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How to Find the Perfect New Home Designer for Your Dream House

author headshot - Geoff Van Brunt
Geoff Van Brunt
November 8, 2023

Designing and building a dream home is an exciting and daunting task. It requires a seamless blend of artistic vision, technical expertise, and adherence to building codes and regulations. To navigate through this complex process, it is crucial to enlist the services of Registered Building Practitioners or Architects. These professionals are vital in ensuring your dream home becomes a reality. 

Registered Building Practitioner vs Architect

One important factor to consider is affordability. Registered Building Practitioners (also called Designers) are often more cost-effective than architects, as they typically charge lower fees for their services. Additionally, Designers often have more time to spend with their clients, as they are focused primarily on the practical aspects of construction. Architects, on the other hand, may have a more limited availability due to their involvement in multiple projects and, in many instances, are more interested in larger commercial projects. We usually provide 3D models and walkthroughs in addition to construction documents. To date, we have seen nothing more than the bare minimum construction documents for new home designs at a much higher price from Architects.

The Process of Acquiring Permits and Approvals

In Ontario, it is now mandatory (with some exceptions) for Designers to be involved in creating permit drawings. This requirement has been put in place to ensure that the design and construction of buildings meet the necessary standards and regulations. Designers play a crucial role in this process as they possess the knowledge and expertise to create detailed, accurate drawings compliant with applicable codes and guidelines. Overall, this new regulation is a positive step towards enhancing the quality and safety of construction projects in Ontario.

Drawings and Plans from Out of Province

Drawings and plans from Architects not licensed within the province are UNACCEPTABLE to obtain a permit. This means that any architectural plans obtained online or from Architects outside of Ontario can only be used if signed by an Architect or Registered Building Designer registered in Ontario. Most often, the drawings need significant modifications prior to being signed. This restriction does not mean they are useless; they can be redone to meet Ontario’s stringent code requirements by an Architect or Designer, often at a cost lower than hiring an Architect to design from scratch.

The Role of 3D Software in the Design Process

In today’s digital age, 3D software has revolutionized the way new homes are designed. Designers utilize advanced 3D modelling software to create highly detailed and realistic renderings of your dream home. This technology allows you to visualize the final product before construction even begins, enabling you to make informed decisions and make necessary changes to the design.

The use of 3D software not only enhances the design process but also facilitates effective communication between you and the Designer. With 3D renderings, you can clearly convey your desired aesthetic and functional preferences. The Designer, in turn, can provide expert advice and suggestions, ensuring that the final design aligns with your vision.

Balancing Artistic and Technical Aspects in New Home Design

Designing a new home requires striking a delicate balance between artistic vision and technical feasibility. Designers excel in this balancing act, as they must possess a unique blend of artistic creativity and technical expertise.

The artistic aspect of new home design involves creating a space that reflects your personal style and preferences. Designers work closely with you to understand your vision and translate it into a cohesive and visually stunning design. They consider factors such as layout, materials, colours, and finishes to create a harmonious living environment that aligns with your aesthetic sensibilities.

However, artistic vision alone is not sufficient to bring a design to life. The technical aspect of new home design involves ensuring that the design is structurally sound, functional, and practical. Designers have a deep understanding of construction techniques, materials, and systems. They ensure that the design can be implemented within the constraints of the building code and budget without compromising on quality or safety.

Green Building

Building a green home has become a popular choice for many homeowners due to its numerous benefits. One important aspect of constructing a green home is obtaining the necessary certifications, such as R2000 or Energy Star. These certifications ensure that the home meets specific energy efficiency and sustainability standards. Another standard in building a green home is net zero energy consumption. Net Zero means that the home produces as much energy as it consumes, resulting in reduced utility bills and a smaller carbon footprint. A net zero home can be achieved by incorporating energy-efficient materials and appliances and utilizing renewable energy sources like solar panels. Overall, building a green home benefits the environment and provides long-term cost savings for homeowners. Our Designers can work with you to understand and achieve one of the certifications.


Designing and building your dream home is an intricate process that requires the expertise of professionals. They bring together artistic vision, technical expertise, and regulatory compliance to unlock the full potential of your dream home. From navigating building codes to creating accurate construction documents, they play a crucial role at every step of the design process. So, if you are ready to turn your dream home into a reality, let us design your new home and embark on this exciting journey together.