We purchased a home and knew that we wanted to completely renovate it, add a two-story addition and finish the basement. Not knowing where to start, we found David R. Smith design through a recommendation from our general contractor. Having read through all the reviews on Homestars for David R. Smith design, we can genuinely say that the positive reviews are all true. David is one of those rare people in the industry that you will go back to time and time again because of his experience, high quality of work and he’s just a really nice guy that you can freely talk to.
We hired David to draft our house plans and to take care of all aspects of apply for and obtaining building permits.
Starting from a few ideas from Pinterest, David created various designs taking into account all the things on our wish list. Having vast experience with the process of home design, David is able relate to the difficult decisions that need to be made balancing budget vs features. He is a great sounding board for ideas and recommendations and is extremely patient with making changes to designs.
During the later stages of the design process, David worked extensively with our general contractor to finalize our house plans. While reviewing the designs, it was clear that David is extremely knowledgeable with the technical aspects of structural design, building codes and experience with resolving issues.
During the permit application process, David expertly navigated the process to expedite obtaining the building permits. He constantly followed up with the City reviewers and made sure to keep our application top of mind for them.
We really could not have found a better person and company to help us through the process and we greatly appreciate the work that was done.
I am not quite sure where to start, because there are so many fantastic things to say about David. Many of those things have been said. Repeatedly. And I will say them all over again.......David is an amazing resource, sounding board, draftsperson, and designer. And, he is actually a really great guy to boot! In the late summer of 2014 we purchased a new home and knew that we would be doing an extensive renovation. We met with 2 other designer/drafting companies prior to meeting with David, both recommended by our contractor. One was very technical and seemed primarily focused upon doing the basics - getting our project drafted out - but did not seem very interested or capable in providing design advice. The other was very design oriented, but without much substance and very expensive! Because we were not happy with the people we had met, we took to our own research and in that process, we came across the many amazing reviews of David and his work. Given the reviews, I called him out of the blue and we never looked back. In the first conversation, his passion for and knowledge of home renovations came across loud and clear.....for instance, he raised a number of practical issues that he wanted us to be aware of with a project of our size (a 3000sq foot total gut job) - and he had no obligation to do so. This was a cold call, where I simply asked a number of questions - some pedestrian, some detailed, and he took the time to answer those questions without reservation. I knew right then and there, we would have a great working relationship. We were not disappointed. David was charged with drafting plans for our existing house structure and for forecasting our renovation plans - it is a 3 floor house plus a basement - this was not a small project. At all times David encouraged a very open relationship where he invited us to provide him with as many pictures, ideas, and comments about our wish list as possible so that he could understand our design aesthetic in order to create a house that reflected our needs and wants. While he was very positive and encouraging in that way, he was also never shy to politely advise us when something in our wish list was impractical in terms of space or expense. I could honestly go on and on. Bottom line, the reviews are true. If I could highlight anything, I would say that he really is as good as everyone says he is. But even more, his attitude, his initiative (especially in dealing with the City and the permit process), his openness to questions, to making revisions, and to be involved even after his formal role is complete, are attributes that made all the difference for us. In this day and age, where everyone is renovating everything - be it big or small, there are people out there who are happy to cash in on the movement - some of them may know what they are doing and some of them may not. For us, we were so happy to have found someone with David's expertise, creativity and down to earth personality. Full Stop. But there was a bonus......his fees were more than reasonable and were less than the other quotes we received. In fact, given his attention to detail and level of service and response, I really feel as though we lucked out. He did not try to take advantage of us by including any surprise costs - at the end of the project we paid for what he quoted at the start of the project. Refreshing! We would highly recommend David for any renovation project. He is the real deal and we will certainly be recommending him to our friends and family. A heartfelt thank you David. Not only did you make this project easier to navigate and understand, you helped us achieve a really great lay-out that we are sure will work with our growing family for many years to come!!! Cheers!- Ferina from Toronto
