As a home designer or architect, you love the art and science of designing homes, and as a builder we love the art and science of building them. Over the last 30 years we’ve built more than 60 custom homes and contracted on dozens of renovations in the Greater Victoria area. During this time, we’ve had the privilege of working with many talented local architects and home designers. While the vast majority of these relationships have gone amazingly well, on the very rare occasion we’ve also seen it work less than perfect.
There’s a trend towards builders offering home design as part of their service package (and, ironically, for designers to offer building services). You might think that this is driven by a desire to add revenue, but you’d be wrong. The primary reason builders get into design is to prevent revenue loss from mismatches between design assumptions and on-site realities.
The builder’s world is driven by schedules, municipal permitting, site conditions, utilities, code compliance, and a host of other on-site issues. The architect’s world is concerned with developing innovative solutions to design problems, which by nature is less time-driven. Our expertise is building, not design. But we believe builders and architects need to work together before pencil hits paper (or mouse is clicked). That’s why we strive to engage with the client and the architect during the design phase, when ideas are still being tossed around.
Often when builder’s bids come in, the price is higher than expected. That’s because builders are out pricing material and labour every day, whereas most architects aren’t. By working with us at the design phase, we ensure pricing is factored in from the get-go, designing the home to the budget, rather than the other way around. When this happens, the building stays on schedule, the designer-builder relationship works smoothly, and the client gets fewer cost surprises. Everyone wins.
An environmental issue, a new municipal regulation, a material shortage – no matter how much planning is done, it’s inevitable that at some point during construction we will face an unanticipated challenge. Solving these challenges creatively and quickly is where we shine. Our crew is highly experienced, and with experience comes the ability to offer alternatives that save time and money, without compromising quality.
We have a saying on our job sites: “The designer conceives beauty; the builder gives birth to it.” It’s a way to remind ourselves that craftsmanship is at the core of everything we do. From the building façade to the kitchen cabinets to the landscaping, no job is finished until the final result is exactly as envisioned.
If you’re a residential architect, home designer, interior designer or landscape designer who adheres to a higher standard of quality, we’d love to hear from you.