In 1978 my husband Gordon and I chose Grande Prairie as a great place to raise our children, Terry and Tricia, and to start our business of building homes. Gordon’s father, Mack McLevin, was born and raised in the Dimsdale area – so Gord has always been a Peace Country guy. The fond memories of my visits to the Peace Country when I was a young girl and Grande Prairie’s size and warmth appealed to both of us.
We named our business by blending our names together – Cardon Homes– the Car after Carol and Gordon being the “Don”. My bookkeeping skills soon evolved into pouring concrete, shingling and painting as a shortage of workers was prevalent in those times. At that time, we built cabinets on site and painted both the interiors and exteriors of the homes ourselves. I certainly learned the building of a house from all angles although there were a few painful moments as we developed our skills of listening and or speaking at the proper times to maintain a working marriage and friendship with each other. I was so happy when vinyl siding and aluminum soffits hit the market!!
In the early 1980’s things slowed down. The National Energy Program hurt the oil and gas development in Alberta and interest rates rose to unprecedented highs. Fortunately, we only had one unsold house on the go at that time and decided not to start another until it was sold. We definitely had a softer landing than most. Gord using his heavy duty mechanic license, my bookkeeping skills and working on various home renovations brought us and Cardon Homes through a few difficult years.
We enjoyed building our first custom home in the early 80’s and decided that that was the direction we wanted our business to take and to continue controlling to manage the number we construct each year.
Gordon and I strive to continually expand our knowledge; we have both earned our Master Home Builder designation. As energy costs have spiraled, we have specialized in building R2000 and Built Green homes. The building requirements for these custom homes specify that you design and build the custom home as a complete unit. All the components of the house must meet specific standards and consideration must be given to each detail. For example, which direction the house faces, type of energy saving windows, heating, flooring. Further, all custom homes must be air tested for controlled ventilation.
Our strengths have been setting common goals in our lives and business and teaming together in work and as life partners. We have come to love and appreciate the wonderful community that we live in. We especially enjoy the relationships we have built over the years with our clients, employees, trades people and business owners.
Our decision to make Grande Prairie our home in 1978 was the best decision we have ever made.