By Brenlee Coates
The exterior renovation world gets a little more complicated in winter – tools can fail, the elements present a challenge, and less people are turning their homes over to major rehauls.
But the Kosmac brothers are resilient – they build tents to encase themselves during their outdoor projects, and they’re incredibly grateful for the profitable year they already have behind them.
Dedicating themselves full-time to their interior and exterior renovations company, Kosmac Construction, for the last two-and-a-half years, young brothers Jarrett and Paul Kosmac have seen their business triple in the last year.
“We’ve had awesome feedback and awesome client referrals,” says Jarrett. “Winnipeg’s been great to us.”
Because they’re feeling the love, they’ve decided to offer a charitable component for the month of December. For those who book their renovations with Kosmac in December, Kosmac will donate 15 per cent of the proceeds to a charity of the client’s choice.
“Everyone’s so different and everyone’s lives are so different,” explains Paul. “It’s whatever you want to give to.” Even if you prefer to hold your work over until after the holidays, signing up with Kosmac now means the donation still gets made.
When you contract Kosmac Construction, you may see any number of its qualified family members in the mix. The two brothers go to every single job, but you may also see the father Kosmac on the scene – he recently joined the company full-time.
“It’s rewarding; you’re building something with your family,” says Paul. “We take a lot of pride in that.”
Believe it or not, their grandfather even makes the odd cameo. “My grandpa comes to inspect. He’s been a plasterer longer than I’ve been alive basically,” laughs Paul.
The whole family’s deep ties to the construction world have helped nurture the youngest Kosmacs’ abilities. Their grandfather immigrated from Croatia when he was young, and “he knew how to plaster pretty much before he could speak English,” says Jarrett.
Jarrett and Paul grew up helping their father with contract work, and ran a business part-time while they studied business administration at Red River College – but it was during their time at the college that the brothers really committed their futures to the home renovation industry.
For a required entrepreneurship project, they chose their real-life, part-time business to dedicate their efforts to. They learned some invaluable tools for their eventual full-time operation, and met some important contacts along the way.
“We met so many people through school,” says Jarrett, who says the entrepreneurial community in the city has really embraced them.
One essential skill they picked up in school was how to carry themselves to appropriately represent a business. Their confident business acumen helps them avoid the “can we speak to an adult?” question as young entrepreneurs, says Paul. They’ve also run into little or no resistance to their tattoo-covered appearances. “We’ve proved ourselves already after they see how professional we are,” says Jarrett.
Kosmac Construction specializes in stucco and stone (cultured stone is an especially popular modern touch for exteriors of homes and fireplaces), but they’ve grown to provide framing of basements, dry wall taping, suspended designs, and more. Eventually, they may even branch out into general contracting, as their business background gives them a polished service approach.
Their entrepreneurial sensibilities also help them face the changing trends with little cause for concern. They’re always looking toward the next thing.
“We definitely have a niche with our stone,” says Jarrett. But “it doesn’t really matter what we do… If you’re smart and competitive, you’re going to make money one way or another.”
While their colleagues in school tried to come up with innovative apps or services, Jarrett and Paul thought practically. “Contracting in Winnipeg is a big pie,” says Jarrett. “We just want a bigger piece.”