Danny Ritchie learned to install and cap windows from his father at a young age. The youngster loved the work and in 1979, he and his brother Terry founded Ultimate Window Capping in Edmonton. They quickly earned a reputation for quality products and unbeatable customer service. The company flourished and Ultimate Window Capping became Ultimate Exterior Renovators, a go-to company throughout the 1980s. It continued to grow under the guidance of vice-president Marc Cloutier as the founders expanded the operation into Calgary.
“In September 1991, loonies fell from heaven in Calgary and Allstate Insurance asked us to come down and repair homes that were damaged by hail. By July 1992, we were doing a lot of work down here so I moved to Calgary and kept the Edmonton operation running with Marc,” says co-owner and president of Ultimate Homes & Renovations, Danny Ritchie.
In 1995, a homeowner asked the company to do an addition over the garage before replacing the hail-damaged roof and siding. Ultimate was all too happy to accommodate, and with the large renovation under their belt the company became Ultimate Renovations. The company rebranded again with its foray into new home building in 2017, becoming Ultimate Homes & Renovations to reflect its dedication to all areas of the business.
“Our renovations have expanded to such size that it often makes more sense to rebuild instead of renovate,” says Ritchie.
To aid in this, Ultimate recently recycled a home to avoid the wasteful demolition of a perfectly good structure. Clients sell their existing house (which is then moved to a new location) and Ultimate keeps the demolition debris out of the landfill.
Ultimate prides itself on thinking outside the box and finding unique solutions to challenges regardless of the project or the location. The company’s Edmonton roots ensure that every job, large or small, will receive the same level of professionalism and care regardless of where it is done.
“We want all Albertans to know that we take the same approach with every project – it doesn’t matter if the home is in Edmonton or St. Albert or Calgary or Cochrane. The bottom line is that their home is important to them which makes it important to us,” says Marc Cloutier.
The team tackles every job with the same eye for detail, adherence to budget and timeline, and quality standards. To maintain the high standards, the company uses in-house trades teams for everything from installation to construction to custom cabinetry.
To consistently deliver these high standards, the Ritchie brothers have empowered their management team to bring in the best people, all the while being available to clients 24-7 themselves. Whether staff is related or not, there is a family environment of respect and fun at their offices, as happy employees lead to happy clients.
“I have surrounded myself with good people and there have been a lot of our people who have been here a long time – many over 20 years and a few for the full 40 years,” Ritchie says. “I believe in treating them right and as a result, everyone stays.”
The corporate culture at Ultimate has contributed to the company’s success and word-of-mouth advertising has helped it grow into one of the top renovation and custom home builders in Alberta. And the industry has noticed. BILD has named Ultimate the renovator of the year nine times since the company started submitting projects in 1998. Since then, they have won 42 SAM Awards in a variety of categories and been nominees or finalists in many others.
Ultimate also received the Best Renovated Home in Canada award for its sixth show home in 2017. The company remodels these homes from top to bottom and showcases them before selling the property. It gives potential clients a chance to see the transformative work Ultimate can do as well as solidifies the company’s place as an industry leader. The site workers’ craftsmanship, the design and stellar construction come together to earn each of Ultimate’s show homes awards, and clients can be confident in the quality of the work knowing the project is an award-winning home.
The team loves to share their vision with potential clients, and last September offered the Ultimate Outdoor Living Space Tour to promote what they can do to spruce up a yard. With the blessing of past clients, the tour visited six amazing southeast Calgary spaces to inspire clients about the endless possibilities of outdoor living.
Danny and Terry Ritchie have assembled a talented creative team who have brought their vision to life for the past 40 years, evolving and growing with the industry. As the company enters its fifth decade in Alberta, it’s clear the award-winning group at Ultimate is just getting started.