Our Story

It all started way back in 1989 when a young and naïve man was offered an opportunity to partake in the purchase of a Mr. Build franchise in the Dunbar area of Vancouver, B.C. I was convinced this was a great business sector to be involved in and as a kid, my mindset was simply “I will make lots of money!” So with much hesitation and uncertainty, I quit my full time job at the Vancouver airport and started learning about owning a small renovation company.

It was overwhelming to say the least, and as I soon found out, I was way over my head. Unfortunately, my ignorance was taken advantage of by my so-called “partners” and others involved in the company that knew much more than I did. I purchased what was sold to me as a turnkey franchise, but it turned out I had merely inherited a debt-inflated business with a number of challenges and deep-rooted existing problems. The first years were brutal to say the least. At one point I considered “running away” as I was broke and selling off personal items simply to make payroll and rent. My saving grace was my close friends and family and I learned about the word perseverance that was instituted not only in my life but throughout our company’s philosophy over the next many years.

Eventually I began to trust myself in my business decisions and operating the company became a little smoother. Our entire staff turned over and eventually I was fortunate enough to find some exceptional people who were highly skilled and enjoyed building the business with me. We now had new faces throughout the company except for one…Norm was telemarketing for me on a night-shift while going to BCIT taking business courses and he convinced me that we (just him and I), could run the operations of Mr. Build without all the unnecessary extra staff and personnel. For example, in the early 1990’s, we had an overbearing payroll overhead. We were operating with a general manger in the office, an assistant general manager, two sales managers and three supervisors of handimen - each in charge of five handimen each… we had an I.T. department, an accounting department with an accounting manager and a couple of bookkeepers, and we had a large 20 person telemarketing crew generating leads on night shift.

Norm and I through much attrition and many challenges over the years, eventually streamlined the business where just the two of us ran all operations. Most of our talented tradespeople remained but the office was pared down to extreme efficiency. All sales, quoting, customer service, job management, supervision, marketing and accounting were managed by the two of us. We then worked more direct with our tradespeople to help our client’s projects get the service they needed.


I was lucky I was still young and full of ambition so many 70 hour work weeks for me were not unusual. The days were long and the weekends were spent cleaning and prepping for the projects upcoming for the week ahead.

I eventually met my wife and had two wonderful kids. We managed to save enough for a downpayment on a small warehouse in the Marpole area on Shaughnessy St. in Vancouver and we made the move from renting an office/garage in the Dunbar area to owning a full warehouse with office and loft. The new location was a great design as it allowed us to create a proper workshop with enough room for storage of material/tools and other equipment. This translated to the client as we became much more efficient in handling their projects from design to completion.

Things went well for many years until Covid hit us all. It was a strange time as it seemed to push folks into making difficult decisions about their lives and careers. As a result we lost some excellent long-employed tradespeople who decided to retire or start a new direction in their life. These people had worked with me for at least a decade and I was devastated. I thought we would never find tradespeople that talented again. Luckily I was wrong, and we have some new amazing people who love what they do and enjoy working with our clients and their projects.

We are fortunate that our guys truly care. We have a multi-skilled team and we can take on all aspects of home and commercial renovations. We are now entering our 35th year of business and we look forward to continuing servicing our “old” and new customers throughout the lower mainland of Vancouver!

Sincerely, Kurt Gust – Mr. Build Vancouver

Mr. Build Vancouver

Why Choose Mr. Build Vancouver?

  • Local, family-run business since 1989 – 34 years!

  • Real office/shop location

  • Open and staffed all day, every weekday

  • Member of HomeStars and HOUZZ

  • 4.7 of 5 star rating at HOUZZ.com

  • Multi-skilled trades-people able to handle all aspects of any renovation you may need

  • Full WorkSafe BC and Liability Insurance coverage

  • All quotes provided to you within 24 – 48 hours

2024 Overview

Mr. Build Metro Vancouver is centrally located in the Marpole area of Vancouver, B.C. We have been independently owned, operated and established since 1989. This year, 2023, we are celebrating our 35th year in business!

Mr. Build specializes in small/medium renovations/repairs. We service both residential and commercial clients. We can provide you with a “one-stop” service for all your repairs and renovation needs. The staff has been with Mr. Build since the beginning and know what customer service means. Because of our business-like approach, skilled trades people, and excellent communication skills, we can provide you with a solid value for your financial investment in your home, revenue property, or commercial/leasehold improvement.

Mr. Build has won many accolades for their service(s) over the years. We were selected by the readers of The Vancouver Courier in print and on line as the Best Home Repair Service several years in a row.

We also finished second as the 2nd best renovation company in Vancouver, B.C. by the readers of The Province newspaper. We have had several articles written about our company in the Home Section of the The Vancouver Sun. We have won badges over the years for the most positive reviews for a renovation company in Houzz, Homestars and Google. Mr. Build also has maintained an A+ rating at the BBB - Better Business Bureau - for 30 years. We can be found usually around the top of any google searches e.g. bathroom renovations and our website is www.mrbuild.com. Please feel free to check out our numerous customer satisfied reviews all over the internet.

