I could give you a long list of benefits, and I will later on this page, but first, I’m asking you the question! You have many options when it comes to getting your project done. Why are you considering a designer?

I come from a tradition where if something needed to be done we did it ourselves. My father was a teacher but over the course of his life I believe he built seven homes for our family. There aren’t a lot of home related trades that I can’t tackle (especially with the help of YouTube). Why would someone like me need a designer?

I have a very close friend who has moved and lived in many homes over the past 40 years. He has virtually no construction skills. When he, his wife and family move into a house almost nothing changes. They live with the house as it is. How would someone like him need a designer?

I started my career in the construction industry spending my summers between university working on the crew for a local builder. This was in the 1970s, and our crew was involved in building dozen’s of homes each summer. I have since realized that I was part of a major building boom. The idea of a “subdivision” was fairly new idea at the time. Builders like the one I worked for built most of our subdivisions. These were hardworking business people who took great pride in their work. None of them would have considered employing a designer or architect.


    1. Layouts, elevations, feature details:  present, refine and agree on layouts for every part of the Inn that is to be addressed.  
    2. Vision Board:  capturing the emotional core of the project.  Images, samples, objects, words are presented and then refined so as to reflect the owners vision of the project.  This becomes the conceptual beacon for the rest of the project.
    3. The end of this step will include a rough draft of a project budget and schedule
    1. Fixed items:  source, select – plumbing, cabinets, lighting, carpentry, flooring, paint
    2. Non-fixed items:  source, select, order:  furniture, furnishings, accessories, etc.
    3. Ordering is delayed till the permit has been secured in most cases
  3. WORKING DOCUMENTS With the direction clear the parameters of the project are documented
    1. Blueprints – structural, mechanical, plot plan, grading plan(?)
    2. Specifications & Selections
    3. Scope of Work
    4. Budgets
    5. Time line
    1. Using the above documents – builders bid and make presentations
      1. because so much pre-planning has been completed, the bidders will be given a very comprehensive set of parameters – this is a builders dream – TLC has covered everything in advance
      2. this will allow the contenders to provide a tighter bid – marketing, planning, design, sourcing, costing, negotiating, etc. has all been completed already.  
      3. agreements and construction financing will take place in one of two ways:  
        1. contracting – builder finances and gets draws throughout the project (close-in, drywall, occupancy)
        2. project management – owner finances and pays builder monthly or bi-weekly based on receipts
      4. note on purchasing: because of issues around sourcing (special rates, discounts and the negotiation process) different parties will play different roles, and the money trail will be somewhat varied.  Through the online service, TLC will offer you 24/7 access to your project’s financial status.
      5. in most cases 2 or 3 builders will be invited to bid – each will be given the same information.

  1. Builder steps:  
    1. after a builder is selected their first steps will be to obtain the required certifications and agency releases
    2. building permit application.


  1. ON SITE DESIGN CONTROL – this service will be in place till the end of the project (ie. flowers on pillows, croissants out of the oven)
    1. Selections – non-fixed items
      1. source, select, order:  furniture, furnishings, accessories, etc.
    2. Ordering and contracting for built-ins
      1. this will be multi-streamed: builder, designer, decorator, owner
      2. based on given lead times, as much as possible project elements are on-site or at hand when the project begins
    3. Construction
      1. Construction timing will be based on trade deployment – as much as possible the trades should complete their work over the entire project at the same time
      2. TLC will provide consistent on-site presence (client advocate) as well as on-line project tracking
        1. confirm that design, plan, specs are adhered to
        2. troubleshoot design complications
        3. confirm finishes and installation is up to standard
  2. INSTALLATION AND PLACEMENT – Furniture, Furnishings, Accessories – this aspect will be outside the scope of the builder and will be offered as a separate service.  This will include everything beyond the paint on the walls: eg. beds, chairs, window coverings, towels, clock radios, coffee makers, iPod doc, clocks, pictures, photographs, signs on doors, registration desk, computer hookup, workout equipment, stainless steel candle holders, timber benches.  etc. All of this will have been selected back in 2.b.. This step is installation and placement.
  3. FEATURE DESIGN AND CREATION:  – not infrequently the homeowner or builder will request or require that TLC be directly involved in design and execution of a specific feature item in the project.   Often this is related to re-purposing items. The result is a clear “one-of-a-kind” feature, often for less than the “off the shelf” alternative. (eg. fireplace, table, etc.)

WARRANTY – because all the actual construction elements are completed by others, TLC adds no warranty to the project.  Fixed and non-fixed items are covered by manufacturers and the builder. TLC will provide verification where required to confirm industry standard performance.