PARKSVILLE – If a client can dream it, Ballard Fine Homes can build it.
Owner/operator Don Ballard has built everything from high rises in Mazatlan, Mexico to upscale executive rancher communities locally, with multi-million dollar mixed-use projects in Bowser and Parksville on the drawing board.
Ballard Fine Homes has experienced an impressive rise in the Island’s construction industry, and now stands among Vancouver Island’s biggest residential contractors.
“There’s no job too big or too small for us,” says Ballard. “We do everything, from bathroom and kitchen renos, demolition and reconstruction, all the way to land development and building residential subdivisions.
“We are committed to making home building an enjoyable and timely experience, while exceeding our customers’ expectations”.
Ballard Fine Homes’ business model is to build exceptional quality without compromise. The company’s outstanding growth is based on referrals from their customers to their family and friends, and testimonials include famed singer and actress, Marie Osmond.
Ballard says, “I bought a condo in Mexico in the 90s, and I recognized there was a demand for real estate there. There had been no new real estate development for years, and everyone was trying to get me to sell my condo every time I visited.”
Taking advantage of the market potential, Ballard relocated to Mazatlan to build homes and oceanfront condominiums.
“To help meet the market demand in Mazatlan, one of the highrises I built was the tallest in the state of Sinoloa at the time,” he says.
“When I was developing there, I also built vacation homes for a number of celebrities,” says Ballard. “One of them was Marie Osmond, who was voted the second most trusted female celebrity in the world, next to Oprah Winfrey.”
Osmond was so impressed with the exterior construction of her Mazatlan home, that she asked Ballard to do the furnishing and interior design work.
“I’ve known Don Ballard for almost 10 years now and had an instant connection with him,” Osmond says in her testimonial.
“I met Don as a Builder and was unbelievably impressed with his work, ability and personality. His quality of build was second to none. I had Don customise my residence and I trusted him enough to finish my home to his taste and fully furnish my home.”
As the testimonial demonstrates, Ballard’s reputation for quality and attention to detail has been a significant contribution to the company’s growth.
When Ballard wrapped up his last developments in Mexico in 2010, he moved back to Canada.
“I did my real estate licensing when I was 19 and didn’t really expect I would still be selling real estate 28 years later,” he says.
He subsequently bought the Macdonald Realty real estate office which now shares office space with Ballard Fine Homes in Parksville.
“I started to build houses in 2012, when I saw a need for an ‘executive rancher’ style home,” he says.
“I was thinking I’d maybe build 5-6 houses per year, however, there was a huge demand for our product. Our quality and attention to customer detail is what has grown our business to what it is today, one of the largest residential builders on Vancouver Island, creating work for hundreds of people and investing millions of dollars into our local communities.”
One of the big selling points for the company is that they are ready to build when the customer is ready.
“Many builders have to put customers on a waitlist,” says Ballard. “With our team, we can start whenever the customer is ready. There’s no waitlist.
“As an example, we just had a customer looking at building, and he was told by a smaller builder that his house would take one year. With us, it was a five month job at the most.”
Ballard’s team also offers services that most other residential construction companies don’t.
Ballard Fine Homes provides their customers with a complete package deal, including fencing, landscaping, and appliances, so their projects are move-in ready upon completion.
Ballard’s company operates with old fashioned family values. They understand the gravity of a new home purchase, and take it very seriously, as it is often one of the biggest financial decisions people will make in their lives.
“I understand how important a home investment is for people.” Ballard says. “I treat them like I’d want to be treated.”
That is why the company’s business model is to only build exceptional quality without compromise or cutting corners.
“We go over and above, from foundation through the entire construction process, working with our customers every step of the way,” says Ballard.
When they are building a custom plan, the home is designed around the lot, sunlight, and other environmental features. Ballard Fine Homes’ office, showroom, and show homes make it easy for customers to visualize the possibilities for their own home.
The team at Ballard Fine Homes has a lot on the go.
“Over the years, we have built a strong, knowledgeable team and the success of Ballard Fine Homes could not have been achieved without them,” says Ballard.
Ballard has two full-time project managers in addition to himself working on the company’s various projects. He also has a full time customer service agent who assists customers with their unique choices and follows up with them to ensure satisfaction.
“With the expertise and commitment of the team the company can confidently expand as we are. Due to the high demand for our product, we’re looking at setting up our showrooms in some of the neighbouring cities right now,” he says.
“I’m asked if I will build in the Victoria area or Mill Bay all the time, and we get calls from other areas of the Island that we’re looking at expanding into.”
A show home for one of its current developments is described as a 2018 sq. ft. executive rancher in Parksville’s newest subdivision Avalon Place, which is a 22 lot subdivision next door to Ballard Fine Homes’ office at 546 Island Hwy W. in Parksville.
The home boasts an open concept floor plan with vaulted ceilings, 7” hardwood flooring, floor to ceiling stone fireplace, custom cabinets with stainless drawer boxes, granite counters and LED lighting. It’s wired for smart home technology, has a built-in sound system, central vac and heated tile floors.
The exterior includes 2 timber frame covered decks with cedar soffits and stamped concrete patios. The property is fully fenced, professionally landscaped with two water features, and has a 12 year bumper to bumper warranty on the heating and A/C units.
The home is complete with on demand gas hot water, 5 ft. crawl & extra storage above the garage.
Key projects that are going to be completed in the coming months and years include a new nine lot subdivision with ⅓ to ½ acre lots in Nanoose Bay and a new eight lot subdivision on Imperial Avenue in French Creek.
“We also have a 12 acre waterfront development site in Bowser planned for next year,” says Ballard.
“We’ll have up to 100 units on that project, with a mix of waterfront homes, single-family, patio homes, some apartments, and some commercial space. It’s going to be a huge mixed-use development.”
The company also has a 4-acre waterfront development planned for next year for the old French Creek Cabins site. It will include single-family and ocean front homes, commercial space, and ocean view condos.
Even with all of these major projects on the go, Don Ballard still gets excited with every custom home build. One of the major selling points of the company is that it offers custom design services at no additional charge to the customer.
“We build a lot of custom homes, basically any size,” says Ballard. “If someone has a dream or vision, we can create that for them. We bring their dream into reality. That’s why our slogan is: ‘If you can dream it, we can build it.’ I will never tire of handing over the keys for someone to unlock the home of their dreams.”