I can buy a Canadian-made snowmobile for less money in the U.S. than in Canada.” This affects clients requiring financing and those paying with cash.

The construction industry wrestles with Canada’s housing crisis, especially in the GTA, where affordable property is scarce. Addressing this concern requires governments to streamline processes, increase accommodation availability, and reduce endless bureaucratic tape.

Over the past five years, hurdles from municipal and provincial governments quadrupled, complicating permits and land development. Lack of civic accountability leads to varied processes and rules, creating obstacles for builders. This issue spreads beyond Canada, with housing shortages worldwide.

A Franchise Business Model with a Client Focus

Alair Homes’ operational structure is distinct.

“Blair McDaniel had the idea of planning the entire venture with the consumer. Have them create and design it, including selecting finishes, and price everything in advance,” explains Butler. “Then be transparent about the rates−show the customer what our builders’ costs are”). Buyer cooperation is paramount in ensuring advanced choice approval and preventing unexpected expenditures.

The method used The first step is a face-to-face discovery meeting, says Butler. “We collect information about the build, discuss concerns, and align with the customer’s vision. We then create a feasibility document outlining project details and supply a cost estimate.” If the client moves forward, Alair enters a planning contract, instigating joint efforts in surveying, architect choice, and approval of the design proposal.

The process involves detailed steps, such as retaining interior and exterior designers, requesting quotes from trade partners, and meticulous price breakdowns using proprietary software. Clients have full visibility of budgets and real-time scheduling through cloud-based software.

In the GTA, alternative methods exist, like hiring a project manager who oversees building activities while customers buy materials to circumvent markups. However, this approach is illegal in the province without a builder’s license, raising serious warranty concerns.

“In contrast, we supply and install everything, providing a standard two-year warranty plus an Alair guarantee,” states Butler. “We include complimentary three-, six-, and twelve-month inspections after completion.” Tailor-made homes enjoy the Tarion warranty, backed by the provincial government.

This flourishing business model would not be possible without the cooperation of Alair Homes Franchise Partners.

Alair Homes Franchise Opportunities

Alair Homes Franchise is aggressively pursuing robust area developers to expand their network.

Offering unparalleled prospects in custom building, Alair Franchises in Canada and the U.S. are stars in the general contractor and home improvement and renovation sectors. Owning an Alair Homes Franchise means access to award-winning designs and a ‘client-first’ approach.

Unlike conventional franchises, Alair works uniquely, selecting only existing market leaders in custom building and large-scale renovation/remodeling. “We seek Partners who contribute revolutionary ideas and strategies, fostering a brain trust,” details Butler. Acceptance into this selective program requires a proven track record of success, high customer satisfaction in construction, and strong project management and communication skills.

This strategy results in a continuous increase in innovation velocity with every new partner, making Alair Home Franchise the most awarded group in the industry.

A confidential executive-level discussion between builders is the first step. This transformative journey starts with a 15-minute introductory call with Alair’s Director of Market Development, Shane Duff. If the conversation merits further exploration, a 1-hour call uncovers shared values and long-term goals. Next, unravel the intricacies of AH’s approach in four weekly 1.5-hour screen share sessions. The process culminates in validation calls with existing Alair Partners, a critical step to ensure compatibility and mutual respect, mitigating the risk associated with bringing new individuals into the unified group.

Alair Homes 2024 franchise fees are between $53,500 and $328,000, with a cash investment of $150,000. To qualify, you must have a minimum net worth of $250,000.

As construction continues to boom, Alair Homes remains at the forefront of the industry, constructing some of the best solutions in the homes sector as a new year begins.

Click The Cover To View Or Download The Brochure


Alair Homes

WHAT: A ground-breaking residential construction franchise network of industry leaders.

WHERE: Aurora/Newmarket, Ontario, Canada


Alair Homes Franchise Opportunities



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