Tag Archives: ARIDO

Successful permit-applying strategies

Successful permit-applying strategies

Latest News

Successful permit-applying strategies

Projects vary in size and scope. No matter your role in the design and construction process, permits can be a stressful part of the operation. I’ve had years of experience pulling together permits of all kinds. I also have a passion for efficiency that has boded me well, and, in turn, has helped me to acquire knowledge and experience as it relates to the acquisitions of said permits. I sincerely hope that your permit process will go smoother, after having heard some of my hard-learned lessons.

Do Your Research

This may seem obvious, but I’ve learned how important it is to do my research before I go through the process of permit drawings and submissions. It’s paid off every single time, especially if I’m submitting for someone else’s design.

I always ask the following three questions:

  1. Are there any previous permits for this property?
  2. Are there existing drawings available?
  3. What are the permit requirements for this specific project’s scope of work?

By doing so, it saves on unnecessary work, and also gives you a heads up on what you might be missing when you do apply.

Be Clear and Concise

Only submit permit drawings of the plans that the examiner needs to see in order to pass your project. If it’s not necessary, there’s no need to show them millwork elevations or drawings of the finishes.

It’s very tempting to put all of the information on one drawing, and let them sort it out. Trust me, everything is easier when you keep your drawings and designs easy enough for all to follow. Don’t make the plan’s examiner hunt for information.

Submit in Person

Some municipalities, including Toronto, will accept submissions by email, which is far more convenient. However, you want a relationship with the people who you’re submitting to. Developing a rapport with the employees at the desk is paramount. If you submit by email, your submission either gets rejected (just one of many in a queue), or you’ll get a refusal letter if something is missing. Stuff happens. If you submit in person, you get direct feedback as to what you may have forgot. And, by doing so, you may even have time to go back and make the changes, and re-submit the same day.

Hire a Professional

When in doubt, hire a professional, especially if you’re stressed out and overwhelmed. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, so it’s often worth your time, and budget, to hire a professional – someone who’s specialized in keeping everything on track, so that all goes smoothly.

I may be somewhat biased, but for residential projects, hiring a registered interior designer can be a beneficial asset. If you’re the client, or on the construction side, find someone who’s aware of the building code and zoning when they’re preparing the designs. This will help to avoid potential headaches.

Other types of design professionals, who understand your vision, can be of assistance when defending your project to those who are in charge of permits. If they get it, they can help you to accomplish it.

MELISSA TOSSELL, NCIDQ, BCIN, ARIDO is the owner and registered interior designer for Sanura Design and co-chair of the Residential Committee of ARIDO.

Article provided courtesy of ARIDO.


Featured Products


ARIDO recognizes record number of projects at annual awards

Latest News

ARIDO recognizes record number of projects at annual awards


The Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) has announced the winning projects from its annual Awards. ARIDO received a record number of projects for judging this year, with 130 projects submitted, and 39 of them receiving awards. The 39 winning projects were recognized at the 2018 Awards Gala on Oct. 24 at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.

Each year, projects from 11 categories including Residential, Retail Spaces, Workplaces, Healthcare Facilities, Public Institutional, Hotels and Clubs, Restoration and Adaptive Reuse and Speciality Elements, are judged by a rotating team of five industry professionals. The 2018 Judges were Tarisha Dolyniuk, ARIDO; Andrew Gallici, ARIDO; David Gibbons, ARIDO; Nadia Kuhni, ARIDO; and Greg Quinn, ARIDO.

The award-winning projects for 2018 include Booking.com’s new Queen Street offices, Moose Knuckles’ Yorkdale flagship, Sun Life’s Ignite Studio, and two projects at SickKids Hospital. The restaurant boom continues in stunning spaces like Joe Bird at Queen’s Quay Terminal, Copper Spirits & Sights in Ottawa, and the cafe, bar and restaurant of Victor in Toronto’s Hotel Le Germain. Residential spaces also received recognition, with dynamic home projects from Arizona, Quebec and Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood included.

“We’re delighted with the increase in submissions, and with the amount of interest from ARIDO Members,” says Sharon Portelli, ARIDO executive director. “We are even more excited to award our members with the distinguished ARIDO Award for 2018, the industry standard for interior design excellence.”

Each of the projects have received Awards of Merit due to the high standard represented this year. Projects will be featured in the annual Awards Magazine, as well as ARIDO’s new online presence for the public, BLOG//ARIDO.

