Made to Measure

Oke Woodsmith crafts custom homes to fit client’ lifestyles

Since 1984, Oke Woodsmith has worked closely with clients to develop a vision for their home. We believe achieving outstanding results in design and construction start with good planning – and a keen grasp of how our clients live in their homes.

As a design/build company, Oke Woodsmith acts as a partner with our clients from the design stage to the completion of a project. Although most buyers are focused on the end result, reaching that stage can be a long and sometimes challenging process. Listed below are the key steps we undertake during the design phase:

Make a list: We ask clients to write down their ideas and arrange them into four lists. The first is an inventory, by floor, of the rooms they most desire. What one spouse considers a necessity, the other may discount altogether.

The second is a must-have list with critical elements for each room, such as a sitting area in the master bedroom. We also ask them to make observations about the way in which they live in each room. Knowing whether they dress in their bedroom or in their ensuite bathroom helps us to design the most functional floorplan for them.

The third list is comprised of five to 10 elements clients would love to have, but which may not be financially possible. They may want a see-through fireplace between the master bedroom and the ensuite bathroom, but realize it’s not an absolute necessity.

The fourth – and most important list – details features couples absolutely don’t want in their homes. This list allows us to eliminate certain possibilities and gain insights into their tastes. Some clients compile magazine clippings of rooms or features they admire, which also helps us to determine their likes and dislikes.

Prioritize: We ask couples to prioritize their top three rooms. These may vary drastically from one spouse to another. If each person, however, has omitted a certain room, but indicated they wanted walnut cabinetry in that room, we question their decision to spend a great deal of money in an area that isn’t a priority. Although most people know what they want, many don’t understand how much it will cost to achieve it.

Preferences: We ask our clients why they’re moving from their present home. Many want a maintenance-free home that will be brighter and warmer, or larger or smaller, than their current residence. Some in lakeside areas, such as Grand Bend, are looking for a cottage instead of a traditional home.

Point of view: Clients may not want a certain feature because of a previous experience. Broadening their point of view is often a matter of informing them about products, however. Clients may think they don’t want a skylight, for example, because of a bad experience with one in the past when the problem was actually due to incorrect installation. Other clients may prefer certain window or door manufacturers over others.

Lifestyle assessment: We meet with clients at their home and assess, first-hand, how they live in it and what they enjoy most about it. If they want to retire in a resort community, we remind them their lifestyle as retirees will be quite different to what it was when they were working full-time. Our goal is to ensure their new home is designed for their future needs since their present needs may no longer be relevant when they move.

Fine-tuning: We visit the client’s new property to check the views and the exposure they want to capture. We sketch a design by hand, paying particular attention to the traffic flow of the floorplan. Once we’ve worked out any problems, we create an exterior elevation and price the home. We may change a design three or four times in an effort to make it mesh with the budget. Once our clients are happy with the results, we ask them to sign a contract. We then create a working drawing and proceed to the construction phase.

Construction phase: We maintain close contact with our clients from the time the foundation is poured until the home is finished. We help them choose elements such as stone, brick, stairs, trim, floor coverings, plumbing and lighting fixtures.

Because the home and its components involve custom design and fabrication, clients must be prepared to make many decisions within tight timelines. Our job is to confirm they have made the right decisions, show them what a certain change will look like, or offer new alternatives.

At Oke Woodsmith, we enjoy helping our clients transform their ideas into a distinctive home that was crafted specifically for their needs, tastes and budget. We value each of our clients and look forward to building a relationship with them that will last for many years to come.

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