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House Design in Toronto: Do Your Homework

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House Design in Toronto

Going through the process of having a custom home built can be an exciting project with many pluses. A quality custom home can be tailored to your needs and lifestyle. Contemporary designs are much more energy efficient, incorporating environmentally friendly elements. A good design can make the most of the space you have. If you are looking for expertise in house design in Toronto, doing a little homework ahead of time can help you find the right fit.

Look at homes you like and those you don’t. Go to open houses. Start making lists of priorities for your house, what you don’t want and your ideal wish list. Consult with others in your household and make sure you all have the same dream house in mind. Nail down your budget, speak to your bank manager and know your financial limits.

Investigate Companies Specializing in Home Design

You may want to consider a company that both designs and builds houses, with architects, engineers, interior designers, a landscape consultant and a construction crew on staff. Not only does this make the design-through-building stages more fluid, but you will also have a variety of expert input into your design. Look for companies that embody the four Rs: referrals, recommendations, references and reputation. Ask friends for the names of companies they fully endorse.

Ask Questions

Before you make any concrete decisions, make sure you ask a lot of questions and get thoughtful, respectful answers. Communication is the key to a good relationship with your designer and builder. Here are some key points to consider:

  • What kind of ideas do they offer? Do they understand what you are looking for in the way of style?
    Are they fully transparent in the way of pricing? For instance, if they get a discount on building materials, is that discount passed on to the customer?
  • Are they giving you reasonable time estimates? Ask them to walk you through the process of building permits, scheduling, payment plan, etc.
  • What kind of materials do they use to demonstrate their designs? Most will use concept diagrams and rough sketches, but some companies have the capability of 3D modeling, which allows you to virtually walk through your home and see your ideas come to life much more clearly.

Who will supervise the work and what kind of qualifications do they have? A supervisor with an engineering background is preferable.

Hire a Company Registered with Tarion

Your builder should be registered with Tarion. Tarion is a government regulated body that ensures that builders are complying with the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. Home builders registered with Tarion are tested for technical knowledge based on the Ontario Building Code. They must also undergo an annual certification process that ensures financial stability. Beware of hiring general contractors: most are not members of Tarion and are not required to be regulated in any way. A company should offer a seven-year Tarion backed warranty.

Designing your own home can be a dream come true. However, make sure you have your feet firmly planted on the ground with practical research. If you are looking for good house design in Toronto, do your homework before you start the process.