This week we have the pleasure of featuring Steven Fontaine, Owner of Revêtement Fontaine in Saint-Isidore, a municipality in Québec. He introduces himself and discusses how he’s watched the family-owned business grow since he was four years old. As Steven recalls, “Having grown up with the company, it made sense for me to take over the family business when I had a chance.” This is his story, his contribution to his family enterprise and his passion for the business he took over.
CanWel: What is the history of your company?
Steven Fontaine: Revêtement Fontaine Inc. was founded in 1990. The company was operated by my father when I was a four-year-old boy. Until 2019, when I formally took over business, we worked exclusively as a subcontractor for a company in Quebec City. Since then, Revêtement Fontaine Inc. has been charting its own course. With over 35 years of experience for my father and 15 years of experience for me, we had everything we needed to succeed. After only one year, we now have six qualified carpenters who are all passionate about exterior siding, each with approximately 10 years of experience in the field. We work daily to make Revêtement Fontaine shine and to structure our growth.
We specialize in exterior siding, mainly for the new residential home market. The company is located on the South Shore of Quebec City, and we serve both the South Shore and the North Shore of the Greater Quebec City area.
What services do you offer?
We work mainly with general contractors, so they are the ones who are in direct contact with the customer. But our wealth of experience and our extensive knowledge of the products allow us to advise customers when the need arises.
“With over 35 years of experience for my father and 15 years of experience for me, we had everything we needed to succeed.”
Can you tell us about one of your favourite projects and why?
There is something special about every project, which is the charm of our profession. For clients, this is a particularly eagerly awaited step, as it is what will give their home its final look. It’s the first thing people will see when they arrive home.
I would have a hard time choosing one project more than another.
Why do you work with …?
- Quality/price ratio
- Easy and quick installation
- Varied and trendy colour range
- Easy maintenance going forward for customers
- Availability of products
What warranty do you offer on your work or the products?
We honour all the warranties we have to offer as a specialized exterior siding contractor, and since we have a very close relationship with the general contractors we deal with, if there is a problem, we are always available to manage the situation.
In our field, there are several standards that must be met. Whether it is the construction industry’s standards or the manufacturers’ standards, the key to success is to be informed, and then to do everything in compliance with the specifications. Normally, when you do that, there should not be any problems.
“Quality is more important than quantity. Returning to a site for deficiencies costs more than doing it right the first time.”
What trends do see in the future for your industry?
In my opinion, the trend in the field of siding leans towards products that are easy to maintain and that will pass the test of time. You don’t see a lot of vivid colours anymore, which is why we tend to stick to neutral colours. We’re putting more of an emphasis on a mix of materials in order to make each project unique.
Do you have a product you use that you just can’t build without?
As I mentioned earlier, I enjoy working with James Hardie fibre cement siding and CanExel LP wood fibre siding for all the reasons I listed.
How do you find out about new products?
I really enjoy talking to suppliers about the new products they offer. The industry is constantly changing and you have to keep up to date. Of course, you can look on the web, but there is nothing like seeing the sample in real life, and it’s even better if I can see a project that has already been completed.
Contractors often receive swag from manufacturers and suppliers. What’s your favourite swag?
As I already mentioned, I like to have the product samples in my hands. No doubt it’s easier to carry catalogues that I can then leave with customers, but when they get to see and touch the real product, they have a much greater appreciation for what they can expect.
In addition, as there is a continuous stream of new products, whether it’s tools, hardware or supplies, it’s always interesting to be able to test them to compare and to form your own opinion.
“Whether it is the construction industry’s standards or the manufacturers’ standards, the key to success is to be informed, and then to do everything in compliance with the specifications.”
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“A good contractor needs to know how to set aside his tool belt when it’s time for good planning. Good planning is the key to success.”
What social media channels do you use?
CanWel would like to thank Steven Fontaine for taking the time to share his projects and insights with us. In the meantime, stayed tuned for our next Contractor’s Corner. Follow us on social to find out when our next feature will be posted.
If you’re a contractor and want to be featured in an upcoming Contractor’s Corner blog post, message us and we’ll send you the details. If you’d like to share your photos of your latest project with us on Instagram, tag us @canwelbuildingmaterials with #canwelpros.