It’s been 41 years since Thomasfield Homes built its first home and since then, the company continues to make its mark in Waterloo Region and beyond.
The family owned and operated business is based in Guelph and it has developed a solid reputation in designing and building quality new homes of high value in southern Ontario.
“Since 1978, we built our first four houses and things just grew. We have now built about 7,000 since then,” says Tom Krizsan, president of Thomasfield Homes.
The company has built homes in communities such as Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Burlington, Woodstock, Acton, Burgessville and Grand Valley.
And more recently, Thomasfield Homes launched its largest mixed-use development in Woolwich Township this year. Hopewell Crossing, the name of the community, will feature over 1000 residential units, commercial areas, a planned public school, office and industrial areas as well as Waterloo Region’s only suburban GO Train Station.
“Housing is required in the region. Many families have connections between Guelph, Cambridge and Kitchener-Waterloo, and because Breslau is right in the centre, it’s an ideal location,” Krizsan said.
Thomasfield Homes is also currently active in Guelph, with the building of an 88-storey condominium, a 60-estate lot project in Osbridge and a new development in Grand Valley with the building of 130 new homes.
For Krizsan, the idea of building homes started at a young age. “During my high school and university days, I had to put myself through school, so I worked in construction. In University, I took urban economics and urban geography and I received my undergraduate degree. I then went on to Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University and after that I worked for various companies. I went to Edmonton and then Toronto,” Krizsan said. “And with family support, I started Thomasfield Homes. I was 25 years old.”
Krizsan has been married to his wife Cathy for 40 years. They have two children and three grandchildren, with another on the way. The couple also own Springfield Golf Course in Guelph.
“Cathy spends most of her time running Springfield and the rest of the family joined me at Thomasfield about 10 years ago,” Krizsan said.
His daughter Katherine McLaughlin has a degree in urban planning and a master’s degree in business. His son Matthew has an undergraduate degree in information technology and his son-and-law, Thomas McLaughlin, is also part of the business with an urban planning degree and a master’s degree in business.
“My kids and my son-and-law all fit in to their areas of expertise. We can all sit down and discuss new projects and so far, we all get along really great. And it’s helped me out. The kids have taken much of the heavy load off my back,” Krizsan said.
Thomasfield Homes has now grown to include over 450 trades people, and about 22 staff members including supervisors, lead hands and administrators.
“What makes us unique I think, is that we try to make our homes exciting with things like lofts that overlook living rooms and family rooms and we have exciting kitchens and ensuites. We do want to include that, ‘wow’ factor,” Krizsan says.
“We take pride in our products and we offer great customer service. As a result, about 10 per cent of our purchasers are repeat customers or children of customers, and now we are even seeing third generation customers starting to purchase our homes.”
But the business has seen its fair share of changes within the industry over the years
“Today, it’s a very complicated approval process with over 40 different agencies that need to be notified with all concerns addressed. Building codes have changed and homes are much more insulated and energy efficient than before,” Krizsan says.
“Most of the buying public is unaware of the additional expenses that we must undergo to get things approved.”
Moving forward, Krizsan also sees single families having a much more difficult time buying homes.
“There’s much more capitalization. It’s disappointing to see young people not having these opportunities,” he says.
“And the big issue today, is lack of supply of housing and that’s what really causes these increases in the equilibrium between supply and demand. The federal government has not addressed the supply side, and this must be addressed in making housing more affordable. You must have foresight into the distant future, where there might be more opportunities for housing.”
Thomasfield Homes was awarded 2018 Homebuilder of the Year by the Guelph and District Homebuilder’s Association and last year, it won gold in the Homebuilder category in the KW Record Readership Awards.
“For me, I enjoy seeing young families getting established in their lives as young adults and being parents and productive members of society,” Krizsan said. “And it’s great to know that we played a role in getting their family started.”