Nick and Jehanne Hill live in Penticton, B.C. This is where their home is, and it is also where they create homes for others. The idea of home is an important one – for many of us, it conjures up images of family gatherings in the kitchen, peaceful naps on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and that feeling of belonging. It is with all of this in mind that Nick and his team at Ritchie Custom Homes build homes.

Their goal is not to build the quickest, cheapest house – instead, they work closely with their clients and their staff to find out how they can create that sense of home that is unique to each of us. Yes, time and budget are of course a factor, but so are issues like sustainability and environmental impact, not to mention quality and craftsmanship. Yet the most important thing that kept coming up in my story interviews with Nick, his team, and his clients was The Experience. I am capitalizing this because I truly believe this is what sets a great company apart.

The Ritchie Experience goes a little something like this:


We all have a dream of what our perfect home will feel like as soon as we walk in that front door. For me, I imagine feeling relaxed as soon as I drive down the driveway. Someone recently told me they got a speeding ticket because they were so excited to get home to their new house! Ritchie’s job is to help draw that out and incorporate as many elements of your dream into the vision.


Ah the vision – this brings us back to reality. We are not all blessed with unlimited budgets, and we need to make things work on our terms. That is the priority when building with Ritchie. They aren’t going to promise you the farm and then under deliver. They are realistic and will tell you how it is. Often architects and designers get carried away with their own creative desires – I have learned that a good contractor reels you back in, listens to what is really important and helps you make those important decisions.


Once you have settled on a vision (a combination of your dreams and reality) you can start the planning process. This is Nick’s favourite part – he sees it like a puzzle, finding creative ways to bring everything together. The planning process involves a lot of different players who all have their own ideas regarding how things are done. The contractor’s role is to interpret what everyone is saying and ultimately represent your best interests.


Ironically, we are taught to expect the unexpected. I am still grappling with this on many levels. Luckily, there are people like Nick who are in their element when faced with a seemingly unsurmountable problem. You see, Nick is a problem solver. He told me that he loves being presented with a challenge and finding clever and innovative ways to solve that problem, because, like any left brained individual, Nick knows that there is always a solution. With a new born baby less than 2 weeks old, I can only imagine the new kinds of problem solving Nick will be faced with!


If you are lucky enough to be building your dream home, you will likely only do it once. With that being said, you had better enjoy the journey! Too often we get stressed out by incorporating elements of our dream into the plan, or dealing with unexpected hiccups along the way. If you choose the right contractor, the journey should be enjoyable. You should get along with the trades people and feel welcome on site, you should have direct and constant communication with your contractor, and above all, at the end of the day, you should find your way home.

Narrative Communications developed the Ritchie Custom Homes brand including:

– Brand Story and Content
– Logo Design
– Website Design and Development

We will continue to work with Ritchie on their communications strategy because we know that a good story like this will continue to evolve and needs to be shared on many different levels. Stay tuned!

Photo credits: Declaration Creative