We look forward to working with you.

Best regards,

Kurt Gust – owner/operator

p.s. Mr. Build Vancouver is centrally located in the neighbourhood we work in and we are open Mon – Fri, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. We can provide a complimentary estimate for any project and repair required, usually within 48 hours. This full service approach has allowed us to serve over 30,000 clients to date. Our referral and repeat business is over 50%. In a very competitive market, this speaks volumes about our business, but more importantly about our people.

Do’s and Don’ts of Home Renovation

It’s even better if they are members of one or more of our professional associations (e.g. the Canadian Home Builders Association) which will help regulate industry standards.

In fact, see work in progress, or else a contractor will show you only finished gems and not how you can expect a project to go.

Some companies quote low but nail you for extras while those with higher quotes may actually be more honest in spelling everything out from the start.

There are always additional expenses along the way but the final price shouldn’t be that far from the budget being set out.

All the good ones are taken, so don’t expect to pick up the phone and have someone start next week. If they’re any good, they’re likely booked solid.

The more you know about what you want and the better you communicate that to the contractor at the inception of a renovation project, the smoother things can go. Making up your mind or changing your mind along the way, only eats up time and drives up the final price.

Expect the weather to affect the project’s timeliness and maybe even create challenges and setbacks.

People hire a contractor because they don’t have the time or skills to do the project themselves, so let the professionals do what they know how to do.

Realize that projects are fluid entities that change and there are always labor pains. Roll with it!

Nine Steps

Start With a Plan and End With a Successful Makeover

Whether you are making modest changes in one or two rooms, or you are transforming the entire house into a dream of a lifetime, the renovation process can be pleasant and smooth – if you take the time to plan your project carefully. I believe that homeowners can ensure a successful renovation if they follow these nine critical steps.

Advance research is the key to getting what you want. Review magazines, books and websites to get an idea of the look you want. Visit friends, family members and colleagues who have renovated recently. Consider your lifestyle and the needs of your family, both in the short and long term. A professional renovator can help assess the feasibility.

If you are thinking about using outside funds, discuss your borrowing needs and options with your lending institution. You will likely find there are many financing possibilities to consider, from personal loans and lines of credit to home equity loans and homeowner’s mortgages.

For appropriate service and high-quality results, hire a professional renovator. Click on “Find a Member” on the GVHBA website for a list of member renovators in the Greater Vancouver area. Ask family, friends and neighbours for recommendations.

Once you have acquired the names of several professional renovators, interview them. Be sure you have listed all the items that are important to you. Choose a couple of the renovators with whom you feel most comfortable. If you have plans and specifications, have the chosen renovators provide you with a proposal.
If you do not have plans already, ask the renovators to provide you with a proposal and a budget for a design/build project. Most professional renovators will provide a complete service, including their own in-house or private designers or architects.

Don’t omit this step just because you are too busy or “they seem like the right person for the job.” Call the GVHBA, the renovator’s previous clients, the bank, and the building supply store to ensure that you are making the right choices.

Don’t automatically take the lowest bid, unless you are certain the renovator has properly understood what you want. Sometimes low bids turn out to be the most expensive in the end. If you accept the renovator’s offer, it’s time to write up the contract. Even the simplest of jobs should be outlined in writing because the contract is the basis of understanding between you and your renovator.
Before signing a contract, read it carefully. Are you satisfied with the description of the work to be done? Does the payment schedule include hold-backs? Are the responsibilities of the renovator clearly spelled out? If something is not expressed in the contract, then it’s your responsibility. Have a lawyer examine the contract before you sign it.

Careful planning can greatly minimize the inconvenience of living in the midst of a renovation. Talk to your renovator about the schedule of work to be done and how your daily routine might be affected. Discuss your expectations of the work crew and determine the work environment. Does the crew need access to washroom facilities, telephones, water or electricity? Decide which areas of your home are off limits. It is a good idea to let your neighbours know you are going to be renovating.

A good working relationship is a vital ingredient in successful renovation projects. Mutual trust is essential. Keep lines of communication open at all times. Expect a brief report on the progress of your job at regular intervals, perhaps every evening. Be available to make decisions when they are needed so work is not held up, perhaps costing you more money. Don’t hesitate to bring your concerns to the attention of the renovator.

Once work is underway, changes should be kept to a minimum. The details of your project, described in the contract, down to the finishing touches, form the basis of both the price and the schedule of your job. Changes could affect both significantly. Your GVHBA member renovator will attempt to accommodate any alteration in plans, as long as you accept a possible delay in completion and/or a change in price.
Peter Simpson is the chief executive officer of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association, which has an active and progressive renovators council. For more information, visit www.gvhba.org. are important to you. Choose a couple of the renovators with whom you feel most comfortable.
If you have plans and specifications, have the chosen renovators provide you with a proposal. If you do not have plans already, ask the renovators to provide you with a proposal and a budget for a design/build project. Most professional renovators will provide a complete service, including their own in-house or private designers or architects.