Design – Concept

We need to visualize and define your Vancouver home renovation – can we “think outside the box” and add on, or are we working within the current footprint?

Do you clearly know what your motivation is for the renovation and do you have a vision of what you want it to look like? Do you want a gourmet kitchen, or is a baby on the way? Do you need to update and find more useable space or are you adding on to accommodate “aging in place” for your parents – or yourself?

The planning and concept phase involves defining the overall look and feel of your Vancouver home renovation. Measurements need to be taken then transferred to our AutoCAD program. Conceptual floor plans are then produced for you to review, and zoning and municipal bylaws need to be addressed. This is also when an initial renovation budget starts to take shape. All of these items begin to form the basis for the initial design meeting while determining the focus and direction heading into the next phase. Decisions made at this meeting will help to establish a refined scope and clearer price before entering Phase 2.

Open and honest communications are crucial in this phase. We’re working on your behalf to create your dream and we all need to know that we can communicate easily and efficiently. Our job is to ask the right questions so that when we get to the end of your renovation project no one is asking “Why didn’t we …??”

Can we meet on site – or in our office – or do you live out of town? We’ve worked with clients who live in other countries and after this phase all renovation communications – change orders, approvals, drawings, etc. were done by e-mail.


1. Initial Meeting
1 hour
2. Design Proposal
1 week
3. Concept Development
2 – 4 weeks
4. Design Detailing
2 – 6 weeks
5. Permit Application
2 – 6 weeks
6. Construction Phase
2 – 12 months
7. Project Completion
Project Completion

Project Costing

You can’t refine your project cost without a detailed design.

The design phase forms the “map” of the renovation so you and your Vancouver contractor know where you’re going – and how you’re going to get there. Bring us your ideas, magazine clippings, ideas, wishes and expectations – and an idea of what your budget is. We’ve done same size bathroom renovations that ranged from $10,000.00 – $100,000.00 – the difference was in the details. Meeting with us at our in-house design studio will give you a much better idea of how changing finishing details can make a major difference to your project.

By the end of the design phase it should be very clear to everyone:

  • that your renovation conforms to all zoning regulations;
  • what fixtures you’ve selected;
  • what the material finishes will be;
  • what all of the electrical, lighting and construction details are; and
  • that the engineering/permit — ready plans are complete.

Once these details are defined, an accurate renovation budget can be worked out.

Build – Construction

When your renovation design is complete and we have a detailed construction budget with all finishes and fixtures selected, we’re ready to start building – once the permit is issued.

Everyone wants to know how long their project will take. maison d’etre lets you – our client – decide that and we only move as fast or as slow as we need to so that you are in control of what’s happening in your space.

However, changes always happen during construction due to:

  • construction issues
  • structural issues
  • inspector requests; and most importantly
  • your own changes to the plan

Any of these affect the progress – and budget – of the renovation.

Once your renovation starts you will have a Project Manager in the office assigned to your renovation and a Construction Manager on your site. You will also have a schedule or timetable so that you can follow the renovation progress. Billing will follow the budget — showing expenditures against the budget — and will be done bi-weekly.

maison d’etre has three construction teams – each one specializing in different size renovations. We make sure we match up them up to each renovation according to their skills and experience and no matter how big or small your home renovation is we have just the right team to put it together!