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Our Process

Open Residential Design Approach

MacDougall Design Group will work with you to design spaces that go beyond addressing function. Our designs are developed to meet our client’s program, site, and budget needs, as well as emphasize and address aesthetic goals integral to the project. From pre-design to construction drawings and specifications, we help homeowners, developers, builders, and realtors with our open and practical approach to designing for the human experience in their home environment.

Our Process


We follow a straightforward and client-centric process that involves:


  Initial meeting: At this and any required subsequent meetings, we gain an understanding of your living situation and what you would like to see changed and how. We want to learn about your needs, goals, desires, budget, and timeline. You may already have some sketches, drawings, or images of what you want but are unsure of next steps, or you may still be at the vague idea stage and require some clarification and guidance. Whatever knowledge you may be able to share with us at this time, we will listen and begin to clarify the path forward to project completion.


  Contract & quote: After our initial discussion/s, MDG will prepare a contract with a quote for our services and an outline of the project scope and schedule for your approval. We can discuss any questions or concerns you might have about the design process at this time or at any time during the project.


  Information gathering: We will collect, organize, and analyze all of the data that informs your project and develop your program from ideas, imagery, and insights and attain any existing house and site information (measurements/as-built drawings, by-laws, codes, and guidelines) that may be applicable to your specific project.


  Schematic & design process: MDG will develop alternative design solutions after gathering and analyzing all relative material in response to your program. Once we have developed some preliminary design options, we will meet with you for your input. This part of the process can take numerous meetings, depending on the complexity of the project. The building begins to take shape as we move through the design process, until your project has reached sufficient clarity for pricing and permits (if required), and finally for construction.


  Final sign-off of drawings: Either before obtaining permits or after, depending on our agreement, we will provide you with the final drawings. From this point, the approved drawings require pricing—we recommend getting quotes from 3 contractors, and MDG is available to assist you with this stage if you would like.


  Budget review: Once the design is approved, you will have to present it to your choice of contractors to get a quote. We recommend getting quotes from at least 3 contractors.


  Permits, if required: Not all projects require permits, but if they do, this will be made clear from the beginning of your project. We are well-versed in the process, having been through permitting many times on previous projects. We will see that your project ‘gets through’ the permit stage as quickly as possible.


  Builder liaison: We like to remain in close communication with the builder throughout the construction process. MDG is here to help get your project completed and is available to help resolve any issues that arise.

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