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FairTradeWorks – Building an Industry Niche, Relationships, Trust and Community

By July 7, 2015May 26th, 2017Moments


A senior client and his daughter hired FairTradeWorks to fix some plumbing and drainage issues they simply couldn’t manage themselves. They were very happy with the end result.

A Vancouver company unique in the building industry will modify homes for seniors to increase accessibility and keep seniors living at home longer – just one of many things that set FairTradeWorks apart.

Vancouver-based company FairTradeWorks has been educating its senior clients about a government program that will pay for home adaptations for those who qualify to keep them in their own homes. Sometimes simple projects like securing railings and building ramps by the stairs can make a huge difference to a person’s access.

Sandra Lummiss, Communications Director, says she is thrilled when FairTradeWorks can connect a senior client or a client with mobility limitations with the HAFI (Home Adaptations for Independence) program.

HAFI is for homeowners whose primary residence requires adaptations to help with a member of the household who has a permanent disability or diminished ability. HAFI is funded under the Canada-BC Affordable Housing Initiative.

Providing a Program for Senior Who Want to Stay At Home

“We will give a free consultation for seniors interested in this program,” says Lummiss. “We can review their home, find safety fixes and identify what projects could make life a lot easier for them. You need to be human to really understand how a client with mobility issues goes about their day and what challenges they may encounter in their own home.”

She says the construction industry has lost a lot of that human element due to it being such a large, money-making business.

FairTradeWorks is a unique company due to President and Founder Jim Perkins thinking “outside of the box,” according to Lummiss.

“Jim is a visionary. He was willing to be flexible with his business model and came up with Canada’s only third party construction advocate.”

Vetting Trades to Ensure Quality of Service

FairTradeWorks tenders work out to a vetted trades pool and sets up a fixed payment schedule and work schedule on behalf of the client. The company manages projects from concept to completion and offers wholesale prices on building products from its materials division. Clients have access to the FairTradeWorks team of estimators, designers, architects and Leed certified building professionals.

“We’re basically your best friend ensuring you get the right price, right product and are satisfied at the end of the day,” says Lummiss. Our business is all about confidence and trust and ensuring people get real value.”

“We only work with qualified, ticketed trades with WorkSafe and Insurance,” says Lummiss. “42% of trades that apply with us don’t pass.”

Along with its unique business model, the company prides itself on other innovations. Like a program called What Women Want, an education for trades people to tap into how a woman sees home renovation. It teaches them to understand a woman might have a unique attention to detail, appreciation of finishing touches and specific job expectations.

“We also host ladies construction nights where women can come in and see and touch different building materials and ask questions and interact with other women interested in renovation and home improvement. They are a lot of fun”

Along with a passion for its clients, FairTradeWorks is passionate about its Fair2Give philanthropy program to give back to the community. The company specifically supports causes that benefit children, the environment and animals.

For more information about FairTradeWorks, visit FairTradeWorks.biz.

For more information about HAFI, visit www.bchousing.org/HAFI.