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The Design Build Process: Our Approach

Whether you’re thinking of an addition, developing your basement, or doing a complete home renovation, our process is the same. If you are looking for a custom-built home, the process will be very similar.

Initial Meeting

For our first meeting, we’ll come to your home to see your space and learn about your renovation wish list. We’ll discuss the issues you’re having with your home and give you ideas. We believe that anything is possible, and draw on our extensive experience to come up with innovative solutions to make your vision a reality.

At this time, you’ll be provided with a very rough estimate of the project cost based on our experience with similar projects. You’ll also be shown samples of our work as well as given a client reference list. All our clients are happy to talk about their experience with us, and many are also willing to show you their completed projects; we leave these meetings between you and them as it is much easier to talk candidly without us around!

Design Meeting

Once you decide that you’d like to move forward to design, we collect a design retainer and schedule a meeting with either our Architectural Technologist or our Industrial Designer, depending on the parameters of your project. Our design team visits your home to discuss the details of your project. They’ll take measurements, ask many questions, and provide ideas and inspiration. This meeting usually takes a few hours so the design team fully understands what you want to achieve.

Design Presentation

Approximately two weeks after the design meeting, we’ll present the first draft of the design. Each of our home renovations is completely custom, so you can make as many changes to the design as you wish.

Our design team will meet at your home to review the design and discuss any revisions or modifications you’d like to see made. They will revise the design and meet with you as many times as necessary to get it to the place where you are 100% satisfied with the layout and overall project concept.

Pricing Meeting

When the design is finalized, we’ll bring all the trades required to complete the project to your home. Doing this eliminates 98% of cost overruns and questionable errors in the future.

We create a preliminary project scope that itemizes every trade and all the specifics to the project. The scope and the final set of plans are given to the trades at the pricing meeting. The various trades will talk to you, take measurements, and be fully prepared to provide us with an accurate quote.

This meeting typically takes a couple of hours, and it gives you the opportunity to get to know the people who will be working in your home. Many of our clients have told us that the pricing meeting allowed them to see how close our team is and was a major factor in choosing us to do their custom home renovation.

Presentation Meeting

About three or four weeks after the pricing meeting, we’ll present you with a comprehensive Project Scope Estimate. It includes all the details of the project from start to finish and pricing for each aspect. We believe in complete transparency so all the information you need is provided at this meeting. You will see a complete breakdown of your project pricing to fully understand how all the components fit together.

This can be a lengthy meeting and many people feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they receive. There is no need to make an immediate decision on whether to proceed. We will leave all the information with you in a well-organized leather binder so you can review it at your leisure and make your decision when you’re ready.

Contract Signing

Once the presentation meeting has taken place, the project details are fine tuned to get a completely accurate Project Scope Estimate and overall contract amount. Many people need a few days to review the initial presentation package and make slight revisions to the scope; additions of the optional ‘A La Carte’ items, specific selection specs, etc. These modifications happen over email until you are 100% satisfied with the project details.

Once a final Project Scope Estimate and contract is created, we book a contract signing meeting where we sign all of the documents, collect a deposit cheque, and schedule a start date. Following this meeting, a detailed schedule is created, showing you the exact duration of your project and the completion date.


Many clients begin selecting materials and finishes prior to the pricing meeting so the project costing accurately reflects their desired spec level. If selections have not been determined by the time a contract is signed, we simply include allowance amounts that give you an estimated material spec and value, which allows you to fine tune it at your leisure.

Our team of interior designers is willing to help you as much or as little as you want. Some people are comfortable handling the selections on their own, while others require a professional’s help.

Pulling together the selections package for a large-scale renovation or new home is a lot of work and is often underestimated. We tell our clients that an interior designer is “worth their weight in gold” to keep the process streamlined and the schedule on track.

No matter which way you choose to do your selections, the most important aspect is making sure each selection is finalized by the required date. We provide you with a selection calendar to help keep you on track, but if these dates are missed it impacts the renovation schedule and risks delaying the completion date. Communication is key and an interior designer will help ensure all of the information is communicated quickly and efficiently.

Renovation Start

Depending on the type of permitting required, your project could start as quickly as four weeks after signing a contract with us! We encourage you to move out of your home during the renovation if possible. Living in a construction zone can be emotionally distressing and having people in your space takes its toll.

If you’re unable to find alternative lodging and must remain in your home, we do everything possible to make the process easier for you. Our project manager will be on site every day, coordinating the trades and overseeing the project.

Out of respect for your family’s schedule, we will only be on site during the working hours we have arranged with you. In addition, we have processes in place to minimize disruption from the trades working in your home and take measures to protect your home from damage and your family from dust.

Change Orders

The word ‘change order’ often strikes fear into people’s hearts as we’ve all heard of companies that add a surcharge for even the slightest revision to the project, or under-bid on the job just to get in the door, then hit a client with thousands of dollars of ‘required’ items that weren’t accounted for.

We don’t play this game. We price your project accurately at the front end and include good quality mid-grade selection allowances so you have a realistic expectation of what your overall project will cost. But let’s face it—mid-stream changes are inevitable. It’s almost impossible to nail down every selection item 100% before the project begins, and often an idea for a revision or addition to the scope will come up only once things are already underway.

We don’t believe you should be penalized for revising the scope or changing a selection, even after the project has started. For this reason, we don’t charge an additional administration fee for change orders, and all of the required trade quotes are shown to you just as at the initial pricing stage.

Change orders are created in our online management software and you are able to review and approve them with just a few simple clicks of a mouse. All approved change orders automatically tally to your project’s running total so you are immediately able to see the cost implications of every item. Some changes will impact the project schedule and, if this is the case, we will clearly communicate it with you ahead of time.

Project Completion

During the course of a project there will be frequent fluctuations in the scheduled items. Some may be completed in less time than allotted and some may require more. Don’t panic if you don’t see things happening exactly as we have them laid out on the schedule; our be-all-end-all is the completion date! Our project manager is in constant communication with the trades and handles all necessary ebbs and flows that come with any construction process.

Approximately two weeks before project completion, we will begin to fine-tune the finish and details. We provide a full clean of renovated areas as well as a furnace and window clean so that when the big day comes, all you have to worry about is moving in and unpacking!

Service and Warranty

As members of BILD and RenoMark™ Dependable Renovations provides a full two-year warranty on all workmanship and materials supplied through our trade partners. We conduct a completion walk-through on the day of your project turn over, and schedule prompt resolution of any deficiencies that are identified. We schedule another walk-through 12 months and 24 months after completion and resolve any issues that may have arisen in that time frame.

Our personal interest, however, extends well past our warranty period. We want you to call us even if you require assistance years down the road. Once you’re part of our client family we will always be available to help facilitate assessments and repairs!

Dependable Renovations has a solid background in customer service and warranty resolution, and is passionate about the importance of a strong project finish. The final lasting impression is often how deficiencies are handled, and if those drag on it sours the overall renovation experience.

We go to great lengths to ensure there are minimal—if any—deficient items at turn over, and if there are, we ensure they are dealt with swiftly to allow you to get on with the important business of enjoying your newly renovated spaces!