Most Projects have a similar start, be sure to read through “How to get Started” & What we do.

To get started on your custom home project, you by now own a piece of property. If the property has an existing home you will require a demolition permit from the municipality. Other things to consider for custom homes, as most are located in rural areas is having a functioning water well or municipal water connection, hydro and gas connection, area allocated for septic system, all possible conservation authority, zoning setbacks & by-laws have been researched, as this will create a building envelope showing you the remaining area on the lot where & what size of home you can build. (This varies, depending on your specific site). After the building envelope is determined Matthews Design would start developing the conceptual designs. These designs would be based on your ideas & criteria. We would further develop them into a final design package, after having several meetings working through different options, showing room relationships, room sizing and overall layout. After final sign off when the design is to your satisfaction Matthews Design will begin the working drawing phase.

For the working drawing phase Matthews Design provides revisions to the sketch design plans and elevations, adding notes and dimensions, along with complete building cross sections and construction details. This information will provide a clear scope of work allowing professionals and tradesmen to be able to construct your project.

In addition to the working drawings are a building code review and a provincial License Stamp in order to submit the plans for building permit at your local municipality.

We will review and take responsibility for the design work on behalf of our firm registered under subsection 3.2.4 of Division C, of the Ontario Building Code. We are qualified and the firm is registered, in the appropriate classes/categories as regulated by the province.

There are also a number of different subconsultants that may be required for your project. Depending where you are located you may be subject to the laws and by-laws of a Conservation Authority. There are several agencies that require different conditions and parameters to be met, again all depending on what municipality and area you live in.

Some custom homes are designed using engineered roof trusses, which require a P.Eng stamp from the truss company. Other designs could use stick frame rafters, which would require a structural engineer stamp. There are many different structural requirements, such as your custom home exceeding Part 9 of the Ontario Building Code, the Municipal Building Department will require a Structural Engineer Review under Part 4 of the Ontario Building Code. This can be explained easier when at each specific property.

Another Subconsultant would be HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning). The municipality requires a Heat Loss/ Heat Gain calculation which must be produced by a licenced (B.C.I.N.) consultant.

If you do not have an existing property survey by an Ontario Land Surveyor, a survey will be required along with topographical grading plan for custom homes. The main reason for a grading plan is to ensure the new property will have positive drainage which will not affect any neighbouring properties.

The final subconsultant that will be required if your property is located in rural country side is a septic engineer. Whether building on a new lot or on an existing lot where the old house is demolished, a septic design will be required based on your specific house design.

The last thing to consider when building a custom home is to check with your local municipality in regards to possible development charges.

There is a lot of information to take in when building a custom home and it may seem overwhelming, but as mentioned early in “How to get Started” I hope you had a chance to write down any questions and give us a call, set up a meeting and we can lead you through your project. Remember, this is not supposed to be stressful. Look forward to hearing from you.


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