Lindy Consulting Architecture Tips Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Lindy-Consulting

Saving time and money by avoiding variances.

We are currently working on several major renovation projects which involve extensive demolition and reconstruction work.

One project, located in the Yonge and St. Clair neighbourhood,  involves demolition of the roof, the back wall and front wall of the existing two storey home. The proposed is a new contemporary façade with traditional stone, a new roof with a large attic and a large addition at the rear. The owners have asked for an additional large light filled master bedroom with en-suite washroom and walk in closet on the second floor,  a new open concept living room and kitchen on the main floor, a ground floor washroom, and for the basement, a spacious family entertainment room with windows.

The benefits of retaining some of the existing walls have been mainly having to do with accelerating the schedule as well as the grandfathering of setbacks and openings. The walls of one side of the house is currently constructed on the lot line. If you were to propose a new house, the building would be required to be set back from the lot line. There are existing window openings in the side wall located on the lot line, and if you were to propose new walls, there would be no openings permitted on the side.

As for the schedule, there were no variances required, mainly because the existing house has been there for many years and is therefore considered to be legal, and the proposed heights, setbacks and densities were proposed “as-of right”, meaning they conform to the old and new City of Toronto zoning by-laws. In fact, part of the design strategy for this project was to try to avoid variances, which adds both time and cost to the development process.



40 – No variances maximum zoning achieved




Where are Clients Spending Their Renovation Dollars?


Where are most of our clients spending most of their dollars on renovations and additions?

People often ask me where to best spend their renovation dollars.

While this is a personal matter for most, I can share you my experience.

For renovation projects, we often get combinations of many requests, but the following is the top ranking of renovations or additions.

For Additions there are various types most common:

Top 5 renovation or addition projects

1. Addition off rear 2 storeys including Basement.

2. Addition off rear one storey from ground floor

3. Addition on existing ground floor or bungalow.

4. Addition to the front.

5. Combination of all of these.

What is being contained in the renovations or additions?

Top 10 renovation or addition projects 

1. New Kitchen

2. Open Concept Living room dining room, and kitchen, remove walls, structural revisions.

3. Basement underpin including basement reno

4. New Master Bedroom With Ensuite Washroom and Master Closet

5. Additional Bedrooms

6. Taller Ceilings In Living Space

7. Modernize the interior

8. Modernize the look of the Exterior of the house

9.  Some functional problem with the plan of the house including More Storage

10. Zoning Issues that need to be resolved

residential_31Elevation Style Traditional3rd floor additionNew StructurePlan of addition and renovation

Strategy for Obtaining Permits for Additions and Internal Renovations

Strategy for obtaining permits for additions and internal renovations
The latest two projects involved additions and internal renovations in Toronto.
The strategy at the beginning was to obtain 2 separate building permits.
The first permits were for the internal renovation permit which essentially avoids zoning issues, due to the fact that all of the work is inside the existing building envelope.
The permit processing time is relatively quick and dealt with in the fast track permit stream.
For the addition, we go in for a zoning review request which takes several weeks, to determine in a zoning review prepared by the planners at the city that there would be variances required for density setbacks, height etc. to the city of Toronto zoning by laws. The zoning review takes into account that there are 2 zoning by laws in effect.
With the zoning report in hand, we apply to the committee of adjustment.
The Committee of Adjustment schedule has a backlog of approximately 2-3 months waiting period.
Once we have presented at the Committee and hopefully obtain approval of all of the requested variances, there is a 20 day period of appeal which gives us some time to to complete the drawings for permit and then we apply for a building permit.
With variances approved and drawings stamped by the architect and the structural engineer, the processing time is relatively quick. Usually a 5 day turnaround based on my most recent experience.



Owners looking for tall ceilings in their home have many options.


Tall Ceilings

Owners looking for tall ceilings in their home have many options.

We have recently been commissioned by one couple who will be renovating their home, and one of the major changes is to change the ceiling height in 2 of the main living spaces.
The first room is the Family Room, which is situated on the ground floor, the owners would like to achieve a very tall ceiling space. In order to achieve this we will be proposing to remove the room and the floor of the second floor above.
This will require some structural modifications of course.
Fortunately, the house is already large with a footprint of 2000 sqaure feet, the total area is approximately 6000 sf including the basement area, therefore losing one bedroom was not out of the question. For most project, owners are looking for more rooms or more area, but this project, it was the quality of the space was deemed more important.
The proposed plan will add approximately 9 additional feet to the height of the room, for a resulting height of approximately a 20 foot ceiling height.
The windows on the exterior will be modified to be much taller. The former bedroom windows will be lengthened to the old floor height and the ground floor windows will be lengthened to the former ceiling height.
The door to the room upstairs will be modified and turned into an opening from above, and a french balcony will be added. The design of the french balcony would need to be designed as a “guard”. The design solution of the finishes will offer many options and decisions to be made. The finishes will tend to create a light and airy look or be designed to create more of a dramatic effect with the help of the ‘verticality’ of the space.

The second room, is the media room which is in the basement.Here, the owners are looking to add height to the basement, mainly in order to install a golf simulator and to have an entertainment area.

The golf simulator specifications requires 10- foot clearance.

Currently, the ceiling is approximately 6-foot and a half at the lowest point. Therefore, in order to achieve the desired ceiling height, we will need to dig down. Digging down in this case means underpinning the foundation almost four feet.

Underpinning is a method where the basement is dug out in sections, and concrete is placed under the existing foundation wall and footing.

