Trim Talk with Ecnomus Construction Group
September 4, 2018
by The Finished Space

We had an exciting opportunity to partner with the talented contractor, Andrew Wood, of Ecnomus Construction Group Inc., for a charming bedroom makeover featuring Option {M} Modern Farmhouse shiplap. Afterward, we were eager to hear his thoughts on the impact of home upgrades and interior finishings trends. He also offered us insight into his company and the important role a contractor plays.

Andrew Wood, of Ecnomus Construction

 “I really love…overseeing the controlled chaos that is construction from a macro level one day, and then being able to throw on a tool belt and getting work done the next.”

Having worked as a contractor since 2007, Andrew’s motivation in his career is rooted in “building out [his] company and making customers happy,” he says. Even though much of his time may be consumed by his profession, Andrew “loves to make new relationships.” 

Andrew’s relationship with construction was found many years ago when he was working for a bigger builder between his first and second year of University. In fact, Andrew loved it so much that he declares, “I started my first company the following year.” When asked, Andrew made it clear what drew him to construction, “In my position, I really love developing relationships with our clients and overseeing the controlled chaos that is construction from a macro level one day, and then being able to throw on a tool belt and getting work done the next,” he says.

Ecnomus Construction Group logo

“We love doing what we do every day, and we work really hard to make our customers happy.”

When asked to describe his company, he explained, “Ecnomus is a growing and dynamic building company that strives for efficiency and keeps everything honest. We love doing what we do every day, and we work really hard to make our customers happy.” 

After spending some time talking about Andrew’s company, we asked him how the name Ecnomus came to be. Andrew humorously bantered, “You’d think with my last name being ‘Wood’ that we would use it in our company’s name.” He continues, “Despite being in school for business, I took a lot of electives in history. So, I wanted a name that was naval and had to do with tall-ships.” As our conversation continued to progress, it was revealed that his team proposed the name Ecnomus. The term Ecnomus could be traced back to the Battle of Cape Ecnomus, which was a naval battle that was documented in 256 BC. Considering Andrew’s interest in history, it is no surprise he embraced this name for his company.

Andrew took the opportunity to speak fondly about his team members. Notably, his founding partner and Director at Ecnomus, Craig Spivey. “Although we both manage projects, I typically go out and hunt for the jobs while [Craig] keeps things on the tracks and rolling ahead. He does a lot of work behind the scenes, and the team appreciates all the work he does, even if it’s not always at the forefront,” Andrew shares.

He also quickly went on to give credit to his other comraderies. “James Barber. He’s been with us since we worked on HGTV. He is a phenomenal teacher and is great working with people. Somehow, he can teach and mentor other individuals while managing the day-to-day projects and making sure that our operations continue moving forward. From early on, I knew I wanted to be in business with James, and lucky for me the opportunity presented itself in the last year but that’s another story.”

He also mentioned Colin Smith, an incredibly talented guy for his age. “He’s a young apprentice. He started with us when he was only 17 years old, and only a few years later he is managing the day-to-day on some of our largest projects.” The sincerity Andrew expressed while speaking about everyone he works with gave an indication of how appreciative he is of all the work his entire team has done.

Ecnomus Construction team members, Lulu and Alfie, hard at work

Even team members, Lulu (left) and Alfie (right), are all ‘paws on deck’ when it comes to construction and remodeling projects.

Andrew and his team have experiences working on prominent shows on HGTV Canada, such as Leave It To BryanBryan Inc., and House of Bryan, so it didn’t take long for HGTV to become the next topic of discussion.

When asked what it was like to work on the network, Andrew recalls, “It was cool to challenge ourselves to get the jobs done quickly.” He admits tight deadlines were tough, but he adds, “standing back afterward and having that feeling of, ‘wow, I can’t believe that came together’ is awesome.” Andrew couldn’t talk about his time on the network without mentioning famed handyman Bryan Baeumler. “Bryan was cool to work with. He was always really generous with me, I definitely took advantage of the opportunity to learn from him,” he said.

While on the subject, Andrew also brought up how the shows often feature an array of Metrie’s interior finishings, and how he used our trim for a variety of his company’s own builds and designs, as shown below. 

He professed to us that when installing trim and interior doors you need to have consistent material to work with. So, “When you go to the aisle you know each piece you pull out is going to be exactly like the last,” adding, “that’s why we use Metrie so often.”

Andrew elaborated on how interior finishings have a massive impact on design, as “trim and interior doors help set the tone for any space.” So, when we told him a study revealed that crown moulding and other trim elements can generate a high return on investment for home projects, Andrew was “not surprised at all!”

With most of his work taking place in Southwestern Ontario, he’s been noticing “people are wanting less opulence and more style. It’s not just about having the largest trim profiles with gigantic backbands and paneling. People really love the sleek simplicity with accents like shiplap walls,” which happens to align with his own personal taste when it comes to interior finishings.

While on the topic of shiplap, Andrew shared his opinion on this wildly popular product. “[Shiplap] can certainly pop or blend into the overall canvas of the room. It’s extremely versatile,” he says. Below, you can see just how impactful adding a shiplap wall was in this bedroom makeover, featuring Andrew Wood, alongside designer Andrew Pike and Empire Communities.

Andrew reiterates the reasons why shiplap is so highly sought-after, “I think people really like clean, horizontal lines these days. Shiplap is great because it can work in contemporary, traditional and transitional spaces.” With that, Andrew has been noticing an increase in requests to incorporate shiplap into his client’s projects.

Andrew Wood installing Metrie's Option {M} Modern Farmhouse shiplap

Andrew Wood, of Ecnomus Construction Group Inc., installing Option {M} Modern Farmhouse shiplap.

Andrew also offered his thoughts on the misconceptions regarding the role of a contractor, and why you should consider bringing one on for a project.

“Depending on the size of the project, we see a lot of homeowners that are determined to manage things themselves because they think they can save cost.” Andrew often finds that homeowners end up blowing through their budget when trying to undergo larger renovations themselves. “They don’t realize that organizing trade work and managing all these personalities and nuances are difficult, but also necessary to get the job done,” he says in a frank and honest manner. “They end up overstepping their budget.”

As for upgrading a home’s trim, he explained, “most people think they can do it but don’t take their time with it.” However, this shouldn’t discourage you to work with trim without the help of a professional. Andrew just encourages you to err on the side of caution and patience. “If [homeowners] are doing their own trimwork then they need to realize that they can’t do it as fast as [professionals] and should accept that from the beginning,” he says. He continues with greater advice for homeowners, “patience is the key to getting a proper fit if you don’t have the experience.”

“As a company, we really like to make people happy. I get a lot of enjoyment from seeing people who are genuinely happy from something we’ve done.”

At the closing of our interview, Andrew left us with a sentiment regarding Ecnomus, “As a company, we really like to make people happy. I get a lot of enjoyment from seeing people who are genuinely happy from something we’ve done,” he says. He ends his statement with a simple, yet impactful line, “I just get a lot of pride from people’s happiness when they see what we’ve done.”

 Andrew also revealed to us that his team is embarking on another exciting build in the Burlington, Ontario area, described as cool and modern. Be sure to check out their Instagram account and gallery for other current and past builds. If you would like to connect with Ecnomus Construction Group, click here