We are renovating our 100 year old Toronto Semi. We are moving a bathroom to a bedroom and removing a wall in our second bedroom to make it bigger. We got in touch with David to help us through the daunting permit process. David came and measured our space and listened to our needs. He produced very expert drawings, and applied for the permit for us. The whole process was quick and painless and David was available and accommodating throughout. We have had several false starts with our renovation and working with David has renewed our confidence that we will get this done. From the moment we got in touch with David we knew we had made the right choice. He is professional and capable and has been in constant contact with us thoughout the process to let us know how it is progressing. We would use David again without hesitation.- Kali C. from Toronto
We found David R. Smith Design Inc. on Home Stars and were immediately impressed with the consistently raving reviews. We can now say they are absolutely well deserved and want to add our story. David was always very professional, technically knowledgeable and very helpful in guiding us not only through the design of our house (after a frustrating experience with another professional), but also during a quite complicated and stressful process with the Ontario Municipal Board after our neighbours appealed a favourable decision of the Committee of Adjustment. David was extremely resourceful and helped us keep calm during the long ordeal that ended up halting the construction of our house for months. We are finally on the verge on concluding the construction of our new house and I would certainly recommend his services for anyone that is planning a new build or a renovation.- Diego B. from Toronto
David was a pleasure to deal with, responded quickly to calls and emails and turned the whole project around from quote to designs and building permit in my hands within 2 weeks. I will definitely use his services again if the need arises and have no hesitation recommending him to others.- Tony P. from Toronto
Taking on a huge project like completely rebuilding your home can be overwhelming but David made the process so easy. He not only has an amazing ability to create something fabulous but also to deal with the ridiculous government bureaucracy allowing his clients to relax and maintain sanity that would otherwise be tested greatly. I really doubted I'd deal with someone who I both liked and trusted, but I found both in David.- John R. from Toronto
We hired David to develop architectural drawings for our new back deck and help us steer our way through the City of Toronto's Building Permit and Committee of Adjustment process. Throughout the entire process, David was proactive, creative, thorough and always there to answer our myriad of questions. He really knows what he's doing, and helps take the stress out of the process.- Neil D. from Toronto
Amazing choice to help build your house. We had a 1950's bungalow that needed to be renovated and after contacting a number of designers we chose David. He was the most professional of everyone I spoke with. We could not visualize what we wanted, but he was able to use our wishlist and turn our two bedroom bungalow into a 4 bedroom house with an inlaw suite in the basement. The initial meeting, the first proposal, changes that we made a thousand times, committee of adjustments, engineering drawings, electrical drawings, HVAC permits, building permits everything was completed or arranged by David. Don't know how he does it and keeps so calm.
David was very patient with us and was always available to answer question by phone or email. When things needed to be added or removed from the plans they were done promptly and provided to us for review. We are not using a contractor for our project and the advice that he has provided has helped so much . Getting all the plans and permits approved using David made our busy lives so much easier. I really can't say enough about how great he was during the planning and permit stage and knowing that he is there to answer questions we might have during the build is a great weight off our shoulders. Thanks so much for everything, David.
David R. Smith worked with us to create blueprints for a new garage, to replace our existing structure. Working with David was a extremely positive experience; his expertise and professionalism made the process quick and easy, ranging from our initial meetings to discuss wants/needs, to revising plans and applying for city permits. Throughout the design process, David was responsive to feedback, but also able to provide us with clear guidance, and the turnaround time for the plans - despite numerous other commitments - was very quick. We would recommend David's services without reservation and we will certainly go to him again with any future projects.- Bronwyn & Bryan D. from Toronto
David R. Smith Design is a winning design solution for homeowners. David is exceptionally client focussed, a great listener, and confidently efficient.- Darryl & Martha C. from North York
David was a pleasure to work with, responsive, detailed and very professional. Our plan was to build a garage but in order to accomplish this we needed to move the garage to the rear of the property. He was available every step of the way even with all the changes we tossed his way. Definitely would reccomend his services.- Ryan M. from York
We hired David after we had trouble with a previous service provider. His work ethic and attention to detail was refreshing. He was easily accessible if we had any questions about the project and he exceeded expectations of any task we asked of him. We have recommended him to at least two other individuals. Thank you for all your help!- Anna & Ivel I. from East York
David is a completely professional and highly proficient designer. From initial contact through to the approval and delivery of our building permit, we have been continually impressed with his attention to detail and ability to stay on top of our project. He listened carefully to our requirements and designed a garage that reflected everything we asked for while keeping within our budget. We will gladly hire him again!- Mike H. from Toronto
