It’s vital that an expert evaluates the state of your home prior to any discussions about design or budget options.

If there are any limitations, from a structural standpoint or a logistical one, it’s best to be informed up front, as it will be another variable that needs to be considered when determining which design requirements are relevant. We supply this critical service for all of our prospective customers.

With the existing conditions evaluated and recognized, we work with you to find out what your space or size or usage requirements are. Armed with all of this information, we work with our customer, to determine the most cost-effective and equity-generating design solution that exists.

Another critical element of our process is performing a Zoning Analysis.

A zoning analysis is an initial determination whether the municipality will actually issue permits for a proposed addition or detached building, according to prevailing by-laws.

If the proposed addition is too close to a property line, or it has too big a square footage, the municipality won’t release permits without a process called a minor variance.

A minor variance is an application to the municipality to get permission to overlook (on a one-time basis) the by-law that is being contravened.

If a minor variance is required, you will be informed of it, and we will work with you to get permits issued. Also, in case you consider environmental construction methods or processes important, we will also offer expert advice on eco-build alternatives or upgrades to traditional construction methods or materials.

From super-insulated walls to more-efficient heating technologies, to solar electricity generation, we can share our expertise on these topics.

Finally, if you are aging in place, or have a relative who might be considering moving into your home, you’ll need to know how to build barrier-free living spaces, or how to incorporate fire-safe legal secondary dwellings into your existing home. We are ideally suited to advise on how to achieve this.

Having properly determined what your space requirements are, we can then supply multiple design variations, with matching budgets and 3D renderings attached.

Combined with those concept drawings, we also supply an extensive written Scope of Work document that details all of the construction specifics, making it very clear about what is or isn’t included in the contract.

Concept Drawings:

The first step in any project involves identifying the size and shape of each customers existing home.

We will schedule a measuring visit, show up, and spend anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours measuring your home, inside and out.

We need to locate and identify interior walls, doorways, windows (as they relate to interior and exterior elements), closets, kitchens washrooms, bedrooms, etc roof slopes and heights, decks, grade height and all other relevant features of each home.

Having measured, we transfer all of this information, via our software, into a computer-generated series of elevations and floor plans, including a 3D rendering of your home.

With this starting point, we are then able to draw all of the proposed renovations or additions to your home design, so that you can properly visually evaluate whether your intended construction plan suits your needs.

We can modify or manipulate any of the proposed changes, to help you evaluate which combination of design features are the critically important ones.

To help our customers evaluate intelligently, we will also offer budget assistance, as we recognize that it’s impossible to properly differentiate between two different options if price considerations aren’t known.

When we’ve collectively arrived at the ideal concept (and budget), we can then move on to the next design stage- permit drawings.

Permit Drawings:

To be able to issue permits, the municipality (City of Ottawa) requires that we identify all of the elements of the existing house, as well as all of the proposed elements of the new construction on the drawings.

Included in these permit drawings is a requirement for identifying the building on its lot, with accurate measurements showing how far the house is from the side lot lines, as well as from the front and rear lot lines.

In most cases, customers require a survey, which shows all of this information.

Some surveys are available for viewing in city archives, which we will research if you haven’t got access to an official survey. If no survey information is available, a new survey may need to be commissioned if the proposed work includes an addition.

To complete the permit drawings, which we will submit on your behalf, we will have to show all relevant measurements, elevations, floor plans, cross-sections and detailed construction notes that demonstrate that the proposed project conforms with all current Ontario Building Code requirements as well as municipal by-laws.

Our design team is licensed (BCIN identification number) and insured and authorized to design and submit our designs to the municipality. They bring years of experience to this task, which is easily evident in the quality of our drawings.

After permits have been issued, we generate one final set of drawings- construction drawings.

Construction Drawings:

Before commencing with construction, but after the material selection process has been substantially completed, we generate the construction drawings.

Contained in these drawings are detailed additional notes (aside from all permit-requirement information) that describes materials, their use, their locations (lighting plans, for example). Kitchen elevations are usually generated, showing each interior wall with all of its cabinets (sizes, shapes, locations, measurements), lights, tiles, countertop and appliance information, etc so that all elements of the work are located and identified.

These construction drawings are the source of all information that constitutes your project, in all of its detail.

Along with the written Scope of Work document, the construction drawings identify our obligation to our mutual contract agreement.

Our insistence in generating these construction drawings stems from a desire to eliminate any misunderstanding about what we are committed to providing, thereby creating an environment of transparency and clarity.

An important aspect to our mission statement is the concept of transparency.

We demonstrate our commitment to transparency in a variety of ways, in our consultation, design and construction process, of course, but in other ways as well. We do our best to demonstrate meaningful transparency when you’re trying to determine if we’re the right fit for your construction project.

Instead of showing off potentially fake “customer testimonials”, we will put you in touch with a few of our previous customers, so that you can find out directly from them about their experience with our service.
This way, you can find out how satisfied (or not) our previous customers have been with our service. You can get unfiltered feedback about their experience with us.

A further demonstration of our commitment to transparency includes a scheduled visit to a recently completed project (or one under construction), so that you can evaluate our ability with your own eyes.

We will provide as much budgeting assistance as possible, at all phases of the consultation and design process, to help you properly evaluate what you can afford, and how to evaluate which design you would most like to consider.

We will supply all estimates, contracts, payment schedules, warranty information and scheduling in writing, and make it available to ourcustomers 24/7.

With our customer login to a supplied app, you can access your project at any time, from start to finish, to review progress reports, inspection results, or to review change orders, payment and progress schedules, or even to shop for appliances or fixtures for your project.

We will give every customer a login to access our app,which contains all of the ongoing construction details of our projects.

Regularly updated photos and notes relating to construction process, commitment to warranty by explaining how we ensure good construction practices, proof of passed municipal inspections, engineers’ reports, as requested or required, and all other details that go into completion of your project. Scheduling of upcoming or recently completed work is available for your review, from the comfort of your home computer or tablet (or phone), at any time of day.

It has to be stated, that, aside from the customer login, we are also highly visible on our jobsites, because we perform as many of the required tasks as possible in-house, while turning to sub-trades only when required by law (licensed electricians, plumbers, etc) or because the sub-trade is highly specialized in what they do (concrete finisher or drywall taper).

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