1. RESEARCH & FEASIBILITY
We always start with understanding the goal for the project - why our client is looking to build or renovate, who will be living in the home, & what their aspirations for the home are. We have a thorough Wishlist that we send to clients and review alongside them prior to beginning any initial designs. Our team has an expert understanding of city zoning by-laws, committee of adjustment, site plan approval, city policies, design guidelines, and provincial bodies such as conservation authorities. A good start is to obtain a topographical survey, which is key to understanding the physical constraints of the site; if possible, we will visit the site for further understanding. With this knowledge, we are able to provide a full picture of the potential of the site. In our initial preliminary project discussion, we will review this information to ensure the goals for the project are achievable. We believe understanding & communicating feasibility is the first step of any project.
2. CONCEPT DESIGN & DESIGN DEVELOPMENT
Once we have an initial understanding of our clients’ goals and full insight to the feasibility of the property, we start work on a concept for the first and second floor as well as an initial idea for the front elevation. Our initial designs are then presented to the client with some context around design intent. We have found that during this first concept review a lot of the primary goals come to the surface; our initial draft is meant to be a starting point for a deeper design journey with our clients. After the first draft review, we develop the design further based on feedback from the client. During the design development phase, we work to refine the design which may include changes such as tweaks to room size/locations or adding details based on guidance from the client. Our main goal of the Design Phase is finalize a design that meets the goals, needs, lifestyle & aesthetic of the client.
3. ZONING SET & CofA
Once the design is finalized the next phase in the project is to start the city approval process. This includes the City’s review of the homes’ location, size, setbacks, height and landscape requirements. For this submission, we will create a detailed set of 2D drawings with the required dimensions, site plan, and full set of statistics. The zoning phase will conclude with a notice from the City outlining the variances in the drawing or a clear notice that there are no issues. If there are zoning issues, we can choose to revise the drawings or apply to the Committee of Adjustment. If CofA is needed, our goal is to start thinking about this from the start of the project in order to be well prepared ahead of time. To prepare for CofA the following work is completed: a review of past approvals in relation to our proposal, justification of the variance being minor, outlining that the application fits in with the neighborhood context, and most importantly gaining neighbours’ support. We will attend the hearing on behalf of the client to outline our proposal.
4. WORKING DRAWINGS & PERMIT COORDINATION
Once Zoning has been cleared or the designs have been approved at CofA, we commence Working Drawings & Permit Coordination. During this phase we will produce detailed floor plans, sections, and elevations as well as specific construction details for how the house will be built. In this process we coordinate with a Structural Engineer, HVAC Engineer, and Grading Engineer to develop the plans for use on site and for submission of a building permit application. The final goal for our team is obtaining a building permit, for a home that truly fits your lifestyle and future. The building permit & construction documents will be everything you require to bring to a builder to ultimately construct the home of your dreams. We make ourselves available throughout the construction process in the case there are any questions along the way. We look forward to seeing our collaboration with you come to life throughout the construction process!