LINDY ARCHITECT of TORONTO Receives Best Of Houzz 2014 Award


Receives Best Of Houzz 2014 Award

Annual Survey and Analysis of 16 Million Monthly Users

Reveals Top-Rated Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in Canada


Lindy Architect is Best of Houzz

Toronto, Canada, February 4, 2014 – Lindy Architect of Toronto has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The Toronto based architecture firm established in 2008. Lindy Architect is specialized in residential architecture.  OAA licenced and promote the use of affordable green building practices. They offer a full range of architectural services for renovations additions and new builds. Their strength lies in our superior client service, professional experience, understanding of the planning, zoning and development process, ability to deliver highly detailed contemporary design both on time and on budget. They were chosen by the more than 16 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community.


Lindy Architect is Houzz recommended

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2013. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 16 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 230 million professional images of home interiors and exteriors to their personal ideabooks via the Houzz site, iPad/iPhoneapp and Androidapp. Winners will receive a “Best Of Houzz 2014” badge on their profiles, showing the Houzz community their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

“Houzz provides homeowners with the most comprehensive view of home building, remodeling and design professionals, empowering them to find and hire the right professional to execute their vision,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of community for Houzz. “We’re delighted to recognize Lindy Architect among our “Best Of” professionals for customer satisfaction as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

With Houzz, homeowners can identify not only the top-rated professionals like Lindy Architect, but also those whose work matches their own aspirations for their home. Homeowners can also evaluate professionals by contacting them directly on the Houzz platform, asking questions about their work and reviewing their responses to questions from others in the Houzz community.

Follow Lindy Architect on Houzz

badge181_25 Lindy Architect is Houzz recommended

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to get the design inspiration, project advice, product information and professional reviews they need to help turn ideas into reality. For more information,




Choosing and Architect who will be right for you

A building project is a most important and costly endeavor involving the combined hard work of a number of qualified individuals.

Building rapport with your architect is an important element of the process.

In the final analysis, you should choose an architect whose work you think highly of, whose knowledge you trust, and with whom you feel most comfortable.

Discovering, choosing, and hiring the best architect for your project is critical to your project’s practical, aesthetic, and economic success.

Your design professional-architect provides advice and design solutions, oversees the project as it progresses, deals with the unexpected, and brings value to a project by taking care of your interests and ensuring a quality end result.

Your building project is important to you, so take the time to choose an architect who can help you realize your vision.

Robie House

Architects Services

Customarily, architectural firm’s services include the design, preparation of working drawings for permit and construction,  and finally often being involved in construction administration. Architects also provide a diverse range of other services including brainstorming, feasibility ideas, development management, and project management.

Whether the building type the client intends on constructing is straight forward or more intricate, the service of the architect can be tailored to the individual project. The architect can pay attention to requirements of quality, time, and cost. All of the architectural services can be listed and clarified within the agreement between owner and architect The scope the of architectural services will vary with the type and size or budget of the project; the development requirements of the owner; the  customized specific requirements of the project at hand; and there may also become unforeseen items at the time of the initial consultations or discussions. Identifying the requirements and quantifying the fees of the architect’s services is an important first step to the success of the client’s project.



Modern Renovation Ideas

One of the hottest trends in renovation is the open floor plan concept. This is a perfect way to modernize an older home. Larger living areas with fewer entrances can also create more space and greater functionality for busy families. However, if knocking down walls is more than you’re interested in doing, you may wish to consider repurposing specific spaces or rooms.  The following are some ideas that can enhance your living experience for your space and will improve the functionality of your Toronto home.


Open Concept Plan



The Home Office – having a well designed and organized work space can be a great asset for anyone who works from home and also provides a space for children to do their homework.  Transform a room or alcove in your Toronto  home to incorporate computers, laptops, reference material, electronics and provide sufficient storage for the necessary materials needed to get the job done.  Consider  task lighting wiring requirements and adequate ventilation.


The Mudroom

The Mudroom is a room or area focusing on storage for all the under-used, seasonal and / or outdoor accessories you require on a daily basis.  Entryways can be outfitted with closets, shelves and cubbies to store hats, coats, umbrellas, boots, shoes, etc.  Benches help with putting on or pulling off boots and you can instantly hang backpacks, purses and jackets on hooks. Any entryway in your Toronto home can be repurposed into a mudroom; it’s a great way to make a potential waste of space more valuable.  Many mudrooms are positioned by the doors adjoining the garage or alternately from the back / basement or side entranceway. Mudrooms often incorporate a laundry room or washroom or even a dog wash.

complete image

Side Entry to Kitchen

Outdoor Living Space

If you have a deck or patio, you can revamp, repair and redecorate it for maximum appeal. This can greatly increase the desirability (and the square footage) of your Toronto home in the warmer months of the year.  Highly functional and cozy outdoor living spaces are a huge draw for potential buyers; they can imagine themselves eating, entertaining, relaxing and enjoying a beautiful day with ease. If you don’t have a deck or patio, it might be a good idea to build one or install larger windows to bring the outdoors in.


Green Building in the modern world

No longer is it the case that green building means living in a home built out of straw and “off the grid”. “Green Building” is about setting realistic goals based on what is affordable and what will have a realistic payback. For larger institutions, payback may be measured in corporate responsibility brownie points or may be measured in dollars and years. The payback for a residential homeowner may be having the sense that you are doing less harm and the monetary payback on the financial investment is usually ensured somewhere between one and ten years, depending on the system or product that is selected. The goals are simple: use less consume less, maintain what is working, dispose of materials responsibly. It’s simple: Buy energy efficient appliances, low off gassing paint, buy an old house and renovate it, seal air penetrations, reinsulate, Consider using renewable energy sun ground heat even wind. Buy a good thermostat. Energy efficient light bulbs replace old drafty windows. In new construction limit thermal bridges and limit air flow between inside and outside. Live near transit, live in a multi-unit higher density development.

canada green