Q?

-What distinguishes The Ideal Environment from other architecture & design firms?

A.

The Ideal Environment’s primary focus is on making your vision for the perfect home or workplace a reality. Using a series of easy to answer questions outlined in our workbook, we focus on your needs and help to develop a clear and budget conscious design scheme. We will ask questions to find out critical things that might not have crossed your mind, and help to refine your ideas and provide solutions for the issues that are most important for your home or workplace.

In addition, with over 35 years of experience, we know the pitfalls and shortcuts to will keep your project from harm, and your budget from breaking. We have also built many of our own homes and have acted as developers, so we understand how to trim costs without cutting quality. As such, we have also developed an expansive network of industry contacts in construction and finishing; we know this business, we know when to trust, and how to avoid mistakes.

Please have a look at our Products and Services section for more info, or contact us for a consultation.

Q?

-What is The Ideal Environment?

A.

The Ideal Environment is a full service architecture and interior design firm that specializes in custom cottage and country homes, corporate interiors for the high tech industry, profit enhancing work environments for entrepreneurs and companies going through rapid change. We also specialize in day care centers, and recreational facilities.

Brian Lee and Marilyn Lake, the principals of the Ideal Environment, are husband and wife who understand the dynamics of couples and their unique requirements. Our principals are also successful entrepreneurs who can provide exceptional guidance and architectural design services for the growing business or entrepreneurial environment.

Q?

-How does an architect know my tastes in design, and how do they satisfy my needs and and stay within budget?

A.

Your needs and your vision must be central to any architect’s services. At the ideal Environment your dream of a perfect home or work environment is central to our work, and is the reason we created our unique design process. Our process empowers clients by assisting them in communicating their needs and style sense to our team clearly and effectively. All subsequent design work is based on this first step and reflects our clients’ lifestyles, work environment, tastes and budget.

Our process also allows us to look down the road to your future needs. Is your family or business growing? How is your country home or cottage space used in different seasons? Where will you put your equipment and seasonal ‘stuff’ you accumulate that is important to you? How can we save you money long term on energy needs? Our work targets a solution for your current lifestyle, while being flexible to meet your future needs.

Q?

-How do I know if an architect or designer is right for me?

A.

As with all consultants, it is important to find a good “fit” that suits your needs. Make sure that you are being listened to and that your concerns have been addressed early on. If you feel that an architect is imposing their ideas or ignoring your requests to stay within scope or within budget you may not have the right fit.

Q?

-Can The Ideal Environment save me money? Isn’t it cheaper to hire a builder?

A.

The up-front costs for hiring The Ideal Environment will be recouped during the materials selection, design layout and working drawing preparation. We have found that builder projects executed without any Architectural services appear to be initially less expensive, however, in the long run you’ll pay more for inefficient floor plans maintenance, repairs, heating, landscaping, and renovation that could have been avoided with The Ideal Environment. During challenging economical times, well designed buildings sell first while the other ones wait. We like to say: “We will save you money that you didn’t know you would have to spend.”

First, The Ideal Environment ensures that the size of your building/interior space is ideal to suit your needs; and that the flow of the spaces are efficient yet dramatic. This is the most effective way to save on costs and time. For entrepreneurs or business owners in need of more space our ‘No Building Plan’ can save thousands or more per month by establishing your true size requirements, BEFORE you spend time and money finding new space.

In addition, the Ideal Environment automatically implements cost effective sustainable design practices that save big on heating, cooling, hydro, and electrical costs. With the rising cost of energy savings, energy conscious design is a good investment.

Q?

-What kind of payment structure or fees are to be expected?

A.

After an additional meeting, we can provide you with a fee structure for your project. Almost every project is done on a fixed fee basis so you know exactly what you will be paying for each part of the the job. Usually the concept is developed for a fixed fee. Once we both understand the size and complexity of the project, we will be able to give you a list of the fees for each of the stages, all the way through to a finished building.

Q?

-I’m interested in sustainable and ‘green’ design for my home/workplace. Can The Ideal Environment help?

A.

Absolutely, The Ideal Environment has been working successfully with sustainable building practices since the early 80’s, and these techniques are constantly being refined. Our experience of integrating passive solar design strategies, active solar panel systems, geothermal and sustainable technology can satisfy your sustainable heating, cooling, energy collection, ventilation and air purification concerns. Please Contact Us for more info.

Q?

-I was told it would take longer than I wanted to build my project, can The Ideal Environment help?

A.

The Ideal Environment is expert in many forms of construction and ensure that the most effective building method is chosen to suit your timeline and budget. Whether stick built or factory constructed modules, we can find a method that will get your building up and running in 6 months or less. Please contact us for more info.

Q?

-If I hire an architect, will they take control from me?

A.

While many architects and designers focus on a design they want you to like, our design criteria begins with what you like. Our exclusive tools help clients to communicate their likes and dislikes on a broad range of design issues. Coupled with in depth discussion and analysis of clients’ needs, our exclusive process empowers to involve clients in design decisions early on to ensure they are satisfied with the results.

Q?

-If I contact The Ideal Environment with a question, am I obligated to hire them?

A.

We welcome your questions and comments and look forward to hearing from with no initial consultation fee.

Q?

-Can I ‘Shop Around’?

A.

Shopping around for a perfect fit for your project is common and encouraged. We recommend that clients seek out a designer or architect who will complement their project and work in a fruitful collaboration in all areas of design and construction.

If you are dissatisfied with services of a design firm or general contractor, we can help. In fact, many of our past clients have come to us to resolve unfinished or poorly executed projects.

Q?

-Why Use An Architect?

A.

At a recent Radio Interview for ’Real Estate Talk Show AM 640′ in the ’Interview with an Expert’ Segment, Brian and Marilyn discuss the importance of using an Architect. Please Click Here to listen to their answer.