Working With An Architect

The big three are:

  1. Superior Design: We could talk for hours on the importance of good design but in a nutshell – we work with you to ensure your home is perfectly designed for you. There are the practical issues of number and size of rooms of course – but good design is much more than that. The key is to design your home so it is tailored to the unique way you live. Your taste, style, and indeed your lifestyle are all considered and will be reflected in our design. After all, a custom home should be exactly that – a home unique to you. The landscape and surroundings are also an important consideration. We take a holistic approach to design and ensure there is a connection of indoor and outdoor spaces.
  2. Regulatory Issues: Building a home or undertaking a major renovation is complex and can be stressful. We are familiar with the layered process and will lead you through zoning by-laws, variances, conservation approvals, permit applications, etc., as required.
  3. Coordination with contractors and engineers: The construction process involves many different trades. We provide coordination with the engineers (civil and structural for example) and other consultants on the project. Through the Construction Administration Phase we oversee the construction of your home and ensure it is being built to maintain the integrity of the design and to a high standard of quality.

For a new custom home or renovation we begin by meeting with you to discuss your project to gain an appreciation of what you want to build. Through this discussion we gain an understanding of your aspirations, the size of home you want, and even the specifics of your daily routine. We also discuss preliminary budget and timelines. Following this initial meeting we prepare a fee proposal letter that provides more detail about the process and outline our architectural fees.

Our fees vary depending on the size and complexity of the project and the services required by the client. Typically our fees are charged as a percentage of the estimated construction cost. However we may charge a flat rate fee when we have a good idea of the amount of work involved. We charge an hourly rate for smaller jobs or for ad-hoc work.

As we work with you we will identify what other costs should be anticipated for your particular project.  These items may involve survey requirements, civil and structural engineering fees, Committee of Adjustment fees, environmental testing and asbestos abatement (for renovation or demolition projects), to name a few.

The schedule varies depending on the size and complexity of your project.  There are a number of intangibles that could affect the timeline, but typically for a new home the design, construction drawings,  and approvals process takes 6 to 10 months to complete, and the construction takes between 8 and 12 months.

We work on both large and small projects and consider each opportunity individually.  It’s always worth contacting us to have a quick conversation to see what might work. We put the same amount of inspiration and delight into smaller projects as bigger ones.

The interior design component is typically part of our overall services.  Our approach to design considers the interior and exterior architecture as a whole.

We can recommend builders who have experience building to our specifications, and we can help tender your project to a few contractors if required. If you have a preferred builder, we are pleased to work with them as well.

We routinely handle projects across Ontario and Quebec, and also accept projects throughout North America.  If you have a project in another location, contact us to discuss how we can work together. We also work with clients who are living out of the country.  We work remotely through the design and construction phase and oversee the process until their home is “move-in ready.”