A Lagois year in reflection

OH! What a year 2023 was for Lagois Design-Build-Renovate ‒ professionally and personally.

The year was marked with great joy for Jeff Hurdis (Lagois Lead Designer) and Erin in the birth of their daughter, Chloe ‒ a sister for little Dylan.

And 2023 was a huge professional triumph for the whole team in being named Renovator of the Year by the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association.

The team also celebrated a first in the completion of the first Net Zero Ready renovation in Ottawa.

All of this was on the cusp of the company’s 40th anniversary in business (1984-2024).

Besides winning Renovator of the Year, Lagois Design-Build-Renovate was named as a finalist in the GOHBA home design awards in five categories for renovation, including Designer of the Year.

The team was mightily busy in the community, too. With two big events, a motorcycle ride and a golf tournament, they have raised more than $30,000 for Rural Ottawa South Support Services (ROSSS) and Ronald McDonald House. (In addition to hosting fundraising events, Lagois also donates to the Annual Snowsuit Drive and the North Gower Food Bank.)

In 2023 the company published an immensely practical book by Founder Herb Lagois called The Right Fit: How to Choose a Renovator which has been distributed in print and online.

In December, Lagois Office Manager Brenda Salmon had a trip of a lifetime when she and her daughter, Brie, went to New Zealand to visit Brenda’s daughter (and Brie’s sister), Shaylie. She returned just in time for New Year’s with great smiles and great stories. And next month Brenda’s joy will multiply when she welcomes her first grandchild. (Stay tuned!)


Lagois welcomed new talent in 2023 with these people:

  • Gordon Shaw, Site Supervisor. Gordon has a background in business, but many years ago that quickly changed to carpentry when he helped his uncles build a big deck. He loved working with wood and tools. He went back to school for carpentry and never looked back. That was 27 years ago and to this day he still loves the industry.

Throughout his years as a carpenter, Gordon also developed his knowledge and skill set into project management, so when Lagois was looking for a site supervisor, he jumped at the chance.

Gordon enjoys spending time with his wife, two boys, and their puppy. He loves all sports and “the great outdoors”.

  • Jason Simons, Lead Craftsman. Jason started his career with Lagois Design-Build-Renovate as a high school co-op student in 1996. He graduated with honours from Algonquin College’s Red Seal carpentry program and since then he has worked closely with Lagois.

As lead craftsman, Jay is knowledgeable in all aspects of every build. In his free time, Jay enjoys having a campfire, four wheeling and snowmobiling. He loves camping with his wife, two kids and their dog.

  • Greg Fabris, Lagois Project Development Coordinator
    Graduating from the Architectural Technology Program at Algonquin College, Greg spent many years working in architecture firms on various larger scale projects including the Ottawa Airport, Royal Ottawa Hospital, the Shaw Centre and Lansdowne Redevelopment. Shifting focus to residential work, he designed apartment complexes and then with a developer designing townhomes and singles.

    He decided to step to the other side of the drawing board and began working as a Project Consultant for a renovation company – meeting with clients, designing their concepts and preparing their quotes/ contracts. That led to the opportunity to work at Lagois as Project Development Coordinator.

    Greg stays active stopping pucks for several hockey teams; riding on his motorcycle both on and off road and combining this with camping when he can. He is a serious amateur photographer who enjoys wandering and photographing what captures his eye.
  • Ruby Rose, Lagois Architectural Technologist
    Ruby went to Carleton to study the history and theory of architecture and fell in love with the idea of protecting our built heritage. Ruby says every building tells a story, and she is particularly interested in Canadian vernacular architecture because it tells many stories: for example, how buildings were constructed, techniques used in the area, how people liked to divide space, and what spaces were needed based on people's lifestyles.

Ruby didn't want to just research the stories that buildings offered but to also have a hand in protecting existing buildings – to help tell new stories through space. With that in mind, she went to Algonquin College to study Architectural Technology. She says she is thrilled to be working on existing homes that need another chapter in their story.

In her free time, Ruby likes to go on long hikes, bike rides and runs. She enjoys painting, woodworking and spending as much time as possible with her family and friends.

One of the last tasks in 2023 for the team was to attend The Buildings Show in Toronto. It was a rich experience for everyone, with superb opportunities for keeping their skills and knowledge updated and refreshed.

We hope you’ll enjoy the accomplishments of the Lagois team in this brand new year while it continues to create spaces that enrich the lives of its owners spaces that are aesthetically inspiring, highly functional, innovative, sensitive to the environment and finished on time and on budget.

And again in 2024, we hope you’ll celebrate the team as it helps homeowners, as always, to Love Where They Live.