As the sun sets on the year 2023 and we turn the page to 2024, Bercum Builders is celebrating 4 decades of crafting dream homes in the beautiful Okanagan Valley.
Since our founding in 1983, we’ve built a culture of excellence by fostering lasting relationships with our valued customers, skilled tradespeople, trusted suppliers, and our passionate team members.
As we commemorate over 40 years in the industry, we’re pleased to reflect on our company’s extraordinary journey marked by passion, precision, and a humbling collection of over 26 regional, provincial, and national accolades from the Canadian Home Builders Association.
A Journey Through Time: Bercum Builders’ Remarkable Evolution
The Crum Years: 1983 to 2011
In the winter of 1983, husband and wife duo Bill and Michelle Crum founded Bercum Builders amidst the economic headwinds of the ’80s, a move that would define their resilience as business owners.
Faced with a scarcity of work, they navigated the storm by focusing on small renovations.
Projects at SilverStar Resort became a yearly challenge for the team, pushing them to complete homes in time for families to move in before Christmas — a testament to Bercum’s precision and punctuality.
The Okanagan summer became a season of opportunity as Bercum extended its hand to offer employment to students and — mentoring some into Red Seal carpenters.
Bercum not only survived these early years but flourished, earning a reputation for delivering impeccably built homes and renovations in the Vernon, BC area.
Beyond bricks and mortar, Bercum fostered close relationships with their clients, sub trades, and team members. These connections evolved into lasting friendships, repeat business and a sequence of referrals that propelled Bercum to new heights.
In the 2000s, Bill and Michelle’s unwavering pursuit of excellence earned them the Best Renovation and Best R2000 Home Awards in British Columbia, along with numerous Best Building Awards in the Okanagan.
Their legacy of quality, integrity, and energy-efficient design served as the foundation for Bercum’s next stage of evolution.
In 2011, Bill and Michelle decided to slow down and pass the reins to a new owner, concluding a remarkable 28 years of leadership in the custom home business.
Darren Witt’s Visionary Leadership: 2011 to 2022
After hearing through the grapevine that Bill and Michelle were looking for a new owner, Darren Witt invited them to sit down for a coffee.
“Everything starts with a coffee,” he remarked.
As an Architectural Technologist, general contractor, and safety expert with a background in commercial construction, Darren was looking to shift his career to residential building.
Recognizing Bercum’s established reputation as a respected and quality builder in Vernon, Darren purchased Bercum in 2011 and began to steer the company to new horizons during his tenure as President from 2011 to 2022.
“We just expanded on a good thing.”
He began by branching the business out to Kelowna and leveraging their membership with the Canadian Home Builders Association as a strategic platform for growth.
This strategic move propelled Bercum to the forefront of the industry, netting them over 25 prestigious regional, provincial, and national awards which solidified their status as a recognized builder across Canada.
Asked about the challenges Bercum faced during those years, Darren recalls,
“The biggest challenge any builder will face is managing client expectations. It’s impossible to explain every aspect of the construction of their home, but you must present a clear plan to gain their trust and respect from the start.”
One of his fondest memories as President of Bercum was salvaging projects left in disarray by other contractors.
“At one point, we were called upon to take over three massive projects for some really good clients that other contractors had taken advantage of. Those are challenging projects because you’re already dealing with a client who has lost trust in the industry. To be able to complete the projects and have each of the clients as Bercum Ambassadors is one of the most satisfying accomplishments.”
Throughout his ownership, Darren continued the Crum legacy of building dream homes and completing renovations in close collaboration with clients, Bercum staff, and tradespeople — recognizing the important role each individual plays in every project’s success.
Asked about his secret to being successful in business for so long, Darren advises,
“Never get tired of doing the right thing. Much easier said than done.”
In 2021, after achieving local, provincial, and national recognition, Darren Witt was appointed as President of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Central Okanagan (CHBA-CO), setting the stage for him to pass the baton.
Selling a company he had poured so much time and energy into was a momentous decision for Darren, but the assurance that Bercum was going into capable hands eased the process.
A New Era for Bercum: Bruce & Deb Young
In 2022, Bercum Builders found its new leader in Bruce Young.
Bruce Young is a Red Seal carpenter who joined the Bercum team as Site Supervisor in 2013.
Bruce quickly worked his way up to the Construction Manager role, contributing to Bercum winning over 20 CHBA awards from 2018 to 2022.
Carrying forward Bercum’s legacy and history, Bruce’s goal is to sustain the tradition of quality work, strong relationships, and continually striving to be the best in the industry.
“Our vision for Bercum Builders is aligned with Bill and Darren’s visions: building quality homes in close collaboration with all stakeholders – including the owners, Bercum staff, home designers, interior designers, trades, suppliers, and consultants. This approach, known as the Integrated Design Process (IDP), not only aligns with our commitment to quality but also leads to improved design, cost savings through early problem identification, and heightened satisfaction by ensuring our customers’ needs are considered throughout the entire process.”
Sharing one of his favourite quotes, Bruce remarks:
“We are not in the business to do things; we are in the business to do things well.”