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1.What do I need in order to begin the design process for my project and what steps do you take to ensure the client’s ideas get incorporated into the design?

A vision of the end product & an understanding of the ultimate use of the building/space. As a client, you know what you want, but you may not be able to express clearly what it is. To help, we’ve developed a process, using vision boards, to help extract those great ideas from your head, and onto the drawings.

2.Why is it important that the structural aspects of the project be taken into account during the conceptual architectural design phase?
Build costs. Designing a pretty building is one thing, but someone needs to build it, and as inexpensively as possible.
By paying attention to the structural components at the conceptual stage, we can adjust our architectural accordingly, to avoid unnecessary & expensive columns, beams, oversized floor systems, etc.


3. Why do you recommend conceptual drawings as a separate contract on larger projects?
Simple, it allows you to get budget pricing before committing to full plans. If pricing comes in too high and/or if financing becomes an issue, you can either re-adjust the plans to suit, or at worse case, can bow out of the project without spending all that money on a full design. These ‘conceptuals’ can also be used to submit for a re-zoning, or to approach potential tenants or investors prior to the start of the project.

4. How do you determine your cost for services so there won’t be any surprises on the other end?
We price our projects based on the scope of work, and we always allow for some changes along the way. Changes are inevitable and important to ensure a great final product. We try to establish the amount of changes included in the proposal, and most of the time there are no extras, however if the project changes direction, or if the owner requires more changes than originally anticipated, we then bill extras on an hourly basis. The client is advised when these additional fees start, to avoid surprises.

5. What determines if my drawings need to be stamped by a licensed architect or engineer?
Several factors, such as building use, occupancy type, building size, etc. Normally, custom homes & small buildings with a footprint under 600 sq. meters do not require an architect to review & stamp, however, different municipalities have different views on this. We typically discuss our projects with the inspectors having jurisdiction before beginning the design process, to make sure we satisfy his/her specific requirements.

 6. With so many builders/contractors out there, what tips can you provide on selecting the right one?
May sound obvious, but get references from people you know, preferably someone who built a project similar in complexity to yours. While the guy who renovated your aunt’s bungalow did a bang up job, he’s probably not the right guy to build your 72-unit apartment building, or an 8,000sq.ft custom home. We’ve worked with some excellent contractors, for various project types, and would be happy to recommend some.

7. Why are build costs so important to you guys at Spitfire Design?
Cost overruns happen on pretty much every construction project, however by applying a more cost-conscious design approach, some of these can be controlled or even eliminated at the design stage. Material selection, floor layouts and overall complexity of a project can affect build costs. By having this cost-conscious mindset, as early as the conceptual stage, we can keep build costs to a minimum.
Besides, anyone can design a building or a restaurant concept that’s expensive and complicated to build, the magic begins when you can design a very similar one that costs less, in both labour and materials.


171 Lutz Street, Suite 203, moncton, NB, Canada E1C 5E8

(506) 855-3777info@spitfiredesign.ca

Spitfire Design Company (formerly CAD Factor) - Architectural, Luxury Home, and Commercial Building Designs, Moncton, Dieppe, Shediac.