Many homeowners undertaking a construction project – whether a new build or an addition – have never done so, thus don’t realize the complexity of the endeavour they are about to embark on. There is a bewildering amount of data to be obtained, analyzed, and coordinated in order to produce a set of drawings that will help you obtain a permit. I do this. There will be many stakeholders involved in your project. Engineers, arborists, energy consultants, heritage consultants, contractors and city staff at the planning and building departments will all require information from you or to give information to you. I synthesize this. The bureaucracy at city hall is something most people don’t experience unless they undertake what you are contemplating. Can your project be built on outright approval or do you need a variance or a rezoning? Based on my knowledge of these processes, I will let you know what your options are and what is in your best interests.
A good set of drawings is the cornerstone of a good project outcome. I begin by obtaining your program (your wants and needs). As with many things in life, often what you want is not what you can have. Zoning bylaws constrain what can be developed on your site through an array of intricate rules and regulations. Some of these rules are not readily apparent and you must know where to look and what questions to ask. I analyze the bylaws and the site, then synthesize them with the program and my knowledge of the building code to produce a design. My designs take into consideration all of the above plus a sensitivity to the surrounding environment and aesthetics.
You are about to embark on the biggest shopping trip of your life! You may be buying stoves, fridges, light fixtures, flooring, toilets and countertops. You will likely be purchasing concrete, boards, shingles and insulation. Along the way you will be making hundreds of decisions. Quite often, you will look to the drawings for answers. Sometimes this requires interpretation of their intent. That is where I come in again. Good communication between you, your builder and me during the construction phase is extremely important if the intent behind the drawings is to be realized. This will result in a successful project – a building that will give you pleasure for years to come.