FAQ

Do I need to hire Altius, or any architect, for my project?

We see the big picture of your project. We explore what appeals to your senses and your intellect. We co-ordinate teams of design, engineering and construction professionals and sort through the maze of building codes and zoning requirements for you. We provide the experience and design skills necessary to ensure your dreams are built the way you intended.

At what point in my project should I involve Altius?

As soon as you start planning your project. We provide pre-design services including site evaluation, and can help with important decisions early on, such as solar orientation and can help you avoid basic mistakes which can turn costly as a project progresses-involving us early increases the probability we can turn your project into exactly what you’re hoping for.

How do I know I’m hiring the right architect?

Find an architect you feel comfortable with-someone with whom you can discuss dreams as well as more practical subjects-and that’s us! With over 20 years of experience in residential and commercial projects, we are happy to provide testimonials from our list of satisfied clients.

Will hiring Altius as my architect, or hiring an architect in general, add substantial cost to my project?

While you might have guessed that there are fees associated with hiring us-did you also know we will be saving you a lot of money? We monitor your budget, and negotiate to get you the best materials and workmanship at a good price. Our designs also heavily reduce energy and maintenance costs, and provide efficient layouts so you won’t build more space than you need (we can turn even a difficult lot into a successful building site). We have the experience and planning skills to develop your ideas so we can avoid costly changes once construction begins.

What services does Altius provide?

The short answer is that we ensure your dreams get built. The long answer is that we provide architecture and interior design services, as well as construction management services, for residential and commercial buildings. We have over 20 years experience in delivering quality, as well as sustainable design services, and pride ourselves in client satisfaction. Find out more on our services webpage, or visit our blog.

Can Altius offer me interior design services?

Yes. We are an award-winning interiors firm. Have a look at our portfolio of projects online, or check out our social media to see examples of our work

What is the cost of hiring Altius?

Our cost varies per project. We are happy to put together a proposal after speaking with you-give us a call or email us.

Can Altius provide me with a sustainable/green design?

Absolutely. We can help you achieve anything from basic energy efficiency to higher certifications such as Passive House. If you would like a LEED certification or simply to add some solar panels, we are happy to help, and have extensive experience in sustainable projects.

What is my role as a client/owner during a typical project?

We depend on you to tell us your design preferences, requirements, and budget. Your timely response to questions and design submissions will help us keep your project on track.  It is important to voice any concerns as soon as they arise so we can address them as soon as possible.

Does Altius provide construction management services?

Yes, we do, on select projects.

What is Altius’ role in the construction of my project?

If you hire us for architecture or interior design, we will plan out your dreams and ensure your project proceeds as smoothly as possible. When the design is complete, we head up the team of consultants to ensure all the little details of the big picture come together. During construction, we visit the site and meet with you and the build team to ensure that your vision is being executed according to plan. We negotiate with contractors and deal with and resolve issues that arise on site.

How much does construction cost?

A difficult question. The short answer is that it costs what you’d like to spend. Unlike most architecture firms, which are more heavily involved at the beginning of the project than the end, we also do construction management on request, and are much more versed in understanding budgets-we give you the tools you need to make the financial decisions on your project. The location and specifics of your site, the availability of contractors and materials, as well as the quality of finish materials, appliances, fixtures, and other design elements affecting costs. We break down these costs for you and are happy to explain any item, and to make adjustments for you as the project proceeds.

How long will it take for Altius to build my project?

Another tough question. A ballpark for a residential project is one to two years; commercial projects generally take a bit longer. However, this depends on the specifics of your project, such as permit approvals,  construction availability and season, and of course, there are sometimes unexpected and unforeseen delays.

What kind of approvals will my project need before being built?

It depends on where your project is located. You will need to proceed through your municipality’s zoning approval process (for example the City of Toronto’s Committee of Adjustment), then through a federally and provincially regulated building permit process.  During this time your site or building may also be subject to additional historic or natural regulations, for example Toronto’s ravine control bylaws. We are familiar with this complex process, and can advise you on the best and quickest course of action.