David was very thorough with our construction project and we were kept well informed each step of the way leading up to the city permits. He listened to what we wanted and constructed a 3D model showing what the final project would look like once completed. He was always quick to reply by phone or e-mail whenever you had a question to ask and had time to listen to each idea we had. I would recommend David to anyone who requires permit drawings or architectural design for their home.- Denny F. from Etobicoke
David's assistance in designing our project went far beyond what had initially been contracted. Not only was he prompt for meetings, and on time with delivering plans, and responded quickly to email queries, he helped us through to the final design which ended up being a process of several extra iterations. His advice with respect to helping us envision a stunning kitchen space within a limited budget was invaluable, and we plan to use him again in the future.- Concetta P. from Toronto
We hired David to do a design for our kitchen and dining room renovation. David accommodated his schedule to come earlier than expected to help us get a design in before a sale at Ikea, and also mocked up some designs directly in the Ikea planning tool for us to review. He thought of a layout that we hadn't thought of that we thought was great and we went with. He also submitted the permits and arranged for engineering drawings very efficiently and with more than enough time to start our renovations. I would recommend David to anyone thinking about doing renovations on their house.- Tom R. from York
We were in need of doing some major renovations and found David from HomeStars. We had 3 quotes and David stood out from the rest in several areas. Responsiveness - We realize that David is very busy. But he somehow seems to be able to pick up our phone calls almost every time when we call him with questions. And even when he is tied up, he would still pick up his phone and advise us that he would call us back. Even now when his services are completed, I feel like when I have questions, I can still call David and David would still try to help out. Knowledge - David knew the answers to all my questions. And in many cases, his answers where above and beyond what I expected the answer to be. David also has a wealth of construction knowledge which makes him more effective in planning out a design. Cost - David's services were the most cost effective when compared to 2 other companies. His quotes were accurate with no additional surprises and "gotchas". David was willing to do multiple revisions on our design plans with no additional cost while other competitors were not willing to do the same. David was also attentive to our needs. He simply did not create something that he himself personally liked. Instead, he created a design that he felt would meet our requirements after understanding what was important to us. I certainly recommend his services to others without hesitation.- Linq from Toronto
I'm an ICI tradesman and work with some great draftsmen & project managers on a daily basis. I know a good set of drawings, and I know good management.
David is the single best trade professional I have ever worked with.
The drawings are exceptional. Details and notes are comprehensive. Correspondence was always clear and timely. David has excellent knowledge of city permits, CofA procedure, and all other pertinent building depts. He managed my expectations of these processes at every step.
David sets an incredibly high standard. I look forward to working with him again on future projects.
This is my 11th studio that I have either been part of or have had built myself but the first time that I have worked with David. My only regret is that I cannot travel back in time to have him be part of all the other ones. Designing and building a recording studio space is a huge challenge when it comes to the structural needs of sound isolation. Room decoupling, floating floors and odd angles are not the norm. David's immediate understanding of these needs PLUS the absolute fantastic and creative input that he put into this project was priceless. I am more than pleased with David, his work, his professionalism and his deep creative well. Please look for pictures of my space once it is completed mid-April 2013 @ Cylindersound.com. The work will speak for itself. Kind Regards Brad Nelson Owner/Director - Cylinder Sound & Film - Toronto.- Brad N. from Toronto
David was fantastic to work with. We found David on Home Stars as we were in seek of an architect who would take our conceptual design and turn them into drawings which would be appropriate for the city to issue a permit. David understood our requirements, drew up the plans, had them submitted to the city for approval and was able to deliver a permit from the city for construction to begin! David also retained and coordinated the structural and mechanical consultants. David was a pleasure to work with, and i would use and recommend him again!- Adam S. from North York
We hired David to create drawings for a home addition and also to act as liaison with the city to obtain the appropriate permits. David did a fantastic job of listening to our needs and designing a functional space, in addition to offering ideas of how we could alter our interior space to be more functional. His pleasant manner, professionalism and quick turnaround were very much appreciated.- Kirk & Lisa P. from Toronto
We just purchased our new home and needed some extensive renovations done. David was very easy to deal with, walked me through the entire process and was able to work on and complete the project within 1 week. He also got us our building permit in 4 days without any issues. I'll be recommending him.- Alek M. from Toronto
