Ackard Contractors Ltd
By Athena Raypold

Founded as Family

Aquilino Naccarato and Richard Plamondon, owners of Ackard Contractors, are practically family. They met more than 30 years ago through their wives, Maryanne and Valerie, who went to high school together. Fast friends, Richard and Aquilino had similar backgrounds and common interests: Both were hard workers, both came from construction families and both were carpenters themselves – they even did their apprenticeship training together. “We’re very fortunate,” says Richard. “We both trust each other, and we both honour each other’s choices or decisions.”

In the 1980s, Richard and Aquilino were new journeymen with young families in the middle of Alberta’s toughest recession. Because both Richard and Aquilino have entrepreneurial spirits, they began taking on side jobs, and quickly rose the ranks to running their own crews. During the economic downturn, they were both offered out-of-town work, but because family is their priority, they chose to start up Ackard Contractors instead.

Initially, Richard and Aquilino would split up and do jobs separately to keep busy. “Those first couple of years were pretty hard,” Aquilino says, “because you did all your estimating in the evening and then you did all of the work during the day.” Back then, they only had a couple of employees, but now, more than 30 years later, Ackard Contractors has grown to over 35 employees and is a full-service builder providing exceptional, award-winning, custom builds and renovations.

If you’re sitting in your kitchen and you say, ‘Oh, I’d like to change this kitchen,’ all it would take is a phone call and we’d be able to handle everything else. - Aquilino Naccarato, co-owner
Ackard Contractors was started by two friends, and has now grown to have more than 35 employees
Photo by J Shantz Photography

Designing from a Builder’s Perspective

What differentiates Ackard Contractors from their competitors is that they are builders and designers – making for cost effective, practical designs. Richard, Aquilino and their team draw upon their extensive home building and renovation knowledge to design projects using their construction expertise – ultimately allowing them to meet clients’ (sometimes very tight) budgets and deliver projects successfully.

To complement their design services, Ackard Contractors utilizes design software that provides clients with a remarkably clear representation of the end product they will deliver, while also providing clients with access to their ongoing, continually updated project schedules. “Renovations are tough,” Richard says, “because everybody wants it started and finished right away.” Through clear communication and consistent contact with clients, the Ackard team successfully achieves their motto, providing “Results You’ll Love.”

Ackard Contractors are builders and designers, making them able to deliver cost-effect, practical designs
Photo by J Shantz Photography

Doing Renovations Yourself Versus Hiring a Contractor

“It comes down to this,” Aqulino says. “If you’re sitting in your kitchen and you say, ‘Oh, I’d like to change this kitchen,’ all it would take is a phone call and we’d be able to handle everything else.” While many homeowners are eager to save money by completing renovations themselves, Richard says that in the beginning, people are often very gung-ho and have the energy to rip everything out, but don't anticipate how much work it will actually be.

“When it gets to the final part of it, especially when it’s gone on for a few months, you don’t have the same interest, you just want to get it done, and you’re just putting it together,” he says. “At the end, you just don’t care, you’re like ‘Let’s pick something! This carpet is good, let’s just get this carpet done.’ And, the process of spending time to do good work, make good choices, and do good quality at the end, is lost.”

Ackard Contractors spares clients the trouble of picking away at a home reno by designing a renovation within your budget and ensuring that it’s completed on time and with the utmost quality.

Ackard Contractors can do new home designs and construction, as well as remodels and redesigns
Photo by J Shantz Photography

Ackard’s Leaders and Core Values

Aquilino leads Ackard Contractors’ design team, which includes an interior designer that assists clients in planning and selecting finishes. An extremely creative and personable designer, Aquilino loves the challenge of exceeding a client’s expectations. From the site visit, to the conceptual design, to the construction and completion, Aquilino likes watching the project’s transformation. “I like watching something change,” he says. “What it looked like from the start to what it can look like. It’s basically centred on what [the client’s] wants and needs are.” For his part, Richard oversees the day to operations of the company and provides support and insight with contracting and construction.

Additionally, both Richard and Aquilino mentor their staff. Just as they are family, the Ackard Contractors’ team is family, too. As leaders, Richard and Aquilino encourage their team to grow, and they take pleasure in watching their employees develop and evolve. Their investment in their staff as people, as individuals, and as part of the Ackard family motivates staff to maintain the company motto. Because taking pride in the work they do is crucial to Ackard’s success, Richard and Aquilino create a nurturing, supportive culture that attracts employees and trade partners that share those values. “The team knows that we have their backs,” Richard says, adding that “teamwork, quality, and doing what you say you’re going to do at the price you say you’re going to do it at” are Ackard Contractors’ core values.

Ackard Contractors also handle exterior home renovations
Photo by J Shantz Photography
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