Greg Martin comes from a long line of quality woodworkers and craftsman with deep roots on Vancouver Island and experience in creating iconic and enduring legacy landmarks.
In 1850, Greg’s great-great grandfather, Henry Wain, moved from England to Victoria, which was then part of the Colony of Vancouver Island. In addition to being a farmer and tavern-keeper, he was a highly skilled carpenter. In his first five years on Vancouver Island, he helped to build two of the region’s most notable icons: the Nanaimo Bastion and the Craigflower Schoolhouse in Victoria.
More than a century and half later, Greg Martin carries on the family tradition of craftsmanship. His love for woodwork appeared early. Even as a young child, he built tree houses – not just once, but over and over again. When Greg studied carpentry in high school, he knew he had found his calling. Woodworking gave him the opportunity to work outdoors, in nature and creating beauty out of raw, natural materials. As his journey progressed, he developed a passion for creating custom homes that are living pieces of art, woven into the landscape, and bringing to life the dreams of homeowners and visions of architects. With time and skill, Greg developed the ability to innovate on the spot – getting to know clients and their goals and making recommendations for subtle changes that enhance what’s printed on the blueprint, whether it’s an open wall to enhance the view corridor from the living room, or an extra window to catch the morning sunlight in winter.
High school had also brought Greg together with Tara Donaldson. Greg and Tara were middle-school classmates, and in Grade 11, they had their first date – a hike to Benson Creek Falls. They’ve been together ever since.
When it came time for Greg to begin his apprenticeship, he had two options: the first was to stay in town and learn how to build mini-storage buildings. The second was to work under Barry Johnston, a highly skilled builder, constructing architecturally designed oceanfront homes on Vancouver Island. He chose the latter.
Under Johnston, Greg worked on a 2-3 person crew, building two custom waterfront homes in two years. Then Johnston was hand-picked by celebrity architect Russell Hollingsworth to build an ultra-high-end home he had designed in North Vancouver’s Deep Cove. Greg transferred his apprenticeship to Hollingsworth and after four years, moved back home to Vancouver Island.
As a journeyman carpenter, Greg learned the traditional way of building – that is to say, the whole gamut from pouring the concrete foundation, working with large timbers, framing the walls, laying wood for the floors, creating reflecting pools and waterfalls; measuring, cutting and sanding windows and doors, casings and trim – everything from foundation to finish. This “old-school” breadth and depth of knowledge serves his clients well, as he works closely with the tradespeople on his team to ensure the job is done right from the start.
After Greg received his certification, he and Tara spent 18 months traveling the world, exploring India and Southeast Asia – and trekking to Base Camp of Mount Everest. When they returned to Nanaimo, Greg launched his first construction company and Tara began her own journey into homebuilding, spending eight years working with the highly respected InSight Developments. She began by working outside, labouring on the construction site; later, she moved into the office and developed Insight’s award-winning “Homeowner Services” division, to serve the after-market customer. She leveraged her knowledge of the industry and, combining it with her own business savvy and people skills, became the liaison between the developer, homeowners, builder and tradespeople.
In 2004, the couple’s first child, Ben, was born. Greg’s business was growing, and when Tara was ready to return to work, it was a natural fit for the couple to begin working together, combining their complementary skill sets into a true, holistic and comprehensive family-run business.
Today, GMCB focuses exclusively on one or two projects at a time, which ensures the client constant communication and focus. Greg is on-site daily, overseeing and participating in construction, meeting with clients and walking them through their home-in-progress, while Tara handles the administrative angles of the customer relationship, from marketing to after-sales follow-up.
For more details on the GMCB process, please read Working With Us.