Building a home is a collaborative process.  From concept to completion, dozens (hundreds!?) of people may be involved in varying degrees, beginning with the owners and developers, to realtors, mortgage brokers, and bankers, to designers, surveyors, engineers, contractors, suppliers, and tradespeople, to municipal officials, utility companies, and appraisers.  All of these people can have an influence on the success of a project.  At the outset, the task to build a home might seem overwhelming to even the most inspired dreamer. 

Working with Shelter, we can help you navigate through every stage of the design / build process, and we can offer our ever expanding level of expertise to help with the planning, design, and decision making that goes into building your own custom home. 

Whether you are an owner or a builder, the construction budget is almost always the primary guideline for design, and this is typically established at the beginning of the project.  We are acutely aware of the real costs of construction, so our goal is always to work within a prescribed budget to ensure that every project reaches its fullest potential. 

Of equal importance is to establish a building's programme, that being it's size, intended use, and basic layout.  These general guidelines will be the basis for the design development process. 

Throughout the entire design process, we work with the most sophisticated 3D modelling software.  We can place your building within its geographical context so that you can get an accurate sense of scale, views, and daylighting.  As we move further into the design process, we will add more detail to the model and you will be able to fully understand what your home will look like inside and out.  In the end, we will be able to produce photo realistic renderings that will accurately represent finishing details, materials, colours, and lighting.  Working in this way can save an extraordinary amount of time and money during construction as you will not be second guessing earlier decisions when you see them become a physical reality.

When possible, we like to enlist the input of the builder before the final blueprints are drafted.  Due to the uniqueness of custom design, a meeting of the minds can often lead to efficiencies down the road. 

Ultimately, our goal is to create great relationships with clients and builders.  We bring a strong design vision to every project, and we understand the collaborative nature of building.  We listen to the needs of our clients, and we respect the knowledge of our contractors.  We encourage an open dialogue throughout the design and construction process and recognize that the most successful projects are those that utilize the strengths of all parties involved.