Outdoor Living Spaces Blog
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2017
Written by Keith Evans
In dealing with many potential and existing clients I've come to notice that many of them do not know what it takes, or the time it takes, to design and build the pool setting they have envisioned. First of all, they sometimes confuse companies that install pools with companies like ours—landscape design and build contractors that start with a blank slate and custom design, and then install and build—the pool and landscaping that ideally matches their vision. They may even start their search by talking with the wrong types of contractors altogether—often a confusing and inefficient use of their time.
Furthermore, many of them also fail to consider the time it takes to design, the time it takes to get building and zoning approval, the time it takes to build, and the time it takes to get final inspection by the city. They also often completely overlook the fact that most successful landscape design and build contractors will have other projects already on their construction schedule. All of these things can be a source of disappointment for a client who is eager to get started.
By giving you a better understanding of some of the steps involved, it is my hope that we can work together to get your project built and delivered to you in the timeframe you want, and not one dictated by external circumstances. By being proactive and starting early many of the typical obstacles can be dealt with and put to bed and a construction start time can be set.
Although pools, hot tubs, and whirlpools do not require a building permit (but there are exceptions, e.g., when building a hot tub in conjunction with a deck), your pool enclosure fence does. Pool enclosure fences are required for any pool, pond, etc., deeper than 600mm (approx. 23.5 inches). This is specified in Toronto Municipal Code 447-3. The drawings we do must clearly show we are meeting all requirements regarding fence height, materials, gates, and so forth. In addition, the drawings have to comply to zoning for your lot. This can include such things as set backs or the amount of hardscaping vs. softscaping allowed. (The latter has to do with the city’s interest in having water naturally go into the water table vs. going into the municipal sewer system.)
Once both the pool enclosure fence and zoning requirements have all been met the appropriate permits will be issued and the project can start.
Even before we get to the approval stage with the city, we have to get to the approval stage with you. Initial meetings together, including a site inspection, will allow me to start some preliminary drawings. Usually these have to be refined to fit your tastes and budget. It’s an exciting time because once we are in the creative process together, ideas spring to mind that weren’t on the table before we started. Feedback from many of our clients suggests that some of their favourite parts of their finished projects are those parts they didn’t even imagine would be there when they started. But, alas, this process takes a little time to get right. This is because we don’t aim at getting it pretty good.Our mission is simple:
Design and build landscape and pool settings that transform our customers' outdoor spaces and delight them beyond their expectations."
To do this it takes attention to detail, attention to quality workmanship, and attention to our client’s needs—including your need to stay informed throughout the process.
So what’s the moral of the story? You have to keep in mind the time it takes to:
- refine the design to ideally suit your outdoor lifestyle
- refine the design to ideally suit your budget
- refine the design to meet all building and zoning requirements
- schedule your project to get it done when you want it done
Start this year for next year. Let us take the time we need to get it exactly right for you. Allow us to start when you want us to start. But, this can’t be done if our schedule is already full so contact us early and let us get started.
E&OE Although we have made every effort to provide accurate information, the actual city documentation regarding zoning or building permits should be sought for information for your project. Land Effects makes no representation as to the accurateness or currency of the above information.