Locally owned-and operated and serving Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Barclay Restorations DKI is a full-service restoration contracting company with experienced personnel on standby 24/7 and prepared to mobilize rapidly.
Company President Jeff Dean started in the insurance restoration business in 1988, a beginning which he used as a base to grow Barclay into the industry leader it is today. Beginning his career as a carpenter/drywaller and moving up the ranks in other restoration firms, Mr Dean became a shareholder of Barclay in 2006, before taking over the role of President in 2018. He and his team are passionate about helping others when an unexpected disaster strikes. Mr Dean spoke with us recently about the origins of the company, its recent charity work, and Barclay’s commitment to putting feeling back into the insurance claims experience.
50 years in business
“Barclay originally started in 1971 as a construction company building condos and commercial buildings,” Mr Dean begins, “but today we specialize in insurance restoration work. We celebrated our 50th year of business last year, which is very exciting for us.”
When Mr Dean joined Barclay in 2006, the company was still relatively small, having around 20 employees. Since that time it has grown to having 95 full time staff, and is continuing to grow at an impressive rate.
“The business today is owned by myself and my business partner, Dean Guilfoyle. Both of us started in the restoration business in 1988. We are also a member of DKI Canada, which is a group of independent business owners that represent over 90 locations across the country, and this gives us the ability to be part of large national insurance restoration contracts.”
The company specializes in four main service areas: water damage – which includes insurance losses such as broken pipes and roof leaks – fire and smoke damage, wind damage, and abatement services – dealing with mold, lead and asbestos abatement.
“We [also] have a large loss division, which looks after major losses that range anywhere from $500k to $20m. These types of claims would be things like very large house fires, or major water and fire damage in condo buildings.”
The company also has a strata division, which deals specifically with condo and townhouse damage. In addition, there is a separate Trauma Division, working with local prisons and police departments for more specialized cleaning jobs.
“Barclay is the longest running restoration company in the Greater Vancouver area, and I believe we’ve been able to thrive over the last 50 years by keeping our staff trained for the specialized work that we do. This involves continuous learning and upgrading of all our skills. We also leverage technology for speedier and more accurate information sharing, which is a real key to our success.”
This leveraging of technology involves the use of such tools as industry specific apps and camera equipment for use on site. This allows project managers to go to a claim and put together a report instantly, sending it directly to staff in the office, which can be passed quickly back to the client. This is a huge advantage in providing the best possible service.
“Having an insurance claim can be a devastating and emotional experience for people,” Mr Dean explains. “At Barclay, we try to put feeling back into the claims experience. We really want our clients to know that we’re there for them in their time of need.”
There is a key difference between what Barclay Restorations DKI does and standard construction companies, with the added component of entering dramatic situations when needing to get construction work done. There is inevitably an emotional component to many situations that requires navigation.
“There are things certainly in our industry that are common to the regular construction industry – staffing is a major hurdle for us, we have a very hard time finding bona fide staff for all of our departments, be it trades or office staff. That’s a big hurdle that we all share I think in this country.”
Through its affiliation with DKI, Barclay is very proud to have started corporate sponsorship with Ronald McDonald House Charities. Over the summer of 2022, employees put on a staff carnival to raise money for the cause, managing to raise $4,500.
“We will certainly continue to have a major focus on restoration work and growing that business [into the future]. A big part of that is strata. We’re also working on doing our part to be a sustainably conscious business. We’ve already implemented a waste reduction program in our offices, and we’re working on a plan going forward to try and recycle as much waste as we can from job sites to keep it out of the landfills.”
Mr Dean is a firm believer in surrounding himself with a team that shares the same vision as its leaders, and empowering them in the roles that they have. “What makes Barclay the successful company that we are today,” he concludes, “is certainly our people.”
With an impressive amount of industry experience behind it, and a focus on putting feeling back into the insurance claims process, Barclay Restorations DKI is preparing to continue growing into the future. Find out more about Barclay Restorations DKI by visiting www.barclayrestorations.ca.