A-1 Cement Contractors Ltd

58 years as Calgary’s concrete contractor of choice
Written by: 
Ivy Carter
Produced by: 
John Carioti

Since 1956, A-1 Cement Contractors Ltd. (A-1) has provided Calgary homeowners and commercial customers with top-of-the-line concrete work, backed by 58 years of leading field experience. “Our decades of experience provide us with expertise separating us from others in the field,” says Phil VanderVeen Jr., now president of A-1.

Phil’s father, Phil Sr., founded the company in 1956. Like many Calgarians, Phil came to Canada from Holland in the early 1950s. He worked as a laborer and supervisor for Dominion Construction but decided to make his own way in 1956.

With only a wheelbarrow on the roof of his car and his wife Lee, to help with the business bookkeeping, Phil went from door to door, offering to install concrete in the neighborhood. After several years of rigorous work, A-1 began to take off and customers came to know the company as a dependable concrete contractor.

A solid family-owned foundation

As they grew, all seven of Phil and Lee’s children worked in various capacities at A-1. “I’ve been working for the company since I was 14 when I would work through the summer,” tells Phil. “In 1985, my wife Linda and I purchased the company from my parents.”

Under his ownership, A-1 is still committed to strong family values and employing family members ranging from brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, sons and daughters.

Since Phil and Linda assumed ownership, A-1 has continued to expand and evolve into new markets with a fleet of modern trucks, bobcats and wireless communication devices. The company was one of the first concrete installers to be COR-certified in Calgary and is also one of the most trusted in new home and residential construction.

The company’s services include: foundation water proofing, weeping tile, window wells, basement gravel, basement floors, garage floors, driveways, patios, walks and cast in place steps. The company has been around a long time and people know they can count on the A-1 team.

A-1 is centrally located in Calgary with 60 employees who serve a range of flatwork and finish needs. The company is able to replace, resurface or add new concrete and every job is quality-control inspected.

A-1 is one of the leaders in Calgary for exposed, pattern and color finishes for concrete driveways, patios and steps. A-1 performs a range of services, from new home construction to commercial and landscape construction.

The company now offers rigid insulation, which helps customers equip buildings with material that keeps the heat in through Calgary’s long and cold winters. “Whether you require frost walls on walk out basements or under slab rigid insulation for in floor heating purposes, A-1 offers the services to meet your needs,” Phil details.

A customized look

Not only is concrete a durable, low maintenance solution, but also one that can add a unique aesthetic touch to landscape design. A-1’s built on site steps add a dramatic, custom look to any entryway. At A-1 it is about delivering a product that is as unique as it is long-lasting.

From repairs and resurfacing to sandblasting and sealing, cutting, and coring, removal and design, A-1 helps turn homes into dream properties. The company is able to provide the full concrete package for any client’s dream renovation or ultimate backyard.

A-1 offers colored concrete and numerous decorative textures and patterns – slate, brick, tile and more. A-1 has helped many peoples’ dreams become a reality.

Over its history, A-1 has developed longstanding relationships with many area homebuilders that trust the company for total concrete completion. The company has worked with numerous homebuilders for many years, some relationships extending to over 25 years.

Despite its growth, A-1 continues as a family run business built on honesty, recognizing that customers want quality workmanship and skilled tradespeople. The tradition continues as Phil and Linda begin to turn the reins over to two of their five children.

As Phil begins to phase out, Russell and Travis Vanderveen are starting the process of taking over. The company is a member of the Better Business Bureau, Calgary Home Builders Association, Alberta Ready Mix Concrete Association, Calgary Construction Association, Partners in Injury Reduction and has held its COR certification since 1999. A-1 Cement Contractors Ltd. will continue on to the next generation with a solid footing.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
Jones Brown Insurance
Mash Bits
Tecsteel