For a complete list of the awards and images, visit ARIDO.ca


Featured Products



Latest News


by Brendan Charters
Photography by Valerie Wilcox

Architect, Designer or Builder—who gets retained and why

Unless you are a confident DIYer with lots of spare time, a home improvement project is usually born when someone puts pen to paper to retain the services of a professional. But who do you hire and in what order? Well, it’s neither an easy nor a one-size-fits-all answer.

ASSEMBLY REQUIRED - Architectural, interior design and building execution are all required to bring a project like this to reality.
ASSEMBLY REQUIRED – Architectural, interior design and building execution are all required to bring a project like this to reality.


The duty does fall upon you as the homeowner to take this first crucial step. Regardless of your experience or knowledge of construction or design, if you will be retaining the services of someone else to assist with the project, it is essential that you detail your wish list. Start high level, with the must-have items; for instance, a two-storey rear addition of a specific size, or the gut renovation of an existing kitchen or basement, or a 3,500-sq.-ft. custom home—whatever the high-level description of the project may be. Then figure out your realistic budget, and don’t be afraid to share it with those who will be helping you with the project. This will help people understand quickly if your goals match your pocketbook. Sure, retain a contingency for the unforeseen or unknown items that can come about in a project, and for items that the build may not include, such as furniture or appliances, but sharing the budget will help avoid both the homeowner and the professionals from wasting their time.

WISH LIST - Decide what the end goals are and your true budget to see if there is a fit.
WISH LIST – Decide what the end goals are and your true budget to see if there is a fit.


The second step is to meet with people—at least a couple from each discipline (architect or designer, interior designer and builder), and two to three firms that may roll all those services into one (i.e. Design-Build). We recommend meeting at the proposed project site, as it will allow the professionals to identify any potential obstacles to undertaking your wish list, such as trees, neighbours or other potential structure or site conditions. Get an understanding for their rough costs in a project like the one you are planning, and also use the time to get to know them and their process. Take notes, as different people will give you different advice and all of it could come in handy down the road, no matter who you ultimately retain to help. Designing and building a home or large addition/renovation project is unlike most other transactions. This service arrangement can involve working together daily for a year or more, and attitudes, egos and personalities need to mesh as well as the scope and budget do for the project to be a successful undertaking.

FINISH LINE - Touring finish suppliers early in design can help determine budget needs for finishes.
FINISH LINE – Touring finish suppliers early in design can help determine budget needs for finishes.


The third step is to retain services to commence the project development. This is the scariest, we know, but is the only step that thaws the project freeze we discussed before, and is required to convert the project into something real. If you are hiring someone for architectural design, as well as interior design, and a third person to build the project, we recommend bringing them all on-board simultaneously. It may only involve a minor commitment at the outset to buy some time, but will help ensure that the architectural design and interior design stays in line with the budget, and most importantly what it will ultimately cost to build. If you have a single source design-build firm retained, getting updated budgets upon crystallizing the basic floorplan will ensure budget constraints are adhered to if design changes are needed. It can be done early in the design phase, and thus be cheaper. Likewise, if you are selecting your own interior finishes, or retaining professional interior design help, we recommend touring suppliers to get a sense of tastes for finishes, and how those costs fit in against the initial budget. A high and low(er) type selection in the early stages will help your designer and your builder understand where your goals are esthetically, and will also help you to learn the cost impacts of your decisions related to finishes, and what compromises you may have to make to keep the project within the budget.

SERENITY NOW - The right budget, the right team and the right attitude ensure a dream home come true.
SERENITY NOW – The right budget, the right team and the right attitude ensure a dream home come true.


The final verdict is that while some may say you should start with a builder first, others will suggest the architect or designer needs to come first. We feel that ultimately the homeowner or project initiator comes first, and that upon the first project idea development, the other three disciplines should quickly follow, but in unison as soon as possible to ensure an accurate and successful outcome. It is ultimately up to you, the property owner, to decide how you bring them together, either by way of building your own team of designers and builders, or reaching out to a single source design-build provider. Neither option is right for all projects, nor for all consumers, and we urge you to meet with all options to see which people and process will work best for you and your specific project.


When planning your own addition, renovation, or custom home, remember there is real value in working with a professional to design and build the space. Remember, the process is as important as the final product here, not just the price. We recommend you start your search at the relevant professional associations to explore your options, including the OAA (Architects), AATO (Architecture Technologists), ARIDO (Interior Designers) and BILD or RenoMark, the home of the professional builder and renovator, to find the true industry professionals. Best of luck with your next exciting project!

Brendan Charters is Partner at Toronto Design-Build Firm Eurodale Developments Inc. – 2017 OHBA Renovator of the Year.



(416) 782-5690


Featured Products