People have been spending more time at home in the last year than in their lifetimes. What used to be a place to sleep and eat is now where they’re also working, socializing, and even exercising.
Now more than ever, having an inviting and well-designed home is much more about impressing guests or boosting home sales. The home is somewhere where people want to feel inspired, energized, get their best work done, and most importantly, be excited to come home to.
At least this is what Metro Vancouver builder Rupi Kainth thinks, who has been deeply passionate about building homes her whole life.
In a phone interview with Market Buzz, Kainth says that part of her lifelong dream of becoming a builder was to “change the standards of new construction in the Lower Mainland by stretching the limits of creativity”.
Building her own future
Kainth first started building in 2010, when she founded Karisma Homes, and has worked on many construction projects over the past decade.
As a female builder, Kainth will be competing in a male-dominated industry, where tradeswomen make up only 4.7% of the skilled workforce. But for the design-obsessed builder, being a minority in the industry doesn’t matter, as long as she can put her fierce passion to work.
“When I’m on a site, I am in my element, I feel alive. I love executing construction projects from the ground up,” Kainth said.
Although the builder says she wasn’t put off by competing in a male-dominated field, she did say she had to push past the skeptics to get where she is today.
“You do experience the differences as a female. When I first started, I had people say ‘you won’t be able to do this,” says Kainth. She says her parents were also told, “You should tell your daughter not to build, she’s a girl she won’t be able to do it.’”
Although her chosen career path isn’t traditional, Kainth couldn’t be happier with her decision, and says she has received an abundance of positive support from industry professionals as well as market consumers.
“I am so grateful to have experienced so many industry professionals, suppliers, and people in general who believe in me and support my vision. One of the best aspects of it all is the amazing people I work with to execute all the details.”
Pulling off a building business wasn’t any small feat, either. Kainth says she risked putting her life savings into her work. But she hasn’t looked back since, and one of the ways Kainth stays inspired is knowing she is building a secure financial future for her son.
A lifelong passion
The inspirational female builder who grew up in the Lower Mainland was always interested in pursuing creative fields and started off working for the city doing marketing and design, as well as running a photography company as a side hustle.
Kainth was always interested in homes, from reading about sales in Real Estate Weekly as a kid to collecting architectural magazines.
“I found my artist side in my childhood. I was always into beautiful things—cars, fashion, spaces and interiors. People would walk into my spaces, and say ‘this is so amazing, we want to live like this too’,” says Kainth, who believes that well-designed and inspiring spaces are obtainable and accessible to everyone.
Why design is crucial for real estate investors
Kainth is also a licensed realtor and says, for sales, she can’t stress the importance of a well-designed house enough.
During her time in the industry, Kainth has uncovered the dire need for creativity in construction, with new construction buyers giving feedback that single-family homes are often lacking character and uniqueness.
“With Vancouver on the world map in recognition for real estate, it would be nice to showcase more uniquely built homes,” says Kainth. “Creative living does not have to cost an arm and a leg, and the value and return are priceless.”
She says that she’ll often see owners who have a brand new house to sell but are reluctant to invest $5k on staging, while in the meantime they’ll be losing on carrying costs.
“Interior design always improves sales. It can give you a return on sales price from 1 to 3%. I would love for more people to understand that,” says Kainth.
In communities like Surrey, Kainth says that the builder or consumer often feel they can “do it themselves”, and often professionals in the industry are undervalued.
“The architect does an important job. Professional trades [people] need to be hired, as much as a professional designer does. Once a house is done, furnishings are equally crucial as the bones of the house,” says Kainth.
But apart from improving sales, Kainth stresses that a well-designed house is a key component to feeling at home in your space. “We become our surroundings, so it’s crucial to ensure that where we are spending our time is benefitting our energy,” says Kainth.
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