While winning industry awards certainly isn’t the be all and end all of homebuilding, when one your projects takes home no less than six different trophies, it’s a safe bet that you’re doing something right. Such is the case for brothers Karim and Kaveh Goldan, co-founders of Goldcon Construction in North Vancouver, B.C.
That particular project, which they dubbed “Endlessly Elegant,” involved gutting a 30-year-old home – purchased new by their client’s parents – and adding an addition.
“We converted the entire basement into a man cave,” says Karim. “There are three TVs, there’s a pool table, storage for more than 500 bottles of wine…”
Asked if the client was single, Kaveh quickly answers, “No, it’s a husband and wife. Her project was the other two floors. The kitchen, the bathrooms… It worked out nicely for them.”
It also worked out very nicely for Goldcon, winning the brothers the 2019 CHBA National Awards For Housing Excellence award in the Best Kitchen Renovation Over $100,000 category, a finalist in the CHBA’s Whole House Renovation between $500,001 and $1-million, a 2019 Ovation Award for Best Renovated Room for that basement man cave, and three other titles.
Another recent project of theirs, a 4,700-sq. ft. spec build, was so eye-catching when it went on the market that home décor retailer Urban Barn used the home as the location to shoot their fall 2019 catalogue. They even had an enquiry from a Netflix series, but the home was sold by the time that proposal came in.
Impressive considering that the brothers Kaveh, 30, and Karim, 35, only officially launched the company in 2013. But Goldcon’s pedigree goes a bit deeper than that. Their father, Amir Goldan, worked as a carpenter when he immigrated to Canada from Iran, and later became a licensed electrician. “He has always been a handy guy and is quick to learn new trades,” says Kaveh. Both the younger Goldans learned to work with tools at a young age under their father and, today, he works part time on some of their jobs, and is a co-investor in the company’s spec build projects.
While all the publicity has been great, they still invest in modern marketing. Early on, Karim would film, edit, and post short marketing videos onto various social media platforms. One before-and-after video clip of a bathroom reno that they posted in 2014 has more than 145,000 views. They now outsource their photography and video work, including drone footage of their projects – and when you’ve got lush mountains as a backdrop, why wouldn’t you?
They have a couple full-time employees, and rely on a regular group of subcontractors. They typically have three or four larger projects on the go – a mix of custom and spec home builds – along with a few smaller renovations.
They do some cost-plus jobs but about three-quarters of their projects are fixed price. “People are a bit more comfortable knowing the final cost,” says Karim.
One interesting and potentially lucrative new avenue for the company is building coach houses.
The City of North Vancouver allows coach houses on lots that are at least 32-feet wide, provided the new building doesn’t exceed 15 percent of the total lot area.
They’ve built two so far, the most recent a 1,000-sq.ft. unit that their clients built for their daughter and granddaughter to live in.
There are a number of other restrictions, including that the owner has to reside in one of the buildings, and the coach house can’t be severed from the deed, but with a dire shortage of housing throughout the lower mainland, many municipalities are looking at in-fill projects to help meet local demand. “It’s starting to get a lot more traction,” says Kaveh.
Knowing how delicate family dynamics can be whenever money’s involved, one has to ask how co-owning a company with your only sibling is.
“That’s a tricky question,” says Kaveh before Karim replies, “It’s good. We drive each other to be better.”
With that drive and already recognized talent the Goldan brothers’ next project should likely be a mantel to store their next batch of awards on.