Step 2: Find Your Dream Custom Home Design Team

Once you have determined your budget, it is time to start interviewing Architectural Designers, Interior Designers, and Builders. It is important to seek out options and take an honest look at costs and expertise. It is about finding the best value, which is often not about the cheapest price. Selecting a good quality team is what will help make the process run smoothly.

Architectural Team

Do I need an Architect or and Architectural Technologist?

Many do not realize that Architects & Architectural Technologists go through similar training. While both professions revolve around home and building design, there remain some skills that necessitate hiring one over the other. 

Buildings used for public assembly such as churches, community halls, schools, and Motels/Hotels that exceed allowable area exemptions of 300-500 square meters; and residential buildings with an occupancy of five dwellings or more requires a registered Architect. 

An Architectural Technologist can be sourced to design single family dwellings, duplexes, triplexes or quadruplexes.

What does an Architectural Technologist do?

An Architectural Technologist is responsible for translating design concepts into drawings and specifications. They can work alongside Architects or independently; depending on the overall scope of the design. They are experienced in working with up to date building codes and following bylaws.

So which one should you go with?

The majority of homes are designed by Architectural Technologists. Some truly unique projects or extravagantly large homes may require the services of an Architect. This is dependent on the scope and size of the design, and it’s best to speak with both to see where your home might fit best. 

At Boss Design we are an experienced firm of Architectural Technologists. We work as a team, bouncing ideas off of each other, bringing multiple perspectives and ideas; in turn yielding more ideas leading to a better design for our clients. All of our designs go through a two step review process to ensure accuracy before plans are released for permits and construction. 

Interior Design

Interior Designers are professionally trained in space planning in residential and commercial builds. If you crave beautifully crafted spaces, their skillset goes beyond the charm; most have received training in Architecture, Design, Construction, Building Codes, and Sustainability. 

Including an Interior Designer as part of your design team, will not only elevate your design but they are there to assist you in creating spaces in your home to fit your personality and carry a level of detail throughout your home to create a cohesive aesthetic. 

Working with your budget and lifestyle, a skilled Interior Designer will balance the details while still keeping their eye on the big picture. 

Some designers will be involved throughout the design process with your Architectural Designer, allowing for a more cohesive process and only one set of plans to follow. and more cost effective down the line. At Boss Design, we offer Interior Design packages dependent on the level of service you’re looking for. We are there for consultation, if you require simple direction and advice; or we can assist in picking out finishes and materials, and work closely with your builder to ensure your vision is translated into your home as expected.

Selecting a Builder

Choosing the right builder to construct your home is as important as selecting the correct home design. Construction is a lengthy process, often taking up to a year or more to complete. Satisfaction with the final product  depends on selecting a builder you’re comfortable with and who has the qualifications to get the job done right and on budget. They will also be responsible for future warranty work, so this relationship needs to be one you are comfortable with. 

There are thousands of builders to choose from in North America. Each with their own unique specializations and market focus. Research the builders in your area through various methods such as the internet, friends and family, home builder associations, new home warranty programs and especially the builder’s former clients. Boss Design  works with a various group of builders we recommend. You can always contact the city/county they work in and ask the permitting and inspection divisions about their reputation. This should provide you with a clear understanding of who they are, the quality of the houses they build, and the after sale service that they offer. 

The construction or renovation of a home is a complex process. A builder will combine the expertise of up to 40 different skilled trades, and numerous product suppliers. While constructing your home, careful planning must ensure that the home meets or exceeds the context of the building code, development permits and inspections. When sitting down with a builder for the first time, ask a lot of questions.

Here is a list of some common questions that you can bring with you to ask:

How long has the company been in business? 

How are the builder fees calculated? 

How many homes do you build a year? 

Is building homes your full time profession? 

What type and size of home do you typically build? 

What is your after-sale service policy? 

How would a typical service issue be resolved? 

How do they handle change orders and associated costs?

What is the payment schedule during the build?

Can you provide a list of your former clients for references?

Who are the trades that will be working on my home? 

Are they affiliated with the new home warranty program?

When selecting a builder, choose the one you feel most comfortable with. A builder who is reputable, reliable and an effective communicator will often be a safe choice. The builder should view the satisfaction of the client as the main priority, if issues arise or changes need to occur during the build. 

A good builder will never make promises he cannot deliver. 

Completing dates, final pricing and payment schedules should always be put in writing. Builders warranty and after sale service programs should be clearly explained and noted in the contract. These programs can range in length and complexity, and should be included into the cost of the construction. A reputable builder will have an equally reputable warranty and service program.  

The costs of construction will vary between builders. Every builder has different rates and includes different things in their final price. Some will include large allowances for items such as finishing, flooring, lighting, appliances, cabinetry, landscaping…etc. If the final prices are above or below the allowances for an item, the clients will pay the difference or have it credited back to them. Other builders won’t provide a build price to a potential client until they have gone through the process of selecting all of the items they would like in their home. The builder will add all of these items together and add a percentage for their management fee and the final price is determined. 

Be apprehensive of a builder with a dramatically lower price when compared to the competition. They might not be honest about the costs involved to build the house, or their quality may be suspect. They may also require more money during the process of the build if they have understated the costs initially. However, don’t choose the builder with the highest price either unless their reputation with previous customers is impeccable. 

Designers, Contractors, and clients do not change their personality or communication style on a per project basis. It is imperative to have a rapport with the members of your design team. It cannot be overstated, you must feel a connection to ensure a positive working relationship throughout the entire process.