by Heidi Riley
T&J Construction is owned by Tim McHatten, who has years of experience building R2000 net zero energy efficient homes.
Tim was a builder in New Brunswick for 17 years before he moved to PEI. He was always interested in building energy efficient homes, but says it used to be a challenge to persuade clients to spend the extra money needed. “Now, people are paying more attention to it, and we don’t build anything that is not net-zero,” says Tim.
The company recently received an award from the Canadian Home Builders Association-PEI for building the best new home under 2,500 square feet, best new home over 2,500 square feet, and the best net zero-rated home. A net-zero home is a house that is able to produce at least as much energy as it uses.
“Remaining certified in net-zero construction means constant training to stay on top of current trends in passive construction, solar energy, using recycled products, using a double-wall system to produce an air-tight house envelope, and maintaining proper air flow and ventilation.
“We started in 1989 as a general contractor, and in the early 1990s, we began building R-2000 energy efficient homes and joined the Canadian Home Builders Association and Atlantic Home Warranty, who did our training. We also took courses with Better Built Homes over the years. By 2011, we started training for net-zero construction techniques.
“Training is a huge part of construction, and it is very important to have that background and pass it on to the people we hire.”
Tim has networked with the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada (now the Immigrant and Refugee Services Association) and has had good success hiring workers from different countries who have great knowledge and skill and are hard working.
“Before COVID-19 hit, we had 13 staff. Then we restructured and renovated our store back to being a specialty window and door store with a partner Mike Peters. We are still doing business by appointment only, and we will reopen in January 2022.”
Potential hiring needs
“Going forward, we potentially could be looking at hiring people to help with some construction of energy efficient homes but mostly window and door installation.
“We are a very small company, so we really look for the right candidate. If we hire, we would look for someone who likes what they do and is personable. Having their own transportation is also important.
“The ideal candidate would have the skillset to operate tools, training such as lift and fall arrest, and project management experience would be fantastic. We don’t require someone with a great deal of knowledge and experience, because I would be working alongside them, but being willing to work is the biggest thing.
“We may also potentially be interested in hiring a salesperson in the store if we grow enough. We welcome people who speak a second language because with immigration on the rise, that is an asset.”
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