Design Process

Site Plan/Property Development Proposals

Masterplan Design will review your property’s zoning requirements along with other site related elements that will determine your building options. This will assist you in budgeting and assessing what you are able to build. This document will be provided to you as we discuss your concept design drawings.

Give us a call to discuss your property development proposal needs in Ottawa.

Concept Design Drawings

Our concept design process begins by effectively communicating with our client. Obtaining a clear understanding of the client’s design objectives and criteria is a vital starting point for any project. Our systematic progression of simple concept design drawings that evolve into more elaborate and detailed drawings is achieved by means of design meetings and stages of progress drawings generated utilizing Building Information Modeling 3D software. Each step of the process involves our active listening and careful interpretation of the client’s requirements.

Masterplan Design will sit down with you and develop a detailed “Checklist” which defines your needs and objectives before commencing the design. Concept design drawings are then created to ensure that the design meets your requests for the look and feel of your house before the building permit drawings/working drawings are developed. These include a conceptual site planfloor plans, elevations, and exterior 3d views of your proposed house design. 

Many of our past clients have found home plans from the internet or have assembled photographs and examples of homes they admire portions of. Masterplan Design will refine these existing plan ideas into a set of concept design drawings (and later on working drawings) that incorporate all the desired features and aesthetics while incorporating appropriate construction technology, zoning by-laws, building code compliance, and desired construction materials and products. Our structural engineer consultant assists us in assuring the structural integrity and constructability of your project.

Also, you are required to have a current accurate survey of the property in order for us to verify and ensure that the design will meet all existing zoning by-law requirements prior to commencing the concept. 

Working Drawings

In this phase, the design is translated into the technical language of the contractor. Drawings and specifications are prepared which define in detail all of the materials that are to be incorporated into the house, where they are to be located and how they are to be installed. These include fully detailed floor plans, elevations, building sections and construction details for pricing and building permit application purposes as outlined below:


This plan shows the foundation layout, including support walls, columns and footings; excavated and unexcavated areas; foundation notes and details and size & location of first floor steel beam locations and wood framing if the basement is to be finished.

Detailed Floor Plans

These plans show the layout for each floor. Rooms and interior spaces are carefully dimensioned and symbols are given for the building sections provided later in the plan. Plans also show the location of windows, doors, stairs, kitchen appliances, plumbing fixtures, and suggestions for electrical fixtures, switches and outlets.

Roof plan

The roof plan shows a bird’s eye view of the overall layout of the roof, ridges, valleys and slopes.

Exterior elevations

Included in front, rear, left and right sides of the house. Exterior materials, details and measurements are also given. Additional elevations may be required for angled garages and anything on the design which is angled.  

Building Section and Typical Details

Important changes in floor, ceiling, and roof heights, or the relationship of one level to another are called out. These sections and details specify the homes construction assemblies which outline the insulation, flooring and roofing details.  


Included on all floor plans is a suggested electrical plan. These layouts are only suggested and should be confirmed with electrical contractors for accuracy.  

Working drawings are required for:

  • Obtaining a Building Permit from the City of Ottawa
  • Estimating both the material quantities and construction costs
  • Providing instructions to build as per the latest version of the Ontario Building Code
  • Communicating with Tradespeople
  • Planning for furniture size and placement
  • Creating Floor Joist and Roof Truss layouts from the Building Supplier

Once the working drawings are complete, the plans will have to be sent out to the client or builder-chosen building supplier for roof truss and floor system layouts. The layouts are required by our structural engineer to assist his review. After the plans and layouts are sent to our structural engineer, where he will conduct his review, after which we will update the drawings to suit. Our engineer will review the plans and specifications, and will provide design liability of the house for the building permit application.  The engineer will then stamp the plans once he feels they are to his satisfaction. We will provide you with a PDF or hard copy of the stamped drawings for yourself to make as many additional prints as you please. 

Items Required for Building Permit Application in the City of Ottawa

-2 Copies of the Building Permit Application 

-2 Sets of Engineer-Stamped Architectural Working Drawings as provided by Masterplan Design

-2 Copies of Floor system layout as provided by building supplier

-2 Copies of Roof Truss layout as provided by building supplier

-2 Copies of the Structural Letter as provided by my Structural Engineer. The letter will state that he will be taking design liability for the architectural drawings, so a Schedule 1 stating BCIN information is not required.

-2 Copies of Site and Grading Plan as provided by either designer, surveyor or civil engineering technologist depending on the property location.

-2 Copies of Approved Septic Permit provided by civil engineering technologist (if applicable) 

-2 Copies of Mechanical Ventilation Design Summery and Duct Design Layout as provided by HVAC contractor or qualified individual  

-2 Copies of the Energy Efficiency Design Summery form as provided by Masterplan Design. 

Please note that the client or builder will be responsible for choosing the company or contractor to provide the required documentation for the building permit application. Masterplan Design can recommend them and act as a liaison to get the documentation and will apply for the building permit on behalf of the client or builder, however payment for the documentation will be provided by the client or builder to the company or contractor.