As the joke goes, if you are trying to renovate or build something you can have any two of these but NOT all three:
This humorous look at the construction world reveals a truth and the disconnect between most peoples' expectations of construction and what actually is possible. Construction is no place for amateurs or people with limited experience. You want someone you trust during the whole process.
There are building codes, building permits, re codes, inspections, health and safety requirements, and toxic materials being disturbed and/or applied, There are also Department of Labour and WSIB requirements, liability issues and contracts designed to protect only the contractor. And these more technical requirements don't even touch upon the issue of quality, either in terms of design or construction. There are many things which can go wrong and almost all mistakes are very costly.
One of the first phases in the process is discerning what is needed and then translating that into a design. A great deal of listening is involved. One has to know the space and the expectations and then choose an architect or engineer with skills designing that sort of space. Most organizations make the mistake of choosing an architect they know instead of a more competitive process which exponentially increases the chances of ending up with a successful project. Not all architects are created equal and many have created horrible spaces.
Depending on the size of the project, there are also various choices to be made in terms of choosing a contractor. Unfortunately, almost anyone can call themselves a contractor. No education or experience is required even though a great deal of both are needed. Skilled contractors also should be able to multi-task and able to manage people, products and things. And did I mention they have many opportunities to act in their best interest at the expense of the owner so one should be wise in terms of how to manage them and trust them.
And then you have all of the horrible problems which the actual construction causes. Most clients have to continue operations DURING the mess. There is a reason why shows like "Holmes on Homes" ?ourish. Everyone knows of or has experienced a construction nightmare.
An Owner who is represented by a Project Management Professional (LSI has one on staff) greatly increases the chances of success. We want to be in your corner.