Toronto Home Renovations: The Design-Build Advantage

Toronto Home Renovations: The Design-Build Advantage

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As a homeowner, you want to ensure the home remodeling company you hire for your renovation displays a high quality of professionalism, design, and craftsmanship. You want the work to get done with minimal hassle. 

Bryant Renovation’s design-build remodel process provides all of that, and more.

We provide a one-stop solution where our designers and contractors have an established relationship and work is conducted under a single umbrella. We have been providing quality design-build home and condo renovations in the Greater Toronto Area since 1986.

Our guiding light through the entire design-build process is establishing and maintaining full trust with our clients. From early planning, design and each stage of construction, we ensure your satisfaction is first and you get the best quality renovation within your established budget.

Read on to learn about how design-build differs from traditional design and project development, and what you can expect from our team of renovation veterans throughout the process.

Design-Build vs. Design-Bid-Build 

Many design firms still employ a “design-bid-build” model, where the designer and contractors are hired independently of one another. The design firm will either suggest contractors or the client seeks contractors on their own. In this model, the builders are not involved in planning and the designer has limited involvement in the actual construction. Communication breakdowns between the various parties are inevitable. In some extreme cases, the designer may even “find” fault with the work of the contractors simply to make themselves look good.

Unfortunately, the lack of an existing relationship and limited design oversight can lead to all manner of delays, damages, and increased costs. This leads to finger pointing, wasting valuable time, money and emotional energy.

At Bryant Renovations, our design-build philosophy provides a single point of responsibility for the entire project. We have had a long-standing relationship with experienced designers such as Trevor Keir and Bart Szoke. As long-time partners committed to providing the highest quality of work to Toronto homeowners, our combined efforts ensure your dream renovation goes smoothly.

Other benefits of Bryant Renovations Design-Build methods include:

Decreased Costs: Combined design and build services increase the likelihood of a project staying within the original budget.

With the “design-bid-build” process the designer does not have a strong interest in keeping the project on budget. In extreme cases, a designer will intentionally underestimate contractor costs so they get more work redesigning the project when the contractor quote goes over budget.

A design-build firm has an interest in meeting the client’s budget because they will be responsible in the end to meet that requirement. The expertise of the contractors is leveraged in the planning phase so that an engineering and constructability analysis can be conducted early to prevent expanding costs. 

Faster Completion: Design-build projects can be completed faster than a traditional build. In many cases, long-time lead work or procurement can begin before the final design is implemented. 

Bryant’s Design-Build Renovation Project Phases

Our key selling point at Bryant Renovations is the tight relationship with our design and construction partners and our level of communication with each other and with you. Through each phase of your renovation, we strive to ensure you are never in the dark and that the construction process goes smoothly.

1. Consultation, Zone and Building Check

During the initial meeting in your home, we learn your requirements and showcase work in our portfolio that is relevant to your renovation. We make references available and, when possible, visits to our current renovation sites to meet the people who work with us and allow you to see our high standard of craftsmanship.

In the first phase of work, we document the existing property and building conditions and identify zoning bylaw and building code issues that can shape the design process and affect the design proposals.

For smaller renovations, we sign a contract, show you our liability insurance, our Workers’ Compensation (WSIB) certificate, and our up-to-date city Building Renovator Licence upon request. Then we begin working on your renovation.

Larger renovations require highly detailed planning and scheduling of trades. We agree on a price range for your renovation. A letter of intent is signed, and a deposit is given to validate your decision to work with Bryant Renovations. Then we do the detailed and professional planning that a major renovation requires. 

2. Preliminary Design Phase

The preliminary design phase begins with our visit to the site to measure and photograph the house and to produce drawings of the existing building. 

Our designer will sit down with you to discuss the aesthetic you want to achieve, while also proposing design elements that maximize movement through the space. They will also go explore various fixture and material combinations that reflect your vision and fit within your project budget. 

We then present you with up to three different design schemes for your project based on your wishes, needs, and realities.

3. Design Development Phase

In the design development phase, you choose one of the preliminary schemes (or some combination) and as a result of your feedback we refine it in more detail, we make plans, elevations and three-dimensional sketches to represent a finished idea reflecting your desires. We begin discussions with consultants to integrate electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems into the design.

We bring key tradespeople to your home, have them submit exact prices and work schedule to ensure that your renovation is completed in good time. We develop a detailed contract that outlines the scope of the work involved.

The costs are then submitted and calculated by Bryant Renovations. Should the costs of materials change, for example, and the final price with all the items detailed be higher than the price range we agreed on, you have a choice; you may continue with Bryant Renovations, or you may ask for your deposit to be refunded.

4. Working Drawing and Beginning Construction Phase

We resolve construction details and add final dimensions and notes pertaining to the Ontario Building Code. You approve these drawings and we submit them to the Building Department at City Hall.

Once we receive the building permit, we begin construction. 

5. During Construction

Our design-build construction process involves your primary Bryant contact, project designer, and construction supervisor who communicate regularly to make sure everything is going to plan. We hold regular site meetings with you so that you are up-to-date on the status of the work. To ensure that the design intent is realized and the project is completed to your satisfaction, we make periodic design visits to the site and update the drawings (with necessary revisions).

Sometimes in the course of a project, contractors will spot opportunities that would not have been apparent before starting work. For example, revealing the hidden structure of a wall might present opportunities to enlarge a bathroom while avoiding structural concerns. These ideas are then presented to you for your consideration.

The material selection and detailing continue to be refined based on the conditions we find on-site and any changes you request along the way.

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We Listen. We’re Honest. We Get it Right.

Bryant Renovations is proud to have been one of the first dedicated design-build contractors in Toronto. We have continued to refine our processes over our 30+ years in business and are proud of our many glowing customer testimonials.


If you live in the Greater Toronto Area and are looking for a home renovation company to realize your vision, let’s start a conversation.