Gary Neven, a jack-of-all trades and master of many, credits his success to the generations who helmed the company before him. He is third generation of Neven Custom Homes Ltd., a homebuilding and renovation business that has carved out an oak-solid reputation in the Hamilton area, this year celebrating their 65th anniversary.
The business traces its roots to 1952, three years after Gary’s grandparents, George and Elizabeth, arrived in Canada from post-war Holland. George, a trained carpenter, brought with him the “old European way, really hands-on” approach to carpentry and a tireless work ethic.
The reins were subsequently passed to Gary’s father, Andrew, and eventually to Gary and his siblings Deani, Drew and Jeff. Dabbling in house-flipping as a teenager gave Gary his first taste of major renovation projects. He studied accounting and earned his Bachelor of Commerce degree. He earned his carpenter papers after graduating university. He’s also a qualified designer, capable of designing homes as large as 5,000 square feet.
“When you run a small business, you have to wear many hats,” Gary explains. Quality comes first, he says, which is why he’ll only do eight to 10 projects a year. Gary’s son Mark Neven is now the fourth generation to enter the business.
Despite his talent and credentials, Gary has the wisdom to know when he should rely on the expertise of others, whether on-staff designers or talented tradespeople. Neven Custom Homes turns to: