Interview with Alan Jones

Article by Michelle Heslop. Portrait by Michelle Alger. Photos courtesy of Alan Jones Construction.

Your family has noted that you have an “unending interest in construction.” How did it all begin? I’ve been building custom homes for 30 years. I started building chimneys with my grandfather when I was 16 years old. When I left high school, one of my first jobs was drywalling. In my early twenties, I built my own log home in Whitehorse, Yukon. I’ve always been fascinated with the construction process and the reward of the finished product.


With a Gold Seal Certificate awarded by the Canadian Construction Industry, you are qualified as a master builder. Can you elaborate on this designation? Gold Seal Certification is a declaration of skill and competence that is recognized by the construction industry across the country. The certification makes a statement regarding the recipient’s professionalism and commitment to construction excellence.


What are some of the biggest shifts you’ve seen in the construction industry in the last few years? I’ve certainly noticed an increasing number of excellent young builders in the construction industry. The other notable changes have seen a move toward multi-family dwellings over custom homes and what were once considered high-end finishings have become the new norm. And lastly, building envelope technology has significantly advanced over the last decade.


Why is now a great time to build your dream home? There are some highly innovative and talented designers on the local construction scene. Building techniques, methods and materials have never been at such a high level and with land in such short supply, now is the time to get what you want.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone starting the process of building a home? Select and work with a certified builder from the very start of the design and build process. The builder can then work with the designer as the plan progresses, providing budget information and building ideas to ensure the finished plan reflects good building practices and functionality. Also, as the plan develops, budget tracking helps to ensure there are no surprises when the final plans are completed.


You have built homes through a range of economic climates. How does this current climate differ from others? Material costs and labour are currently fairly high and red tape is adding even more to the cost of custom building, so successful builders require extreme due diligence and loyalty with their trades to ensure a successful project.


Judging by your portrait, your talents expand beyond your construction management experience. What do you do when you’re not thinking about construction? I’m having a great time playing bass guitar in a band that is coming together with some like-minded “geezers.” It’s joyful and fulfilling. I also love classic cars and have redone a 1966 Chevelle SS396 and have an original 1973 Corvette convertible.

What was the last album you listened to? Leonard Cohen Songs from the Road and vintage Lynyrd Skynyrd on vinyl.

What do you value most in a person? Toughness of mind, gentleness of spirit and a sense of fun in living one’s life.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A happy, content and fulfilled human being, recognized for his life work … and as a darn good bass player.