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Should You Have An Architect Renovate or Build A New Home in Toronto?

You're going to renovate or build a home - but do you need an architect? Is it enough to hire a design-build contractor? If you do need an architect, should you find the architect first or the builder?

living room and kitchen in custom home with marble backsplash in torontoThese are all common questions that homeowners ask when they're getting started with their home building or home renovation. The answers depend on your project and your needs. Below, we've tried to provide answers that can help you get started on your project.

What's A Design-Build Contractor? Is It Better To Hire An Architect-Builder Team?

A design-build contractor is a building firm with a small in-house design team. Design-build contractors can often create basic designs for small projects requiring minimal design.

An architect firm is outfitted to provide thorough design services, extensive customer service, and one-on-one attention to help the client reach their design goals. The architect and builder team work together with the client to help them create a home design (whether that's a custom build or renovation) to meet their needs.

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Why Hire An Architect? When Is An Architect Required In Toronto?

Hiring an architect ensures that your project will be designed to your specifications and needs. When hiring an architect and builder team, it's important to vet professionals thoroughly before making a decision.

For a high-end, full-service architect, homeowners can expect to pay approximately 15% of the construction costs on architect services. For this price, the architect should deliver a full gambit of services including preliminary design, zoning approvals, building permit application, a full suite of detailed construction drawings, and specifications of all components to be used in the home including flooring, windows, tiles, plumbing fixtures, cabinets and more.

The best architects make themselves available to answer questions throughout the design process and may even sign off on draws from the contractor when the contractor is ready to be paid.

Some architects are available for a lower price point, but homeowners should ensure that they're getting full services whenever they hire an architect. Lower-cost architects may not deliver these services or may perform lower-quality work.

tom cumming and architect working together on blueprint for custom home

Why Doesn't SevernWoods Employ Architects In-House?

At SevernWoods Fine Homes, we work with architects on all of our projects, but we don't employ architects in-house. Here's why:

Architects Have Many Skills, Different Styles

Over time, many architects develop specialties and specific styles they're known for. Some architects build homes in traditional styles, while other architects build homes in modern/contemporary styles. Want a home built with the best green building techniques? There's an architect that can help you with that. There are so many different architects - with so many areas of expertise - in the Toronto area, that it's very important to match your needs to your architect.

Homeowners who shop around for the right architect/building team are more likely to be satisfied with the finished product. At SevernWoods Fine Homes, we've worked with and built a positive rapport with more than twenty architects in the Toronto area.

We don't have in-house architects because we don't want to box ourselves - or our clients - into a specific architect or architectural style. By flexibly working with a variety of architects, we ensure that our clients get what they want from their home building or renovation project.

Make no mistake: even though the architects we work with are not our employees, we work very well together. Many of the architects that we work with in Toronto are professionals that we've come to know and appreciate over a long time. We've got a good rapport.

Which Comes First, the Architect or the Builder?

Clients sometimes ask: should I hire an architect first or a builder? In truth, this can be done in either order. If a client comes to SevernWoods Fine Homes first, either hoping to renovate or build a home, we'll start with a consultation to discuss their expectations, aesthetic preferences, and budget. With this information, we can help the homeowner find a good architect for their project.

Sometimes, the homeowners find the architect first, and after a discussion about their budget, expectations, and aesthetic preferences, the architect will bring the SevernWoods Fine Homes team into the discussion - if the architect feels that we're a good fit for that particular homeowner.

architectually japandi designed home staircase with angles in toronto

Learn More About Building or Renovating Your Toronto Ontario Home

Contact SevernWoods Fine Homes to learn more about hiring and working with a builder-architect team for your upcoming home construction or home renovation project. We've worked with some of the best architects in Toronto, and we'd be happy to help you find the right architect for your needs.

To get started with your project, call today to make an appointment or fill out our online form to have someone from SevernWoods Fine Homes contact you.

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