A deep family heritage in residential design and building informs Jim’s designs. His custom home, cottage and renovation designs aren’t only beautiful and functional but also efficient and cost-effective to construct. He takes the time to really listen to his clients and understand their needs, wants, vision and dreams.
Jim Bell’s proven design process begins with the critical Project Programming phase which captures the client’s vision, along with the technical aspects of the site and a plan to define the overall parameters and feasibility of the project. Only after defining all of these critical elements do Jim and his team begin to move through the remaining phases of the design process: Schematic Design, Design Development and Permit/Construction Documents.
For clients who choose to have Jim Bell Architectural Design Inc. provide Contract Administration, Jim and his team will apply for permits and obtain pricing, review the tenders and negotiate contracts, monitor the build, administer all payments to the contractor, and, at the conclusion of construction and 11 months after completion, review the project and report on deficiencies.
Learn more about the team at Jim Bell Architectural Design Inc. on our Team page.
A Personal Message from Jim Bell – Our relationship is key
After working as an architectural designer for 35 years and helping hundreds of clients achieve their dream homes and cottages, I understand you are about to take a major step and make one of the largest investments of your life. It is perfectly natural to have some questions and concerns.
You want your new home or cottage to achieve your dream, your vision, to be designed and built to perfectly suit you and your family. Ultimately, that is the most important aspect of the entire project. That’s why you want to engage an architectural designer with proven experience, one who has collaborated with hundreds of clients. I spend the time to really explore exactly what you need and want. Some designers jump right into the design and floorplan, missing the essential programming phase. With me, we will sit down and discuss your vision, lifestyle and needs in depth before I begin designing your home. I will listen to you.
You don’t want the perfect home… if it’s perfect for someone else. I don’t design homes and cottages to make an architectural statement or to pursue my personal artistic goals. I design homes and cottages that are a joy for my clients, their families and their guests… spaces where they live, entertain, relax, and age comfortably. To me architecture is about designing homes and cottages the owners love and never want to sell. I know I’ve achieved the best results when clients tell me several years later that they love their new home and can’t think of anything they would change… and I’ve heard that over and over during the last 35 years.
Your life is very busy and you are not a home designer. That’s why you need and deserve a team that has successfully completed countless projects and will look after all of the complex details for you. There are many drafting firms that will provide drawings for less, and if you are looking for a budget price for budget services, and you’re willing and able to do a lot of the work yourselves, that may be the perfect service for you. Our firm provides a very different level of service for busy professionals or retirees who are not knowledgeable about the architectural design process and recognize they need a highly-experienced professional to guide them through one of the most complex and important projects of their personal lives. They know this journey can lead to a very expensive mistake if not handled properly. There are many custom homes that could have much better curb appeal, a more efficient layout, been more functional, been more cost-effective to build, or achieved “dream home” status, but the owners decided to save 4-6% of the overall cost on the design process and ended up with something less.
You want a great relationship with your designer. Fit is important and if I don’t feel our relationship will lead to the very best design for your new home or cottage, I will say so. In some firms, the person you meet with during the sales process will not design your home. At Jim Bell Architectural Design, I meet with you and I will design your home or cottage for you. Although I have a talented, experienced team of technologists that supports the entire process from programming through to working drawings, I am the architectural designer and I will design your home.
I respect your decision. If you don’t feel the fit is right between you and me, that’s ok. I’m not the right architectural designer for everyone. If you decide to choose another designer, I wish you the very best with your project and hope you achieve great results for you and your family. I am always happy to meet with you to answer questions about our proposal and explain how our services may be different from other firms you are considering. Before you decide on a designer, please make sure you ask the right questions and receive the level of service, experience and results you seek.
If you would like to schedule a phone consultation to discuss your project, please contact us today.
Professional Qualifications and Affiliations
Jim is registered as a Licenced Technologist with the OAA and holds a Certificate of Practice based on his training and 35 years of experience designing homes, cottages and commercial spaces. Jim’s professional affiliations include:
- Licenced Technologist OAA with the Ontario Association of Architects
- Applied Science Technology (A.Sc.T) with the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists
- Technologist OAAAS with the Ontario Association of Applied Architectural Sciences
Over the past 35 years, Jim has been involved in numerous very successful projects—ranging from small commercial developments and custom homes, to large hospital projects and high-rise developments. Jim’s experience spans the entire design and build process, from design and presentations, production drawings and contract documents, to site and project management.