Celebrating 50 Years: Keith Sawlor, President

At the beginning of each year, I take a moment to reflect on the year just passed – what went well, what we could have done better and what we have learned to help us move forward into the new year.

This year – 2019 – is very special and deserves additional reflection, as our company is 50 years young!

My parents, Melva and Douglas (Doug) Sawlor, started the company in 1969. At that time, they focused on renovations and repairs, with the occasional new home project.

Doug & Melva Sawlor - October 19, 1962

I started working for the company in 1982 as a labourer, eventually working my way up to carpenter, then lead hand, then project manager, and finally – my wife Debbie and I became owners of Sawlor Built Homes when my father retired on Jan. 1, 1996.

Debbie deserves a special mention for her many contributions. While supporting and expanding the business alongside me, she also took on the lion’s share of the work and joys of raising our young family.

Our children have grown up watching and learning the ways of the family business and now they, too, are an integral part of our company. Our daughter, Kaila Sawlor-Dion, is in charge of marketing. She’s taken our locally known business and made it known across the province, the country, and North America. Her marketing efforts have allowed us to connect with many clients relocating to Nova Scotia or moving back home. Our son, Brett, is a skilled carpenter who continues to learn the industry and our business.

Brett, Kaila, Debbie & Keith Sawlor - September 8, 2018

In addition to our own family, we have a strong work family that continues to help us grow.

Marc, our project manager, has been an integral part of our company for nearly 20 years.

Mary, our office manager, has been with us almost as long. She truly is the glue that holds our team together.

Tony, our lead carpenter, has been a faithful member of our company for more than 30 years. Tony has been instrumental in helping to grow our company. He continues to set a standard and demonstrate a work ethic that few can keep up with. 

Sawlor Built Homes Team Photo Custom Home Builders in Nova Scotia4
Brett, Keith, Richard, Marc, Kaila, Tony & Mary

We at Sawlor Built Homes know you can’t build a quality home without a solid foundation, and we certainly have that with our team. We are forever grateful to our staff and especially to the hard work and dedication of my parents for setting our foundation in place.

Sadly, we lost my father on March 4, 2019. He was very proud of what our company achieved. I will always remember the strength and wisdom he provided as a father and as a founder, that has allowed our company to grow and prosper. He will always be missed.


While I don’t know exactly what the future will bring, I do know it looks bright for Sawlor Built Homes. We can’t wait to see what the next 50 years has in store for us.  

Keith Sawlor Sawlor Built Homes Custom Home Builder in Nova Scotia

Keith Sawlor

Keith Sawlor is the second generation Owner of Sawlor Built Homes. With more than 35 years experience building custom homes in Nova Scotia, Keith has built a team that mirrors his professional knowledge and values.

Keith is a Certified Residential Builder who is also certified with many leading industry organizations. He is a Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) Certified Builder, a Net Zero Energy (NZE) Certified Builder, a Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) R-2000 Certified Builder, and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS).

Keith is a Board Member of the Atlantic Home Warranty Program as well as the Canadian Home Builders' Association Nova Scotia. He is involved in many other industry programs and associations, such as the Canadian Home Builders’ Association National, Safety Services Nova Scotia and Better Business Bureau.

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