July 2nd, 2017

How do you go from drinking a glass of wine at your dining room table talking about the possibilities of a renovation, to having a crew on site ready to demo half your house?

Well, it’s all about having ideas.

The best type of client I could ask for is one that has a laundry list of ideas to make their home more enjoyable. Do you need more room for a growing family? Would opening your kitchen to the dining room create more space for you? Maybe a deck out the back of the house is all you want for the summer months? Getting your ideas down on paper and determining your budget is the very first step.

Got existing plans?

Chances are that when you first bought your house the realtor passed on a few documents to you. Ones that interest us right away are the existing house plans, site surveys, and titles. Eventually, we will need these to develop your existing house in our 3D drafting software and review them as part of our initial zoning analysis. What if you don’t have anything on hand? That’s ok, usually, the City will have something on file which you can order and have printed out.

First contact.

The big question we always get from homeowners is, who do you call first, the builder or the designer? It’s a great question, but frankly, it does not matter. Both the builder and the architectural designer work hand in hand to develop plans and a budget to present to the client. If I meet with you first, I’ll recommend a builder or work with someone you have in mind. Once I have the initial scope of work and complete a zoning analysis, I’d recommend that the builder joins us at the next meeting to cover the project in more detail. It would be no different if you contacted a builder first.

Providing clarity.

One of the most important jobs as an architectural designer is to take your ideas and verify the feasibility of the entire scope of work, this is what we call a zoning analysis. A zoning analysis tells us what we can do on your property according to the local zoning bylaws and environmentally significant areas. Will a variance be required? What about a development permit? Knowing right away what our limitations are allows us to alter the scope of work at some of our earliest site meetings, this allows us to pinpoint our direction of the project so we can move forward with the very first concepts.

Let’s get started!

Once we have determined the scope of work in detail and we understand the obstacles ahead of us, I’ll deliver a proposal for my services which will fully capture the project outline. Once accepted, I will begin with the conceptual design process, meeting with you and the builder as required. Generally, once the conceptual plans are finalized, the builder can then price my plans and provide a contract for the proposed work. If adjustments need to be made at this point, we can revise the plans to suit the budget, or, make changes you have decided on after taking more time to review the documents.

Let’s get approval.

Once the drawings have been priced by the builder and everything has been approved, I can then move forward with the permit drawings. These drawings are what the builder will work off of on site and what will be used to apply to the city with the permit application. These drawings come fully detailed and contain all the information the builder will need to build your new house or complete your renovation.

Once the city approves the permit application, my job is generally complete, but for you, well, this is where the project really begins!