Hauling windows on a barge all in a day’s work for this company owner
Fieldstone Windows & Doors Ltd.
4160 19th Ave., Markham
Going the extra mile for a customer is not unusual for Ken Simpson, owner of Fieldstone Windows & Doors. Quite literally, in fact. The client was HGTV star designer Sarah Richardson. And the project involved providing the doors and windows for her Georgian Bay summer retreat as part of the filming of an episode of the “Sarah’s Cottage” show on that network.
“We had to load everything on a barge in Parry Sound,” says Simpson, “and it was a 45-minute ride to the site.” Other challenges arose on the three-day shoot, during which he and his team had to work around the filming schedule. They often had to stop work because quiet was needed on the set, or they had to install a window on the same day the floors were being painted.
He’s done many projects for Richardson, including her Toronto Home. Other designers in the media limelight he’s worked with include Lisa Canning of HGTV’s “For Rent,” Stacy McLennan, former host of HGTV’s “Kitchen Equipped,” Hilary Farr of W/HGTV’s “Love it or List it” and Meredith Heron of “Restaurant Makeover” on The Food Network. Photos can be found on Simpson’s Twitter feed: @Toronto_Windows.
Simpson founded Fieldstone in 1997 and specializes in fitting and installing both doors and windows. Most jobs the company tackles don’t involve a barge or film crews. Rather, they’re about replacing doors and windows in existing homes. Increasing energy efficiency is an important factor, but so is making sure that what is installed is true to a building’s architectural style and design vision.
You might, for instance, want to preserve the unique features of your Annex-style home’s façade while not straying too far into eclectic territory. “We do a lot of custom work, including historic renovation or restoration projects, which often involve matching leaded glass or period moldings,” Simpson says.
He draws upon his background in fine art, a subject he once majored in at OCAD University, for the aesthetic side. He learned the finer points of window installation while plying that trade to pay for his studies.
Fieldstone occupies new offices in a renovated historic flour mill in Markham. From there, two teams of skilled installers are deployed, with a third on standby during the busy season. Clients are welcome to drop in, but mostly Simpson or the salesperson he employs meets with them in their homes. It’s the best way to evaluate a project and to ensure precise measurement.
Even before it was trendy to buy on home turf, this company sold products that are made in Canada: wood-framed windows by Loewen Windows of Manitoba and Lepage windows of Quebec, vinyl frame windows from Strassburger, based in Kitchener, and fibreglass doors by the Fibercraft Door Company in Hanover, Ont. Fieldstone does the trendy, too, such as the black steel-framed windows that were all over Pinterest a while back. “We were able to respond to the sudden demand and source quality product for our customers very quickly,” says Simpson. It’s all about going the extra mile.