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Planning is key to stress-free home renovation

This home renovation company strives to eliminate any surprises in the work, the scheduling or the cost

It’s clear that a partnership is working when both parties acknowledge that they truly complement one another and recognize that their respective strengths balance out any weaknesses. This is even more remarkable when those who express appreciation for their differences are not only business partners but also life partners.

Such is the case with Yosef Pharaon and Mai Eilia. Together, the pair founded and have run Magnum Construction Services for four years. Pharaon readily admits that it is Eilia who is the ultra-organized one and possesses the acumen to run the business side of things with her background in advertising and marketing. While Eilia credits Pharaon’s decades-long experience in construction for making a success of each renovation project they complete.

Yet, they attribute their shared values on how to do business, specifically with a renovation company, as the solid foundation for their success.

“We found a gap in the home renovation market here in B.C.,” says Eilia. “There’s sort of a gap in communication between homeowners and the trades. This has caused a lot of frustration for homeowners.”

She says that Magnum takes a different approach, that first and foremost they listen and make sure to completely understand their clients’ needs.

“We make them the centrepiece of the project. It’s a big investment [to do] home renovations. We’re really aware of that and, of course, we don’t compromise on quality,” Eilia explains.

Communication with both clients and the tradespeople who work on Magnum’s projects is key for optimum results.

“I always give clients the best expectation I can as to what will happen and what potentially could happen,” Pharaon says. “I think that for us that’s been a very effective tool because it shows transparency. It’s not a secret what we’re charging or what we could potentially charge.”

Just as crucial is the communication with the trades for ensuring quality work and a smooth schedule.

“We have all our trades who come [in] do what they’re supposed to do,” Pharaon says. “I think the difference is that we’ve developed a really good relationship with them, and there are very few gaps. We plan the projects ahead of time, so everyone knows when they’re coming in.”

Planning ahead is what sets Magnum apart, says Eilia who discovered that efficient project coordination was lacking in the home renovation business and in the trades.

“I’ve heard so many stories of some renovations that went wrong because a lack of planning and lack of setting expectations for the client how the project is going to unfold,” she says.

It’s that organized approach that has Magnum delivering a complete kitchen renovation in one month or a bathroom renovation in two weeks. The couple’s system ensures that projects are always done in a timely way to avoid any inconvenience to clients.

Magnum strives to eliminate any surprises in the work, the scheduling or the cost.

“There’s the open communication. There’s the clarity. There’s complete transparency of what we’re doing,” Pharaon says.

Perhaps when lifting up a floor, it’s found to be rotten—something difficult to detect because it’s not possible to see it. “We have to say this potentially could be an issue. If I spot something that looks a bit iffy, I’m always on it,” Pharaon says.

Starting the renovation process is straightforward. When clients contact Magnum, they book an appointment through the website. Pharaon then meets with them to determine their expectations.

“Within 72 hours, I’ll have a rough estimate for them. And if the rough estimate sounds good, then I provide them with a detailed estimate. Then it’s just a matter of getting a contract put together, then we take a deposit and form a schedule…and execute. We give them a timeline on how it’s going to happen,” he says.

If Pharaon sounds like an everyman for every aspect of the renovation, he is. He assists in the design process and if it requires more input, they bring in other design or architectural professionals.

“I do preliminary drawings for the client to give them a rough visual. If it’s a job that requires a further scope of designer or architectural drawings, then we field those out to our vetted [professionals].”

When Magnum creates the design, they offer the client a variety of options, either with samples brought to their home, or with visits to suppliers and their trades. The same applies to the tile supplier where they can go over selections with their in-house designer.

But in the end, it all comes back to the beginning: planning.

“Everybody has their own schedule,” Eilia says. “It’s like a machine. That’s what makes a successful project and a stress-free renovation project for the homeowner.”

To discover more about Magnum Construction Services or to view their previous projects, visit