David's approach is just like his motto: honest and relaxed. His honesty included realistic timelines and some great recommendations on how to save money. Although David was very laid back, he was also very thorough, meticulous, professional and lightning quick with follow ups. There was a perfect balance between sense of urgency and a relaxed and pleasant manner. In addition, David was knowledgeable about zoning bi-laws, construction and home renovations. He was the perfect designer!- Dale K. from Toronto
We engaged David to complete the drawings for our 2nd floor addition and changes to the main floor. From the moment we met David during the interview process, we felt very comfortable with him. His knowledge on the design and permit application process is second to none. In fact, despite having met with several other companies, we hired David the next day as we knew right away he was the right person for our project. He took the time to explain the entire process to us including all the cost associated with the entire process. During the design phase, David took into consideration our needs as well as provided some suggestions on several areas to fully utilize the space we envisioned and improve efficiency. We were able to come up with a final design very quickly, including last minute changes that were requested. We were very happy with the final design. During the permit application process with the city, David took care of everything for us and represented us with the city. The city often finds kinks in plans and David was able to respond and provide the additional details immediately. Overall the entire permit application process was relatively painless, although it did take quite some time due to the several stages involved. David was also very helpful during our contractor selection process as he helped to answer some questions contractors had. In fact, some contractors complimented us having such detailed plans available, as it made their job of quoting for the project a lot easier and accurate. After we selected our contractor further changes were required to the plans and David was very quick to respond and make the corrections and resubmit the changes to the city for approval. Overall, we were very, very happy to have David on board to complete the design of our project- Sameer A. from North York
In a nutshell, we will be using David again. He is an excellent communicator. He takes the time to explain every process and continuously adds value by sharing his ideas and experience. Above all, is trust and professionalism. He has been phenomenal in this regard. Acting as an intermediary between trades, engineers, and surveyors, he has taken ownership and responsibility in ensuring things got done. We strongly value the relationship we have with him and would not hesitate to recommend him to family and friends alike.- Eugene C. from Toronto
David did an excellent job designing our home and guiding us through the permit process. He is smart, professional and reasonably priced. If you're in the market for a renovation or new home, you can do no better than David R. Smith Design. Really.- William G. from Toronto
It's been said that patience is a virtue, and David has it in spades. As new home owners and renovators, it's easy to think that your questions are foolish or naive, but David's prompt professional approach always helped put us at ease. He was flexible with our timeline from first consultation to adjustments during demolition. After interviewing an architect and a reno coach, David's background as a designer made the most sense for our project. He captured our vision of returning our 1950's 1.5 storey bungalow into the quaint arts and crafts style home that we desired. While it was unfortunate that we couldn't fulfill some of the design suggestions due to our budgetary constraints, David was sensitive to the fact that we had to make certain concessions and was helpful with the adjustments. One piece of advice for fellow new renovators is to engage a contractor early in the process to ensure your drawings match your budget. Keep in mind that some contractors might prefer to begin the process once the drawings are complete. With that said, we can't say enough about David's ability to be ever present. By email, phone or dropping things in the mail, he exceeded expectations. While we recognize that he is an extremely busy professional, it was not uncommon to feel as though our little project was always top of mind. Finally we would be remiss, if we didn't mention David's persistence with the permitting process. He regularly followed up with the city, and helped to keep the lines moving. Thank you David for enduring our project with a cool and calm demeanour. It was very much appreciated!- Kristy D. from Scarborough
David is one of the most professional, friendly individuals I have ever worked with. Extremely knowledgeable, always willing to go the extra mile, he helped turn around what had been a bad experience due to the prior architect on the file, into a great experience. My fiance and I are now back to being excited about our new home! I can't recommend him highly enough.- Paul P. from Toronto
We first contacted David almost a year ago to help us better understand our options with regard to better using our existing space. It has been an excellent experience. We reached out to him in need of a quick roof repair permit, and were thrilled to discover through our work with him that his advice and expertise are so much broader than expected. He led us through a process of articulating our needs and exploring options, and repeatedly surprised us by presenting ideas we would never have identified or considered without his coaching. When we encountered snags - the kind that are inevitable when dealing with a 100 year-old home - during the transition from the drawing/permit stage to actual construction, David did not abandon us! Throughout, he encouraged us to ask the silly questions, and has been more than willing to make modifications as needed. We would not hesitate to recommend David Smith to our family and friends.- Amy & David K. from York